From the article, “By the Numbers: 100+ Interesting Instagram Statistics” by Digital Marketing Ramblings it is reported that about 200 million people worldwide use Instagram. It further reports that 55 million photos are posted every day with an average of 8,500 “likes” per second. Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012 and the app is still one of the fastest growing social networks in North America. In 2013 the mobile app grew approximately 66% by new user base. With the addition of their video section, Instagram has become the premiere platform for visual story telling.
Instagram is primarily focused on mobile social sharing of visual media and it allows users to capture 15 second videos or photos, apply multiple filters to the digital media, and post the content. As the popularity of Instagram grows, more social networks like Facebook, FourSquare, Flicker and Twitter, are incorporating the ability to share Instagram media through their networks. For fundraisers, utilizing this social platform allows for a large viral reach and sharing that is unparalleled.
The mobile app is free, easily shareable, and iPhone and Android-user friendly, every organization has the ability to use Instagram as a visual storytelling platform. In fact, 65% of the world’s top 100 brands have an Instagram account.
A recent Simply Measured study on brands’ Instagram accounts, directly correlates increased followers with posting content on a weekly basis. This implies that fundraisers and charities can utilize this platform to engage existing supporters while growing their supporters, email list and ultimately donors.
Instagram Social Media Marketing
If a picture is worth a thousand word, then an Instagram picture can be worth 1000 new followers and supporters. Reported by HubSpot, 40% of people respond better to visual media than plain text. The human brain has the amazing ability to process visual cues 60,000 times faster than text, which offers fundraisers the unique opportunity to relay the problem, solution and goal of the group with powerful imagery.
A recent Buffer report “10 Surprising New Instagram Statistics to Get the Most out of the Picture Social Network“, studied how the top Fortune 500 brands use Instagram. They found that certain types of posts are increasing engagement on the platform.
To make the most of your digital media on Instagram, keep these points in mind:
Instagram photos are more popular than videos. Fortune 500 brands are seeing more engagement with photos rather than with video. Unruly.com released data saying that 40% of the top 1,000 most shared videos came from these brands. This means you should include both forms of digital media in your post with a focus on photo’s. Make sure you watch which type of content drives the most user engagement and duplicate that content.
Use “hashtags” to help users discover your content and share through their networks. Hashtags (#) are a tagging system that allows users to search for images based on focused keywords and trending topics. Users want to share, engage, and discover other images related to the topics that interest them. Adding relevant hashtags with focused keywords makes your content more discoverable to potential supporters.
While the filters are cool, “No Filter” (normal) photos are the most popular, however they are not the most engaging. Normal may be used the most, but the filter “Mayfair” reportedly has the highest number of likes, shares and comments. The entire purpose of the filters is to help your pictures POP and standout. Do not be afraid to experiment. When you find one that helps your visual image to standout, use it.
How To Get The Most Out Of Instagram
To gain the largest reach and engagement make sure you:
- Connect your Instagram account to your Facebook and Twitter so you and your followers can easily share your content
- Include your Instagram link and “follow” icon (along with Facebook and Twitter) in all of your communications
- Always complete your profile and include a link to your website in your mission, goal or description
Once you’ve completed the logistics and linked your accounts, here are 7 ways to maximize your visual storytelling on Instagram:
Announce Your Events & Fundraisers
Strong imagery with large, bold text grab attention. This is a perfect opportunity to post images of past events or upcoming locations with bold text to announce upcoming events and fundraisers thru Instagram. Don’t write too much. Include the details you can into the photo.
How You Change The World
Photos or short videos that directly demonstrate how your fundraiser or charity is helping the world emotionally connect with donors and potential supporters. After every fundraiser and event, always post images on how your event impacted the cause and how your donors made a difference. This is also great to couple with a 24/7 continuous online donation page to keep donations flowing year round.
Spotlight On Your Volunteers
Social proof is one of the driving factors that motivate people to take action. By shining a spotlight on your volunteers, you not only give them much deserved credit, you also motivate others to want to join your cause as well. The more “real life” photo’s of your volunteers interacting with the beneficiaries of your fundraiser, the more trust and human connection you relay to potential supporters.
Fundraisers In Action
Photo’s, especially humorous images of you and the staff working behind-the-scenes on a daily basis also build a level of trust with donors and potential supporters alike. People in action, doing what they love will always connect with like minded individuals. And if things are going wrong… that is another perfect opportunity to demonstrate your humanity and still increase donations. These pictures will likely have a very wide reach.
A great way to say “Thank You”
Imagery That Inspires
Inspirational quotes can motivate followers, donors and supporters to take action, whether that action is to share, recruit or donate. If you are using quotes from famous individuals, make sure you include the hashtag of their name to increase your potential reach. An individual who shares your taste in quotes may just share your passion for your fundraising group.
Expand your visibility and get supporters more involved by asking them to submit their own entries for a photo challenge. Simply ask them to use a customized hashtag and to tag your organization (by adding “@username”) to enter and allow “likes” to be counted as votes. The tag will directly mention your organization to all of your supporter’s Instagram followers. It will also link to your profile and notify you when someone submits an entry.