Instagram 101 for charities

 

           Last summer I was at a conference. During a session on social media use in nonprofit organizations the presenter suggested that charities were most active on Facebook. This was likely true at some point but personally I am becoming a bigger fan of the potential of Instagram, or IG as its users call it. Nonprofit Tech for good (April, 2014) describes;” Owned by Facebook, Instagram is the largest mobile social network in the United States. With more than half its users outside the United States, Instagram is well-positioned to become more broadly used worldwide.” Personally I view IG as almost a hybrid of twitter and Facebook. You can post great images like you can on Facebook, but the feed has much more of a twitter feel to it. When I say a twitter feel to it, it feels somewhat less cluttered than a Facebook feed. An advantage for a nonprofit is that Instagram does not have a character limit like twitter so for some posts you can tell more of a story than twitter allows.

          Nonprofit Tech for good (April, 2014) goes on to explain why your charity may choose IG as one of your social media platforms of choice. They explain: “For cause awareness, Instagram is a highly engaged community. Your nonprofit will likely receive more Instagram likes than Facebook likes and Twitter retweets combined, and it’s a community that is very responsive to nonprofits and images and videos that foster social good.”

         If you have a minute the full post is worth a read. There is link below in the references to the full article. There are some helpful hints about things like using hash tags and how often to post. While you are at it Nonprofit Tech for Good (2014, February) also has a related post on ways charities can use Instagram for fundraising (reference and link also below). In true instagram type form the post is mostly images so it will only take you a moment to glance through. Instagram does have the capacity to allow organizations to tell their story and their users stories through both images and words. Here is something to consider my personal twitter account has about 10 followers for every one follower I have on Instagram. From time to time I have done peer to peer fundraising and I have used both my instagram and twitter to ask people to support this fundraisers. Even though my twitter account has a much broader reach, most donations come from people who follow me on instagram. Not a scientific analysis for sure but a trend worth considering. I think this is because Instagram appears to be a channel that is more effective in telling a story and developing closer relationships with followers. Instagram is certainly a platform that your charity should consider as part of your efforts to tell your organizations story.

References

Nonprofit Tech for Good (2014, April) Top 5 Instagram Best Practices for

           Nonprofits as retrieved from http://www.nptechforgood.com/2014/04/14/top-5-instagram-best-practices-for-nonprofits/

Nonprofit Tech for Good (2014, February) 6 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Instagram for Fundraising as  

         retrieved from: http://www.nptechforgood.com/2014/02/06/6-ways-nonprofits-can-use-instagram-for-fundraising/

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