Instagram for Nonprofit Marketing

Humans are predominately visual creatures. From birth, we are hard-wired to be attracted to the most visually-stimulating images in front of us, and it is no different as we grow older. When given the choice, would you read a book filled with colorful and engaging pictures, or page after page of black and white monochromatic text?  Be honest.

Our visual nature (and constant need for entertainment) makes the rise in popularity of Instagram a no-brainer. A social media app that doesn’t involve much thought, and at your convenience you can browse all day through photoshopped pictures of your friends, family, celebrities, and what they are eating for breakfast?  Sign me up!

As of September 2013, Instagram announced hosting over 150 million monthly users – and this after only 3 years on the market!

I think it is safe to say this little app is going to stick around for a while, so the only question is, how can we best use Instagram for nonprofit marketing?

Instagram’s mission is “to capture and share the world’s moments.

By capturing and sharing your nonprofit’s moments, you can make an insta-connection with your volunteers and donors.

Make a Personal Connection

Share pictures of your day-to-day operations, behind the scenes, and staff activities, and give your audience a personal sneak peek into the inner workings of an organization they love. Giving people a face to put with a name by highlighting staff and their work creates a personal connection with followers who might not otherwise see them.

Spotlight Your Programs and Impact

Post photos of what or who your mission is impacting and show the real life stories of where your work is going. Everyone knows a picture is worth a thousand words – use pictures to share emotion and inspiration. You can also add facts and statistics as a tagline to the photo.

Promote Events

Share pictures from your event, fundraiser, or gala while preparing for it, during, and after. Publicize a #hashtag beforehand, so your attendees can get in on the action. By attaching a hashtag to an event, other Instagram users can post pictures they take on their own accounts, tag them, and others view all pictures from that particular event.

Engage Your Volunteers

Take pictures of your volunteers mid-action and share them with the world. Or, have your volunteers take their own, and when they share them with a hashtag, spotlight them on your organization’s account.

Easy to use, free (for now) marketing, and a good way to target us tech-savvy Millennials, another benefit is that you hardly have to maintain an additional social media network.  Photos taken on Instagram can be automatically posted to your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, or other social media accounts, to reach all of your followers – who can then start following you on Instagram!

I know it’s almost laughable to think of all the new avenues of social media and online marketing that pop up almost daily, but laugh as you may, Instagram is here to stay – for now!

To get started using Instagram for nonprofit marketing yourself, browse through this compilation of 10 Inspiring Non-Profits on Instagram, then go forth and create your own inspiration!