Nonprofits and Instagram: The Ultimate Curated Collection of Best Practices, Examples, and Tips | Beth’s Blog

Nonprofits and Instagram: The Ultimate Curated Collection of Best Practices, Examples, and Tips

Visual


As a content curator, I’m not just on the hunt for learning the new or what’s buzzing.    But, a big part of content curation is organizing and presenting your collection.    I don’t always share links as I find them, but because I use content curation to support curriculum development for my training work, I like to share collections that organized so people can take an hour or so and get up to speed on a topic or to use if you are doing a training. Here’s the collection and annotated version is below.

Instagram Overview

Here’s the basics if you are getting the C-Suite up to speed:

Instagram is a free application for iPhone or Android that lets people take photos, apply filters to change the look of the photos and then share them. Users can share them on Instagram while also choosing to share them to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare.    It was created in 2010 and purchased by Facebook in 2012 (more history here).   As of March, 2014 Instagram has 200 million users.

Instagram has a couple of marketing benefits.    It’s a great branding tool because it can engage audiences, creative instimacy, and appeals to the emotions.   It is superb for visual storytelling about your organization, its stakeholders, and results.

Nonprofit Examples and Getting Started or Rebooting A Strategic Approach

If your nonprofit wants to get started or set up a presence it is “meh,”   the first step is to check out what other nonprofits in your space are doing on Instagram and other inspiring examples.

Ten Inspiring Nonprofits (2012) on Instagram by Mashable

Nonprofits That Get Instagram (2014) by Kerri Karvesti – an excellent Pinterest board of great examples

Photophilanthropy on Instagram (2014)

Also, here’s a post I wrote about how early adopter nonprofits have used Instagram for contests.

If you want to see some what some of the best corporate brands are doing in Instagram for some transferable ideas, this post from Jeff Bullas is useful.

Your first step is listening and observing to gain some insights for your strategy.  You should do some searching on key hashtags that your nonprofit uses as Instagram is big on hashtags and that’s where you’ll get the lay of the land.    Here are some other good starter steps for nonprofits that want to grow their Instagram following strategically.

How to Use Instagram

This is selective list of best practice and tips blog posts ordered in a way to help you master Instagram.

Best Practices and Tips for Nonprofits

Here several excellent recent posts written for nonprofits that want to use Instagram:

Cheat Sheets and Tutorial To Coach Your Nonprofit CEO

Instagram can be a great channel for your CEO – whether they have their own account like charity:water CEO Scott Harrison or use your organization’s branded account like Udi Ofer, CEO of NJACLU.  If you have to support your CEO in learning and using Instagram, here’s two good resources:

Tool Box

There are lots of photo editing apps that work with Instagram, management tools, and tools to measure Instagram.  Here’s selection of articles to build your toolbox.

How is your nonprofit using Instagram strategically?  What’s your best tip or tool?

 

9 Responses

  1. Will Coley says:

    Thanks for this great compilation, Beth!

    I’m managing Instagram accounts for two different organizations (as well as for myself) and rely heavily on additional apps like Instasize (for non-square photos) and Repost. I have also started requesting square images (larger than 612 x 612 pixels) from partner organizations when asked to share something. I’ve also noticed that it’s easier to copy/paste text in Safari than within the Instagram and Facebook apps, so I often copy the URL and then switch over to Safari to copy text. For links, I use memorable lowercase bit.ly links (without the http://) when trying to direct folks elsewhere, like bit.ly/dwn-donate (if not the main URL for a website).

    My frustration with Instagram is metrics. I try to follow back everyone with public accounts (asking to follow private accounts feels weird for an organization to do). But I can only use something like friendorfollow.com to see if we’re losing any of these public followers. Also, because there are no hyperlinks, I can’t measure how many people came to the website from Instagram. I also wish there was a handy way to examine most popular posts to figure out what to post more of.

    Check out the accounts I manage here: http://instagram.com/culturestrike, http://instagram.com/detentionwatch (and me http://instagram.com/wcoley)

  2. Thanks, Beth. So nice to see real resources for nonprofits trying to move into more visual social platforms, particularly Instagram. Many are still just trying to get their heads around Facebook!

  3. Adrienne says:

    I’ve worked in social media for years, and each platform has it’s pros and cons. But Instagram seems to work the way social media should. You can connect with people you don’t already know through hashtags (not easy on Facebook). You can casually interact through likes/hearts/double taps (not easy on Twitter), plus it’s not so oversaturated with content and users that your content gets lost. We’ve gained over 500 followers since October and manage to get a like rate of nearly 5% per post. Well beyond what I can achieve with similar content on Facebook. I’m able to target our audience, get interaction, then best of all, many Instagram followers tend to convert to followers on other platforms. I also find the statistics freely available to be more actionable than the ones I can get for other platforms. No doubt this will evolve over time, but right now I’m really loving Instagram as a way for a small non-profit like ours to gain reach and impact. We’ve been able to engage with people as far away as Afghanistan and Antarctica! If you want to see our account in action we’re user @ribboning though our organization is MyLifeLine.org

  4. Adam Weinger says:

    Great round-up of resources, Beth! I love some of the creative, unique uses of popular social media tools – they really grab your attention. Due to its nature (photo sharing, lack of links), Instagram usually proves to be the hardest platform on which to convert impressions into supporters, but these set a good example!
    Adam


    Adam Weinger
    President, Double the Donation

  5. [...] As a content curator, I'm not just on the hunt for learning the new or what's buzzing. But, a big part of content curation is organizing and presenting your collection. I don't always share links as I find them, but because I use content curation to support curriculum de  [...]

  6. [...] Nonprofits and Instagram: The Ultimate Curated Collection of Best Practices, Examples, and Tips - on Beth’s Blog – includes links to resources on:  [...]

  7. [...] Nonprofits and Instagram: The Ultimate Curated Collection of Best Practices, Examples, and Tips [...]

  8. Megan says:

    This is a fantastic round-up, Beth! As organizations I work with consider adding Instagram to their social media efforts, I know I’ll return to this post.

  9. Beth says:

    Thanks MEgan.