While there are several social media platforms that your nonprofit or ministry can advantage of, there seems to be one in particular that is hitting its stride more than ever. It’s considered the “favorite” platform by those ages 18-29, with other generations quickly following suit.

 

Instagram is primarily a visual platform, which makes the need for visual branding even more important. Not only do you need to make sure that you have great images and graphics, but you want to ensure all your visuals have a similar feel in order to create a consistent brand on your account overall (as we call it, the “grid”). On Instagram, it’s not just about the branding of the individual posts, but curating your account so that your entire feed feels like it goes together (in color, image filters, types of posts, etc.).

 

With over 1 billion active users, and 500 million of those being active every single day, it’s crucial that your nonprofit is intentional and strategic about using this platform to engage potential donors and grow a following.

 

Check out our 4 tips to making sure you take full advantage of this valuable platform:

 

  1. Make sure your nonprofit has an Instagram “business account”

Don’t fear, if your profile is not a business account you can take a general account and switch it to the business account, completely free and without losing what you’ve already started.

 

Once you switch to the business account, it will ask you to identify your industry and then prompt you with a few other questions to make sure you’re set up effectively. Once those simple steps are done, you can start reaping the benefits of what the “business” qualification offers:

  • Gain Insights
    • This allws you to see how many profile visits you get, website clicks, location of your followers, gender, age breakdowns, and (my personal favorite) their most active days and times, allowing you to know when is best to post.
  • Add Calls to Action
    • Instagram allws you to pick some calls to action that live on your profile page. For example, at The A Group, we use “Call” and “Email” which will then prompt the user with our number or open an email window once clicked.
  • Ability to Run Ads
    • Yu must first have a Facebok Page to run ads n Instagram, but yur profile must be designated as a business profile in order to qualify to have ads run for your organization on Instagram.
  1. Use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories (as you likely know) is a feature that lets users post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. While stories often serve a slightly different, less strategic purpose for personal use, organizations of all kinds are jumping on this bandwagon and utilizing it in ways to connect with their followers like never before.

 

Stories allow your organization to show the more casual side of your day-to-day, culture, communicate with your followers and allow them to engage in unique ways (like polls, quizzes and Q&A). You don’t have to worry quite so much about “the grid” as we discussed in the introduction, since these are here one minute and gone the next.

 

  1. Utilize hashtags for discovery

Posts with at least one hashtag gain 12.6% more engagement. Using hashtags strategically ––and not just as a fun way to say a phrase that you have no intention of capitalizing on for engagement enhancement (#PleaseDontDoThat) –– can help people find your cause if they search for hashtags that you’re using in your posts.

 

There’s a flip-side to this coin as well. YOU should search hashtags that have relevant keywords to what you’re doing. This will help you find relevant posts, but most importantly will help you find actual people who are engaging with similar content, therefore would likely also be interested in your cause as well.

 

P.S. You can use up to 30 hashtags, but experts say the magic number is 11 (some people tend to see 30 hashtags as spammy and leads to lack of trust).

 

  1. Run ads

83% of users discover new products, services and brands on Instagram alone. This should show us that people are not only on social media platforms for the social connection. They’re consuming brands and information through every swipe.

 

If you’re trying to get the word out about your nonprofit or ministry, running ads on Instagram is affordable and effective. You can narrow in your audience to best reflect who you want to reach: age, gender, location, and detailed demographics like financial, life events, education levels and more. And the best part? You’re only paying when someone actually clicks your ad indicating interest or curiosity. Set a budget for your daily campaign, watch its engagement and adjust as needed.

 

We love all things social media here, and if you’re in the market for social media consultation, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our strategists can perform an extensive audit on all of your platforms and give you strategic plans and recommendations to ensure your social presence is top notch. Click here to get in touch and learn more.

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