Instagram Benefits for Nonprofit Fundraising and Supporter Engagement (via Miratel Solutions)

Despite it being passed Labour Day and the summer warmth dwindling, our Social Media Summer series geared towards non-profit fundraising and engagement is still going strong. So strong that’s we’ll probably continue it throughout the year (although we’ll probably have to drop the summer at some point). So far, we’ve covered the larger social media platforms including Facebook set-up tips, other Facebook considerations, Twitter set-up tips, how to increase engagement on Twitter, Twitter tips to optimize reachhow to use Twitter to communicate, Pinterest benefitstips to maximize Pinterest efforts and LinkedIn engagement tips. The growth of social media as a socializing and marketing tool has generated other smaller platforms each serving a purpose in the social media landscape. These smaller platforms, like Instagram, can be beneficial to non-profits with their fundraising and engagement plans providing they are integrated properly with their existing initiatives.

Instagram is a photo sharing network that is relatively new on the scene just celebrating its 2nd anniversary next month. This past July, Instagram experienced a tremendous traffic increase of 38% over the previous month with over 80 million users having uploaded and shared over 4 billion photos since its inception. Instagram is a mobile app (application) that is available free for download on a smart phone and allows the user to apply filters and transform regular photographs taken on a handheld mobile device into a work of art with the touch of a few buttons. These photos can then be posted and shared across multiple platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Foursquare. Although not your conventional social media platform and mainly accessible through a smart phone the application has several benefits that non-profits can take advantage of:

  1. The demographic that regularly is engaged with Instagram is fairly young, as over fifty percent of the application users are under the age of 35, which is a valuable and growing donor demographic known as the Millennial Donor. Instagram provides an excellent opportunity to engage and attract a very socially aware and connected supporter group that is also very philanthropic through this channel and that potentially may not be as accessible through other social media outlets.
  2. As I mentioned in my post, 10 Website Tips to Maximize Non-profit Fundraising and Engagement Opportunities, images are invaluable as they can often be more impactful and send a clearer message than 1,000 words. Visitors viewing pictures that you share through Instagram to other social media platforms are more likely to be clicked as 25% of new visitors to Instagram were directly referred from other platforms that Instagram pictures were posted on. This ultimately increases your overall engagement and connects your supporters to more of your content including your website where they can learn more about your cause.
  3. Sharing through Instagram gives your organization a new perspective and unique voice which also allows you to show your creativity. There are several ways that the application can be used creatively and effectively, including sharing photographs covering behind the scenes of fundraising events or highlighting the staff and work that occurs at the office and those who benefit from it. It’s also a great way to communicate updates from field work surrounding the cause or the organization’s efforts. Lastly, encouraging others in your organization, volunteers, donors and supporters to participate by submitting pictures related to your cause will help strengthen engagement and loyalty.

As technology continues to evolve, it’s important to integrate emerging applications and platforms like Instagram into your overall social media marketing and engagement plans to optimize potential and achieve desired results. Tomorrow I will provide tips on how non-profits can get started on Instagram so be sure to check back for that if you are new to Instagram.

We want to hear from you! How is your non-profit incorporating Instagram into its social media strategy?

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