Instagram for Nonprofits: Getting Started
So you are in the beginning stages of your marketing journey and think, "we need an Instagram,” but have no idea where to start. If you’re new to the social platform or have never used it to market a business or charity before, don’t worry, it’s simple to set up.
There is a lot to do on Instagram for nonprofits. You can live stream events, share stunning photos and collect highlights of your Instagram stories. There are plenty of great social platforms out there, and in our latest interview with Social Media Expert Julia Campbell
, it’s clear that you don’t need to be on every single platform. Just the ones that align best with your mission and donor demographic.
Creating Your Profile
Make a Business Profile
You can specify in your bio that you are a nonprofit or charitable organization. A business profile allows you access to a ton of features that a regular account doesn’t have like more advanced analytics, phone number, email, location, Instagram Ads and the ability to accept donations through their charitable giving tools
Add a Bio and Profile Picture
When choosing a profile icon, make sure it is simple, clean and recognizable. If your logo has intricate detailing or long words, consider shortening or modifying the image to work as an icon.
Your bio is another tool that can give a lot of information about your nonprofit to newcomers, just like the profile photo, you want to keep it clean and to the point. Include 1 or 2 sentences with your tagline, mission statement or summary of your organization. Make sure to always include a hyperlink to your website so that your audience can learn more (consider directing it directly to your donation page with a "donate now” call to action). You can even use software like linktree
to refer viewers to several different pages at a time.
Instagram Stories VS Posts
If you’re not familiar with Instagram’s story feature, it is very similar to Snapchat. Users upload a photo or video to their story, and it will stay up for 24 hours. After that, it gets deleted, or you can choose to add it to your profile under story highlights.
Stories are a great way to show your day to day and build urgency around campaigns. Instagram posts are better suited to showcase high-quality images that tell a story and add value to your overall profile. I would also recommend sharing new posts on your stories to notify followers that you have new content.
Hashtags are the key to being seen in the search bar. Try to find hashtags that your audience is already using, incorporating a good mix of general and specific phrases. You can also use #tagdef to discover the meaning behind the tags you’re using to evaluate how it fits with your demographic.
When choosing the number and placement of your hashtags, don’t try and reach the 30 tag limit. Aim for something in the middle, around 20-25 tags per post. When posting your hashtags, you can include them after the caption or a separate comment in the comment section to avoid cluttering your post.
The best way to figure out what works is to test, analyze, and scroll through your feed. Spending a few minutes to look over other nonprofit Instagrams is a great way to get inspiration and track trends on the platform.
Keep in mind, the goal is to find donors within your audience, so collecting data for your CRM will also help you understand your donors. Encourage social media interaction within your campaigns and always plug your accounts on your website and newsletter.