Instagram has come quite a ways since it first entered the stage in 2010. Starting as a photo-sharing social space, it has now grown into a crucial platform for businesses and nonprofits alike to share their product/services, initiatives, company culture, and mission.
In order to truly maximize your nonprofits potential on this social platform, be sure to leave the following poor practices behind this year.
Fear of posting storiesInstagram Stories allow you to upload fun snapshots of your organization without the fear of spamming your followers. Stories disappear after 24 hours and do not stay permanently on your profile, so they are perfect for “behind the scenes” looks of your organization’s activities.
REMEMBER: This should be a place where your organization’s human side really shines. Avoid sharing overly polished photos, scripted video, or graphics that resemble ads. People use Stories to interact with people, not brands. So have fun with it!
Pro Tip: For longer term engagement, save and organize your stories as “Highlights” that will remain on your page after 24 hours. This is an opportunity to show potential supporters who you are and what you’re up to in just a few clicks.
Forgetting the hashtagsFact: Instagram posts with at least one hashtag earn 12.6 percent more engagement than posts without one. But there is a wrong way to use them. Sure, oversaturating your post with 30 hashtags is one way to get some eyes on your post, but will that really convert to quality engagement that supports your nonprofit’s mission? Unlikely.
Hashtags are a language within themselves and there is unspoken etiquette about how to use them the right way:
Failing to engageDonors and volunteers want a relationship with the nonprofits they support. Be sure to respond to comments promptly, tag other accounts in your posts, and repost content.
Pro Tip: Include user-generated content (UGC) in your engagement strategy. For example, you can repost content of your supporters attending events, volunteering, or otherwise getting involved in your mission. This increases credibility among your other followers, while highlighting your impact in the community.
Sharing uncompelling content.With tens of millions of photos and video posted to Instagram every single day, it can be an intimidating task to make your content stand out. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind to keep your posts engaging:
Ignoring Insights or other analytics toolsInstagram now offers Insights if your account is set up as a business profile (which, if you’re a nonprofit, it should be!). Use this information to get to know your followers and to track the success of your marketing efforts.
For our nonprofit clients, we recommend looking into more comprehensive analytics tools such as the ones offered by Sprout Social, Hootsuite, or Google Analytics.
As a nonprofit, you have the important job of making your cause heard. But before you start shouting your mission from the rooftops (or online), it’s important to identify your nonprofit’s voice and tone, as well as create some guidelines.
For starters, what’s the difference between voice and tone exactly?
Think of your voice as your brand’s personality. Your brand voice is constant, reflects your mission statement and should remain consistent across platforms.
Your brand’s tone, however, is much more flexible. Think of the tone as your organization’s mood or attitude. It can and should change in response to various situations but should ultimately refine your voice.
To develop a memorable voice and tone for your nonprofit, consider these 3 tips:
The average North American consumes over 10 hours of media per day! With so much branded content and so many logos, ads, and slogans popping up every day, it can be challenging to differentiate yourself from the masses. Nonprofits have the added challenge of promoting a cause or movement, which is often less easily understood as a tangible product. For this reason, consistent branding is an essential part of making your mission stick in your viewers’ minds.
Effective branding can help non-profit organizations achieve the following:
“Resource limitations,” (i.e. staff and budget) can make it difficult to engage your supporters in reaching your goals. Email marketing is an affordable approach with a potentially high return. Email is still the most effective online fundraising tool, is a great way to thank and recruit volunteers, and allows you to build direct relationships that strengthen your brand and mission.
Below are five tips and tricks for your organization’s next email campaign:
Make your message clearThis is particularly important for fundraising calls to action, as transparency is crucial to donors. Make sure that you articulate clearly what your proposition is, what your goals are, and why you want to achieve those goals. For a donor to support you, they need to fully understand and believe in your initiatives.
Keep it short and sweetImagine yourself as the recipient, checking your email during the workday. When you’re scrolling through a lengthy message you begin to skim through or stop reading entirely with the intent to pick it up later—only you never do. Keep your emails clean, concise and to the point—your stakeholders will thank you!
Segment your listsWhen short on time, it’s tempting to send out an email blast to your entire subscriber list. It is important to remember that not every message is one-size-fits-all. Each supporter has a unique connection to your organization; therefore it is important to send them relevant information. If a donor has made a donation to a specific initiative they would expect to receive a thank you email as well as follow ups as the initiative develops. Segmenting your lists will help personalize emails and help retain subscribers.
Be sure your email is mobile-friendlyAccording to the recent US Consumer Device Preference Report from MovableInk, 66 percent of all email in the US is now opened and read on smartphones or tablets! It is more important than ever that your email template is mobile responsive for your content to look clean and correctly formatted.
Take advantage of the digital mediumOne of the biggest benefits to email marketing campaigns is that your supporters can take additional action via a simple click. Try using: