The News.va Instagram account has quickly become one of my favorites to follow. I’m not sure who’s behind the camera, but they have quite and eye. A recent great example was this shot of Pope Benedict receiving the statue of Our Lady of Fatima:
So I was perusing the Vatican account and took note of something interesting. As of this writing, the account has 11,826 followers. It is actually following ten other Instagrammers. Who? Here they are:
- Archdiocese of Washington
- Catholic Apostolate Center
- Diocese of Svannah
- Diocese of St. Petersburg
- DSJ Young Adult Ministry (Diocese of San Jose)
- Franciscan Media
- JMJ Rio2013
- Saint Joseph Youth Group
While there doesn’t seem to be a particular “rule” for the accounts being followed by News.va, there are some definite trends that can show us best practices for institutional use of this social media venue:
- Post regularly, but don’t overpost.
- Show real people engaged in real activities, living out their faith.
- Occasionally include video instagram posts.
- Mix some “word” posts into your profile — these can include word art, scripture verses, and slogans.
- Capture religious art in detail — some of the most eye catching posts include artwork shot from an interesting angle or filtered in dramatic way.
- Use hashtags creatively and consider a branded hashtag for your parish or organization.
- Use Instagram socially, not on a one-way basis. Like, comment on and follow other Instagram accounts.
- Let your faith shine!
Catholicism is a visually rich faith filled with symbols and signs. Instagram provides a visually pleasing way of presenting the faith to folks who may not otherwise encounter it. As we continue to learn about using these social media solutions as a part of the New Evangelization, I’m grateful for examples like these listed above that provide an object lesson for all of us.
A question for you: Are you on Instagram? Feel free to list your profile in the comments below so that I can follow you!