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.