These days, nearly everyone has heard of the social media powerhouse Instagram. But how many nonprofits are actively using the photo and video sharing service? Not nearly enough!
Instagram should be an integral part of any nonprofit's social media strategy for a number of reasons. The network currently boasts over one billion active monthly users, surpassed only by Facebook, Youtube, and WhatsApp. Furthermore, because of its focus on visual content, it has an exceptionally high user interaction rate relative to other social media sites. Thus, “if you use Instagram right, you could be tapping into a [massive] network of active, engaged, and passionate supporters and donors." (Indeed, 10% of online donors already give through Instagram!)
Instagram is particularly valuable for nonprofits that target young and female donors. After all, the largest age group of Instagram users is 25 – 34 years old (33.1%). Moreover, almost 60% of Instagram users are girls/women.
Of course, to fully realize Instagram’s potential, just joining the site isn’t enough.
If you’re creating an account for a nonprofit, be sure to follow these tips:
Perfect your profile: Your profile is your first impression—so make it strong! Ensure that all elements of your profile are visually striking from the avatar to the (customizable) highlight covers. Similarly, write a compelling and attention-grabbing bio. Sprinkle in emojis, hashtags, a call-to-action, and a link to your latest charitable campaign (check out the tool Linktree for this). Finally, apply to get a blue verification badge added next to your nonprofit’s name. This can boost your account’s legitimacy and is likely to increase organic reach.
- Post like a pro: Like your profile, prioritize eye-catching images for posts. Single images (especially of people) tend to result in the highest engagement, but keep it fresh by weaving in occasional videos, carousel posts, inspirational quotes, powerful statistics, Boomerangs, and stories. Be sure to add captions that are 3-4 lines in length (anything longer is truncated) and that follow the “80-20 rule” (80% of content serves the mission and 20% seeks direct support). And don’t forget to include a healthy dose of emojis, geotags, focused hashtags, mentions of high profile partners, and of course, a donate button! Finally, aim to post consistently about 3 – 7 times per week.
- Engage with followers: Your job isn’t done after making a post, it’s just beginning! As followers click “like” or comment, take some time to respond either publicly or via direct message (for a more personal interaction). Also, consider following your supporters’ accounts and commenting on their content. This is the perfect way to return the favor and increase your nonprofit’s exposure. Lastly, make sure that you post regular thank you messages to your Instagram donors—“donor appreciation is the cornerstone of effective donor retention."
- Aim to improve: Instagram influencers aren’t made overnight. It takes time and effort to boost your following, interaction rates, and resulting donations. Start by checking out Instagram Insights, one of the free Instagram Business Tools. This tool provides various, real-time metrics on how your posts perform. Then experiment with different content, formats, and posting times to see which ones best engage your followers.
If your nonprofit has at least 100 followers, you can also utilize the total followers metric. This tool reveals trends across your followers, such as top locations, age ranges, and times they are most active on Instagram. Be sure to tailor posts according to these trends for optimal engagement. Finally, if time permits, try completing Instagram’s free training courses or reading their business blog. This will allow you to learn invaluable tips and stay current on the latest Instagram features.
So, nonprofits, it’s time to make Instagram part of your marketing and fundraising strategy. Subscribe to our blog below for more tips on nonprofit marketing and fundraising!