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National Geographic is a society which aims to inspire people to care about the planet. It was founded in 1888 and has since become one of the “largest, non-profit, scientific and educational institutions in the world”. National Geographic successfully uses social media to promote its message. 

Facebook

National Geographic has over 14 million ‘likes’ on its Facebook Fan Page and over 400,000 people are ‘talking about’ the brand. Most brand to fan interaction happens on their Facebook wall, with thousands of fans having ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ content, or ‘commented’ on its posts. National Geographic actively promotes fan activity and interaction. For instance, instead of just sharing a survey through a link to their site; they posted the link to their wall and commented, “Post your score and challenge your friends”. Tailoring the content in this way actively encourages involvement.

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National Geographic fully optimise the ability to use the fan page tabs.

  • In the ‘Boxes’ tab, there are badges linking to a photo contest, the National Geographic TV schedule, the official Flickr group, podcasts and links to their Facebook “Causes” app. They update their status regularly, to remind users about these particular pieces of content.
  • “Special Offers” tab reveals exclusive-to-Facebook coupons for magazine subscriptions. This gives fans an added bonus to joining and staying current with the page.
  • The “Green Effect” Tab offers links and information about their most recent contest, i.e. $20,000 for the best sustainability project idea
  • They also have a review tab which is common on most Fan pages.

The National Geographic Channel was founded in 2002, and has got its own Facebook Fan Page. Similarly to its main page, this sub-page includes many interactive activities like games, for instance ‘How Taboo Are You?’

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MySpace

National Geographic use their MySpace profile to focus on the National Geographic Channel video content. They keep this space fresh by consistently adding new videos for their friends.

YouTube

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National Geographic has established their own channel on Youtube and has nearly 500k subscribers to their channel. They have organised their content according to their interest and this has resulting in rankings on some of YouTube’s “Most Popular” lists. The advantage with these videos is that they can be shared to Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus which allows for users to share this content and gain much wider engagement.

 

Twitter

National Geographic has multiple accounts all with different purpose on Twitter so that their followers receive the most focussed content towards their interests. They do not use these channels as a conversation tool with their audience, instead they encourage sharing of content and generate conversations surrounding controversial topics that are affecting our planet. However, they do ReTweet users tweets that promote their content or programmes.

NatGeo – 3,475,341 followers : sharing a variety of content
NatGeoChannel – 320,952 followers: The latest on what’s happening at the National Geographic Channel in the U.S.
NatGeoPhotos – 263,066 followers: Sharing the latest photo’s, albums or photo competitions
NatGeoLive –  25,242 followers: Shares storied from explorers, photographers, filmmakers and journalists

NatGeoWild – 163,239 followers: Promotes programmes that are on the Nat Geo Wild channel
National_Geo – 76,527 followers : Information about up-coming programmes, news and what they do behind the scenes
NatGeoTraveller – 527,909 followers: Sharing experiences of travelling
NatGeoMaps – 7,027 followers: Publish links to new maps when they become available
NatGeoMovies – 15,975 followers: Sharing movies to inspire people to care about the planet
NatGeo Exhibit – 4,118 followers: Asks for ideas for the National Geographic Museum

There are also a variety of international National Geographic Twitter accounts.

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Flickr

The National Geographic Flickr group involves it’s fan base by encourage fresh, user-generated content. These photos also play on the sharing nature due to the widgets embedded in Flickr that allow for this.

Widgets

National Geographic has numerous widgets that it offers for its fans. These include a news widget, puzzle widget, and multiple photo widgets that are all easy to share within multiple networks and personal blogs. These widgets provide a way for users to interact and have fun with the brand.