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Social media

Hello from the Wikimedia Foundation Communications team! This is a space about the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia's social media channels.

Below is an overview of our organic social media strategy. Organic means unpaid; there is a separate effort that oversees paid marketing campaigns, including on social media.

This is a living strategy; as more information becomes available or things change in the social media landscape (which they often do), we will be able to pivot and adapt our approach as needed.

What is social media management

There is a lot of work happening behind-the-scenes. Here are some of the activities we do when managing social media:

  • Plan out content to be posted.
  • Write and develop the content, including texts, graphics, and other visual assets.
  • Publish the content.
  • Monitor the content's performance.
  • Optimize as needed.
  • Engage with questions.
  • React to newsworthy trends.
  • Act in situations of crisis.

Who we are

As of Fiscal Year 2023/2024, the organic social media strategy for Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation is overseen by the Integrated Marketing team, within the External Communications team:

  • Olga Spingou, Senior Manager of Integrated Marketing, leads the team which also includes colleagues who work on the Wikimedia Foundation website, communication campaigns, marketing initiatives, and more. Based in Athens, Greece, UTC+2.
  • Lucas Pasqual, Senior Social Media Specialist, focuses on organic social media strategy and daily social media management. Based in São Paulo, Brazil, UTC-3.

Why are we on social media?

Social media is one of the front doors to the Wikimedia projects, the Foundation, and the movement. Based on a global Brand Health survey asking people how they were exposed to Wikipedia, nearly 25% said it was through social media.

We need to meet people where they are by being welcoming, accessible, and clear. Once people open this front door, we want to create meaningful pathways and connections to help them learn more about who we are and join us.

Our social media channels

Platform Wikimedia Foundation Wikipedia
username followers (1 يوليه 2024) username followers (1 يوليه 2024)
Instagram @wikimediafoundation 16,748 @wikipedia 299,410
Facebook @wikimediafoundation 16,932 @wikipedia 5,576,688
X/Twitter @wikimedia 94,951 @wikipedia 633,638
LinkedIn @wikimedia-foundation[1] 73,182 @wikipedia-the-free-encyclopedia 16,385[2]
YouTube @wikipedia[3] 237,027 n/a n/a
@thewikimediafoundation [4] 7,326 n/a n/a

* Staff from the Product & Technology department maintain the official Mastodon instance for the Wikimedia Foundation.

This table will be updated every quarter.

The case for X/Twitter

The recent changes to Twitter have caused many users to leave the platform entirely. However, there is a critical mass that still has a presence and engages in conversations there, including many Wikimedia volunteers – such as individuals, user groups, and affiliates.

The Wikimedia Foundation is active on the platform to:

  • respond to their needs and amplify movement messages to external audiences, as well as
  • help our goal of creating awareness of the free knowledge movement.

Our team is closely and continuously monitoring the situation to evaluate our presence on X/Twitter.

Our objectives

Our social media objective:

Cultivate awareness and affinity for the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects, including Wikipedia, as well as the free knowledge movement.

This overarching goal has three parts, all connected to our brands mentioned above:

  • To increase awareness.
  • To increase understanding.
  • To build trust.

Our goals are guided by our movement goals: to promote knowledge equity and knowledge as a service.

The Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia social media channels have a role to play in doing this. Our social media channels are:

  • an invitation to learn more about the movement, Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, and its projects via our content and overall presence.
  • intended to be a reflection of the Wikimedia movement values and the diversity of content created by volunteers.

Our audiences

The people who follow Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation social media channels are:

  • Wikipedia readers; they may have low awareness and understanding of the Wikimedia ecosystem or be active members of the movement.
  • Global, not location-specific, but with a basic understanding of English.
  • Open-minded and curious, eager to learn.
  • Mostly between 25 to 34 years old.

Our priority regions for social media are determined by a number of factors, such as:

  • Data and insights from the Wikimedia Foundation's Brand Health Tracker*, which measures brand engagement around the world.
  • The areas of focus of our programmatic work (e.g. campaigns, partnerships).

We revisit these areas of focus annually, as part of our annual planning process.

These are our priority regions as of June 2024:

  1. Primary:
    • Asia: India + Indonesia
    • Latin America: Brazil + Argentina
    • Africa: South Africa + Nigeria
    • Europe: Germany + Poland
    • North America: USA
  2. Secondary:
    • Asia: South Korea + Malaysia + Taiwan + Japan + Philippines + Australia + New Zealand
    • Latin America: Mexico + Colombia
    • Africa: Kenya + Senegal + Morocco
    • Europe: France + Czech Republic + Ukraine + Turkey
    • Middle East: Egypt + United Arab Emirates

Our approach to content

Any piece of content published on the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikipedia social media channels has to be:

  • Relevant to our target audiences and our goals
  • Connected to current events
  • Consistent, inclusive, and accessible
  • Global
  • Fact-based

Audiences are busier than ever. We need to create a variety of content that is designed to be consumed in the way they want to consume it. Creating a mix of short-, medium-, and longer- form content is a winning way to reach audiences.

  • Short, or "Bites": Scannable content, graphics, statistics, static images. Short videos (up to 30 seconds).
  • Medium, or "Snacks": Short paragraphs, including interactive elements. Medium videos (up to 3 minutes).
  • Long, or "Meals": Long-form content, services, in-depth educational content, podcasts, long videos (up to 10 minutes).

How do we create engaging content?

  • On-platform content: To meaningfully connect with our audience, we need to extend Wikipedia's content onto our social media platforms in order to provide value where our audience is.
  • Variety in storytelling: There are a wide variety of storytelling options available that are unique to the channels we are adopting. Sequential storytelling, reels, stories, and more are available to help us connect.
  • Experimentation: As we expand our storytelling and social reach, it is important to experiment and see what resonates with our target audiences. Not everything will work and that is okay.
  • Representation: We are one that is made from many; highlighting our international community of contributors, partners, affiliates, and Foundation team will help showcase the diversity behind the platforms we host.
  • Creation: We work to create content that reflects our global audience. We want to encourage them to make content as well, so that they tell their own stories using their own voices – which we can help amplify on our channels via reposts and shares.
  • Curation: We have a variety of options to curate content onto our channels. We can show our global footprint by amplifying other accounts in the free knowledge movement, Wikimedia volunteers, and more.

When creating content...

  • We do not endorse any products.
  • We do not endorse any political candidates.
  • We do not engage in any dispute with other accounts.
  • We do not evaluate or attempt to resolve complaints by celebrities or their fans about edits to a Wikimedia project article.
  • We do not post sarcasm or irony.
  • We do not post "snarky" or unfriendly tones.
  • We do not repost anything that contains the above.
  • We do not post media that is not freely licensed under CC, in the public domain, or owned or co-owned by the Wikimedia Foundation. An exception is media used with permission from the author.

Contact

Got a question for us? Reach out to the Communications department via email (talktocomms(_AT_)wikimedia.org) or drop us a message in the talk page.

Got a request for the Wikimedia Foundation or the Wikipedia social media channels? Use the same email above. We will consider these requests based on relevance and appeal to wide audiences, as well as their ability to push forward our strategic goals. We welcome compelling stories and visuals that highlight the movement and our priorities, staff thought leadership, our advocacy efforts and volunteer champions, as well as initiatives that showcase local and newsworthy issues.

Additional information about social media channels

  1. LinkedIn is currently shared with the Talent and Culture team; they post job opportunities at the Wikimedia Foundation.
  2. The LinkedIn page for Wikipedia is not currently active.
  3. This YouTube channel shares Wikimedia, Wikimedia Foundation, and Wikipedia content relevant for external, public audiences.
  4. This other YouTube channel is for internal (staff and movement) audiences. It livestreams staff gatherings and other meetings.