Instagram is currently the fastest growing social media platform, and can help you to relate to your supporters in a new way. Starting an account gives you a blank canvas which can be both exhilarating and overwhelming, but don’t let the constant need for new content scare you! If you’re committed to building your community of supporters through Instagram, there a few things that you can do to manage it effectively.
(If you missed our last post about Why You Should Be on Instagram, view it here.)
Create a Content Calendar.
Posting regularly is extremely important to work with the Instagram (and Facebook) algorithms and reach new people. Ideally, you would be posting every day. This can be pretty daunting and also pretty time-consuming if done haphazardly. Instead, a content calendar will save you a whole lot of time and stress by allowing you to plan ahead and create necessary content. I like to plan at least two weeks to a month at a time. These posts can then be scheduled through a third-party tools like Buffer or Hootsuite, and left to post on Instagram at the set time and date!
Posts on social media are a conversation with your followers. There are many areas of your organisation to talk about, and keeping variety in your posts (with content, not visual style) is a great way to share more of your story and allow your supporters behind the scenes a little. To make this process simple, separate your content into five different categories. These could be things like:
- Celebrating volunteers.
- Celebrating past projects.
- Updates on current projects.
- Call for support and donations.
- Stories from people that you’ve helped.
- Information about your cause.
Create a folder of images for each category, and suddenly your content planning is a lot simpler! Keep in mind that posts centred around people (faces, hands etc) perform much better than other content.
Make The Most of Instagram Stories.
The ‘stories’ feature was released on Instagram in 2016, and has proven to be a valuable way of peeling back even more of the barrier between your organisation and supporters. While regular posts on your account show up in your follower’s feed and remain as part of the grid on your profile, stories are a different deal. If you’re familiar with Snapchat, Instagram Stories are a similar concept. A story can be viewed by any account for 24 hours before disappearing. The temporary nature of this feature allows you to post content in the moment, to show the everyday happenings and feature your team. Because it only lasts for a short time, stories don’t have to fit so tightly into the visual aesthetic of your brand. When creating a story, your aim is to reveal the personality and culture of your organisation, to build the relationship and help your followers to relate to you on a personal level.
Remain Visually Attractive.
Instagram is a visual platform, and so the images you use are so important to attract new supporters to your account and to maintain your professional brand presence. While you’re not expected to hire a photographer for every shot, you should aim for the highest quality possible. Cameras on modern smartphones are perfectly okay to use, but make sure that you:
- Use natural light as much as possible.
- Keep the horizon line straight.
- Remember that less is more, and use simple backgrounds to keep a clear focal point in the image.
- Use the same slight filter or preset on all your images (please don’t use the filters in the Instagram app though, go for one that is a lot more natural).
Emily is our Marketing and Communications guru with Exult and has a passion for digital marketing!
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