If you are a Missionary or Nonprofit are you using Instagram? Are you seeing results and an increase in fundraising? If not, here is why you should be… and if you are here is why you should be investing more time and resources into developing your Instagram strategy:
As of February 2017
- Over 600 million people are active users of Instagram
- Over 400 million using it daily.
- Over 20% of people using Internet worldwide use Instagram
- Over 150 million people use Stories
How can you connect with some of those people, especially those who are likely to be interested in you or your organization?
We’ve compiled these top ten tips we use when consulting with a missionary or nonprofit on using Instagram to grow your organization and increase fundraising support.
1. Quality over Quantity
When we first begin consulting with missionaries, nonprofits, or even Churches on using Instagram to increase growth we often hear something like “we need more followers!”. While this is partly true, more followers does mean more exposure, it doesn’t necessarily relate to an increase in engagement. There are countless marketing firms that will promise you “Thousands of Followers”, we are not one of them, instead we promise you growing the amount of followers who are passionate about your organization.
If you are simply focusing on number of followers, you will invest countless hours chasing likes and follows, often with no measurable impact on your growth.
Instead, you must realize that organic growth with followers who will lead to higher engagement and return will take time and energy, but will lead to significantly better results than the “get as many as fast as possible” mode.
Don’t obsess over the quantity of your followers, instead invest in the quality of your followers.
2. Be Consistent but not Overwhelming
In the “good-ole” days of Instagram – like a year ago – the feed was chronological, meaning that when people opened the app it showed whatever the most recent posts where in order. This mean that it didn’t really matter how often you posted or how engaged your followers were, they would still see your content at the same rate. However, in mid 2016 this all changed when Instagram introduced algorithm based timelines. This means that photos the user is most likely to like will show up first.
What does that mean for you? If you post once a week or even less then when you do post no one is going to see it, even if you have a ton of followers.
You need to remain consistent in your posts. We recommend at least once per day, however we also don’t recommend more than three times per day so you don’t overwhelm your followers.
3. Quality Posts
In addition to the last tip about consistency to increase your viewership with people who already follow, you also need to have quality posts that people will actually like and engage.
How do you find this out? Insights. What kinds of photos get the most likes or comments? Which photos don’t get any? Start analyzing what works and what doesn’t and then give your followers what they want.
4. Make sure your Profile is Complete
We analyze a TON of Instagram accounts, and its unfortunate that sometimes we will like a photo and go checkout their profile – only to find that there is no biography and not even a website link.
Fill this out. Use your bio (which is short) to interest people. Don’t give a generic boring description. The purpose of the bio is to get people to click on your website.
Example: If you are digging wells in Africa don’t say:
We dig wells in Africa to provide clean drinking water.
Ever wondered how a simple hole in the ground can revolutionize a country? Click to find out.
5. Use your Bio Link Space Wisely
Definitely always have your general website link, but sometimes change this out for a specific page or post that you reference in a photo. Unfortunately you can’t yet post direct links on Instagram under photos – but you can say “Check out the link in our bio to find out more”. Rotate this link often so frequent visitors to your profile discover something new.
6. Ask Questions and Engage
Don’t just post information. Ask questions in some of your captions. Get people talking. Get people engaged… and then engage back with them when they do comment.
7. Share your Followers/Volunteers/Donors Photos
Share photos that donors/volunteers/followers post about you, your organization, or that is relevant to the work you are doing. Obviously ask them for permission, but it’s a great way to engage followers and get them talking about you.
8. Use #Hashtags
You should be putting relevant hashtags on every photo you share. Hashtags are the way new people are going to discover you. Post the ones that are relevant to the photo you are sharing, but also engage in popular hashtags already trending (within reason… don’t just put random hashtags that are trending which have nothing to do with your photo.)
9. Discover and Comment
Search for Hashtags that pertain to the work you are doing, area you are working etc., and like them as well as comment on them. Another secret? Take a look at the people who are liking photos of similar nonprofit organizations or missionaries and then go like/comment on some of there relevant photos. This is all about discovering
10. Have a Content Strategy over all Digital Assets
Your Instagram should not standalone from other communications tools you are using – instead it should compliment others you use like Facebook, Snapchat, your website, email campaigns etc. Develop a content calendar and strategy for several months at a time. What theme are you going to concentrate on each day/week/month, what are you going to post on each digital channel, how will they interact… think through the strategy.
10. BONUS TIP – Get a FREE Consultation
We’d love to give you a free consultation on your complete social media and digital strategy as well as other fundraising strategies to see if we might could partner with you in increasing Fundraising.