At the Beginning of the 2016 fall semester, Team #SoapbxSocial was chosen to partner with The Soapbox: Community Print Shop and Zine Library in order to best leverage social media outlets to garner more subscriptions for their organization. The idea of a “Soapbox” is that it is a small platform for people to stand on and express their ideas or news to a larger audience. The Soapbox is a West Philadelphia-based nonprofit that aims to provide artistic outlets for creative and political voices of their community. Their social justice prerogative is to make certain that everyone has access to and education of freedom of expression. The Soapbox values expression through art-making, printing, binding and self-publication. In order to reach prospective workshop students and event participants, they have implemented various forms of social media engagement including a website, as well as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.
The Art-Reach “believes that art is a human right” and particularly works to ensure people with disabilities and low-income communities have access to the arts. Their website is highly developed and boasts responsive design for easy transfer from laptop or desktop to mobile devices. They use dynamic and quality pictures that are grabbing in that they confront the visitor immediately upon the loading of the page. The site also implements vibrant colors and call-to-action modules that warrant a click.
Fresh Artists is a non-profit determined to make sure that children have access to artistic expression and to validate their creativity by displaying their art in non-profits throughout the area. With poor school systems cutting funding for art programs, this outlet of creativity is being taken away from children in order to offer free or discounted lunches. This organization seeks to maintain the positive impact artistic expression can have on young people. Fresh Artists’ website and layout portrays a theme of childlike engagement with whimsical pictures and colors. As a whole the organization has a very similar mission to The Soapbox with the added element of early childhood introduction to art. Fresh Artists also links to their social media sites at the bottom whereas usually best practices is to put the symbol of the social media platform at the top bar of the website for quick access. Their Instagram Bio clearly states their mission and labels the page as a non-profit social media site.
he Black Hound Clay Studio, which the executives of Soapbox particularly like as a model, uses many best practices of social media. For example, their website is powered by a popular and sleek platform called Squarespace. Their Instagram page has a clear theme and consistent high contrast sometimes faded edited filter. Furthermore, their Instagram page has a link in the bio to their website.
In her article for causevox, “6 Non-profits who are getting it right,” Winnie Lui posts a graphic that advises nonprofits quick tips to effectively use Instagram to tell stories:
Showing happy people in Instagram posts promotes a familiar and positive response in the viewer
With such an artistic base as the soapbox, a visual platform like Instagram is a prime outlet to display works
Our spotlight series is a great way to get artist exposure and easy post ideas
- Creation of hashtags can create online buzz
Take it from The Soapbox:
The Soapbox does a number of things well on their social media platforms. They post engaging photos from dynamic angles on Instagram and have a consistent theme & filters.
Furthermore, the organization does well with making use of hashtags to contribute to potential conversations in the digital world. In best practices, it would be ideal to have more engaging captions. By making the captions more interesting and less simple, the viewer will be more intrigued as to what is happening. Combining intriguing captions and the helpful hashtags will only increase The Soapbox’s presence on Instagram.
Their Facebook page is an excellent tool used to keep members updated on happenings and events surrounding the Soapbox.
As an all volunteer nonprofit, The Soapbox has limited time to devote to an online presence. Thus, they have decided to focus that limited time on their social media accounts to make them as powerful a resource as possible. And since their social media is one of their strong suits, their website does a good job of highlighting this by keeping their social media easily accessible to those who view their website. Unlike Fresh Artists, they list all of their social media at the top of their website. This makes it easy for anyone to find and connect with The Soapbox on a deeper level. They currently list their Facebook and Twitter which are two big platforms for The Soapbox’s online presence. Along with that adding on a Instagram link might be an interesting thing to add on. As a whole, Soapbox uses it’s limited time to the best of its ability by putting a lot of great work into their social media.