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Like, tweet, post, and comment is the new vocabulary for NPS interpreters. Visitors and the public are discovering and connecting to the NPS through their friends and family on social media. HFC supports parks and programs through strategic planning, guidance, training, and direct consultation on the uses of social media for all aspects of a visitors experience.
Social media is a powerful tool for parks and programs if used strategically. The Interim Directors Order for Social Media was released on December 16, 2011 and included the use of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. It also required parks to submit a strategy. As of October 2012 about 170 parks and programs have submitted their strategies.
By the Numbers
Facebook. As of October 2012 the NPS maintains over 240 pages with over 800,000 likes. The top ten NPS pages on Facebook make up 70% of the likes. These pages are: National Park Service, Statue of Liberty, Glacier, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Denali, Arches, Zion, and Rocky Mountain. NPS Facebook page content includes interpretive posts, photos, history questions, caption this photo, park personalities, events posts, sharing partner stories, links back to nps.gov content, press releases, etc.
Twitter is the second most used social media network in the NPS with over 210 NPS Twitter feeds as of July 2012 with 168 that are currently active. Parks have tweeted over 134,000 times as July 2012 to over 550,000 followers. Many park twitter feeds are used for this day in history posts, ranger program feeds, live event Â feeds, road conditions, and fire information. Because of that many feeds only become active during certain times of the year or events.
YouTube. The NPS has over 70 channels with over 7 million views as of October 2012. Most of those views come from a handful of viral videos including the Yosemite Nature Notes episode Frazil Ice(4.1 million) and WWII Valor in the Pacific video Eternal Peace(1.2 million).
Flickr is used by parks to share high resolution photos for the public, educators, students, and news media to use and share. The park service has over 76 accounts with over 36,000 photos posted as of October 2012. The vast majority of photos on park flickr pages are in the public domain and are free to use by the public.