Did you know that aside from your website, social media is the most effective fundraising and communication tool? In recent years the use of social media amongst both individuals and organisations has skyrocketed, with over 3.6 billion active users around the world. Quickly climbing the ranks with over 1 billion active monthly users (and showing no signs of slowing) is Instagram. From expanding your reach to increasing awareness and even driving donations, Instagram is full of opportunities to help your charity flourish and grow.
With 30% of non-profit organisations now using Instagram to help drive donations and awareness, it’s time to start embracing hearts and hashtags and step up your #Insta game. Don’t know where to start? Here are five tips to get you headed in the right direction.
Start with the right tools
Share your story (literally)
Create a community
Don’t underestimate the power of a CTA (call to action)
Before you get carried away with creating social assets, you need to first ensure you’re set up with the right tools to make your Instagram journey a successful one. Start with the basics: your profile. To access features such as the contact button, analytics and most importantly, the donation button, you need to ensure you have a business profile. To make the change is simple, just follow these steps outlined by Instagram and once you’re done, check out their guide on how to add the all-important donation button to your page.
You may also wish to consider scheduling tools and feed planners, such as those offered by Later or Buffer, or hashtag tools, such as Display Purposes. Another great free tool is Canva, which allows you to create high-quality, engaging assets at the touch of a button. Looking for free photo editing software? Why not try Pixlr or Photopea.
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and this really is true when it comes to Instagram. Every picture you share is equivalent to another chapter in your story, why it’s fundamental each post is aligned with your charity vision and goals. You also need to ensure you are consistent in both what you post and when to enable your audience to emerge themselves in your story and become invested in your charity.
In Europe, 70% of NGOs use Instagram Stories to help encourage donations and raise awareness for their cause. They are a great way to share a more personal side to your charity, allowing you to build more meaningful relationships with your audience. From ‘behind the scenes’ photos and videos from fundraising events, to ‘a day in the life’ from your volunteers and/or employees, there are endless ways you can use Stories to inject some humanity into your communications and ultimately, drive action by evoking emotion.
You can also take things a step further by using features such as polls or question boxes to drive engagement from your followers and encourage them to play an active role in your online community. For this reason, it really is no surprise that 58% of people say they become more interested in an organisation after viewing their Stories.
Demonstrating how to make the most of Instagram Stories is Battersea (@Battersea). They update their Story daily with a range of posts and allow their audience to access past Stories via categorised highlights at the top of their profile.
There are several ways your charity can use Instagram to help grow and strengthen your online community. As mentioned above, Stories are a great way to get your audience involved and help to build more personal connections, however, that’s just the start. From encouraging user-generated content and creating conversations using hashtags specific to your charity to engaging with users via comments, there are endless ways to use Instagram to get your audience more involved and make them feel like they are really part of a community.
Of course, Instagram is a fantastic platform to build and strengthen your online community, but were you aware that it helps offline, too? With 43% of people attending charitable events hosted within their communities as a result of social media.
So, you’ve posted an eye-catching photo or an insightful infographic, great. Now what? If you fail to include a clear CTA with each of your posts, your audience will likely scroll to the next one without a second thought. If you really want to see results, you need to give them clear instructions to follow.
Let’s look at Cancer Research UK (@cr_uk), for example. The closing statement of every post provides their audience with clear direction, encouraging them to take action and progress to the next stage of their journey. They also ensure to use direct address to maintain engagement and make the request feel more personal.
So, there we have it, 5 small changes your charity can make to help boost your Instagram game to the next level. At the end of the day, Instagram is all about creativity, so think outside the box and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you’re looking for help with developing your social media strategy, check out our services page here or contact us for a free consultation.