The Definitive Guide To Instagram Marketing For Charities & Non-profits

Howard Lake | 22 May 2019 | Blogs

Do you know that a picture is worth a thousand words? This means that if you are running a non-profit or charity organisation, you should create a goldmine of pictures on your Instagram account. These pictures are going to help create awareness and engage people in a cause you are promoting. More than 71 per cent of businesses are on Instagram, which means that you should be there too. So, how can Instagram help you raise funds and charities? If used properly, this picture and video sharing platform can be the most significant marketing tool for you.

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30 per cent of nonprofits use instagram to raise money and awareness. Throughout this guide, you are going to find some actionable tips and tools that can help create buzz for your non-profit organisation on Instagram.


Setting up a business profile

The first step in your quest to get your charity registered on Instagram is to sign up with a business profile. Among the many other perks, your account will be added to the business category, distinguishing it from the horde of different accounts. You should also list yourself as a non-profit. This way, when someone comes across your profile or follows you, they will know instantly what you are all about. This helps in creating the solid first impression.
Make sure you add your email, contact details and website in your profile’s bio.
Another reason why you should start with a business profile is that you will be getting access to helpful insights. You will be able to see the reach on your posts, impressions, and engagement as well. Everything will be right there in front of you. At this stage, you need to know that you are starting with the business profile to create a strong foothold in your market.

Starting with the posts

The next question you might ask, once you have set up your account, is how often one should post? For a business account, especially charities, we recommend you post quality content at least twice a day. If not twice, one post is a must. This will help you regularly pop into the feeds of people who follow you. They will be able to see all the action happening in your organisation. Try to explain your purpose and how you help people. Create content that helps people understand who you are and if you are worthy of support or not. Your organisation’s philosophy should be highlighted through pictures.
Remember that Instagram is all about pictures. Few people read lengthy captions. So, as we mentioned above, your photos have to speak for themselves.

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How to market your organisation through Instagram stories?

Instagram stories are the best way to present your organisation and to spread the word around. Don’t worry about over-posting. Instead, post as many stories as you can. Post how a typical day in your organisation looks like. Share the fund drives, using the funds for whatever purpose your organisation serves and giving them to the people who deserve them. Your stories are going to provide you with a human touch. It is always better to give people a glimpse of your organisation through them, so they understand the work you are doing is impacting lives.
The stories disappear after 24 hours, but you can also add stories to the highlights. The highlights section appears right below your bio. You can create themes and design icons, so the visitors can understand which highlight presents what. Again, this is the best way to market your organisation. The content seen in the stories goes a long way.

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How to promote your organisation on Instagram?

Now that you are done creating a profile and understanding how to put forth the content, it is time to know how you should plan and promote your content. Know that Instagram is all about subtle marketing. People will scroll right past your posts if they scream promotion. Here, you must adhere to the 80/20 rule. It means that eighty percent of your posts should be compelling content, while the remaining 20 can be promotional. What do we mean by exciting content? Instead of posting that you are collecting funds for a so and so reason, create content that subtly highlights the same thing. You can create animated characters, illustrations, and exciting designs to promote the same.
Going overboard with the direct promotion can be a little irritating for your followers, and they might end up unfollowing you. You should also consider investing in paid promotions. Here you run advertisements on Instagram to reach as many people as you can. You can either go to your Facebook business manager and create an ad from there or use the ‘Promotion’ option on your Instagram profile. Instagram also allows you to create an audience to target, so choose what your potential target audience might like and run ads.

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How to increase followers on Instagram?

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Start by inviting your Facebook friends to follow you on Instagram

Since Facebook owns Instagram, so it is straightforward to log into the app and invite your Facebook friends. This is a great way to get legit followers. All you have to do is to click the cog wheel on the upper right-hand corner. You will get the option to ‘Invite Facebook Friends,’ so choose that. To increase followers, post frequent content that should include both photos and videos. If you have famous people donating funds or leading your fundraising campaigns, post their shout outs. You can also post photos and videos of your drives and the comments of people who are being helped. The emotional human touch will help you create a word for yourself.

Create a budget and invest in Instagram marketing

The posts that you think will gain traction should be promoted. Use incentives so people can follow you and urge others to follow your organisation as well. Partner up with bloggers, influencers and other people who might be interested in spreading the word around. Influencers and bloggers create content in a way that sells like hot buns and adds to the cause as well. So, collaborate with them, at various times and levels to increase your followers. Consider using an agency to scale up your efforts.

Instagram Hashtags written on multiple blue road sign

What Is The Fuss About Hashtags?

Instagram and Instagrammers love hashtags. They are the best way to follow and get followed. When you use hashtags relevant to your account and the cause you follow on your posts, you are going to get followers that belong to your tribe. Someone following #CharityorganisationsInUK is the one who can help you. Hence, the effectiveness of hashtags.
You can include as much as 30 hashtags in one post. We suggest you keep your post neat and include all those hashtags in the comment under your picture.

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The Link In Your Instagram Bio Trend

You will want to divert people to your website and other relevant pages if there is something extraordinary happening there. One of the best tips for Instagram marketing is to get creative with the links you post in your bio. Update a link if you have a new blog post, an interview with someone, a YouTube video or a new fundraising drive. You should consider adding a link, so you can analyze the traffic you are getting from Instagram.
In the captions you post, it is necessary that you direct your audience to check out the link in the bio. The creative you post should be relevant to what’s inside the link so interested people can get a glimpse. Believe us posting and enforcing relevant content goes a long way.

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Check In Daily

Questions come in the form of comments and messages. Be proactive on your Instagram profile. The world of Instagram once someone leaves a comment on any profile, they tend to forget if the reply isn’t instant. So you should dedicate time daily to respond to all the comments and queries you receive on DM. DM is direct messaging, which can be accessed by going to your feed and clicking on the arrow icon on the top right corner.
Try to stay relevant to the messages being received. No matter how aggravating the words sometimes can be, maintain your calm. The best way to market yourself is to be active on your Insta DM. These quick replies will definitely give way to responsible and loyal donors.
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What is the best time to post on Instagram?

Once you have enough content on your website, you can go to your ‘View Insights’ section and see which day and time works best for you. Now use that information to post the most crucial post of the week on that day. Always post on the time when you get engagement the most. If you are using social media management tools, they will provide you with even more information to work on. For more holistic stats on your business profile, you can go to the graph icon in the upper corner of your profile page. You will get detailed information and overview there.

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Instagram Ads for donations

If you have any fundraiser, donation drive or an event coming up, use Instagram carousel ads to help pop in the user’s feeds. You can use the same content to promote on stories as well. It has been noticed that Instagram functions best and gives a lot of traction when real causes are supported in the right way. So, whenever you have any fundraiser coming up, we suggest you charge your designer to design the best creative. Build the audience and spread the word around. 
For donations, you can also partner up with blog websites and e-magazines to post your paid content there. Some do it for free, but those who don’t, you can invest if you consider the ROI can be useful.

The  final word on Instagram for charities & non-profits

Instagram might be famous for micro-blogging or niche businesses like fashion and food, but it is the best marketing platform for brands to benefit from. To make this app more beneficial for your non-profit or charity organisation, stay updated with the latest news, tools, and trends.
Just make sure that your profile is serving the purpose. It is promoting transparency, your motive, mission and who you are as an organisation.
If you are curating good content and spreading it well, Instagram will be able to help you give more weight to the cause. You have an advantage that Instagram and the photo/video content it contains, evoke emotions. The cause you run or support is something that will hit people’s feelings. So, use that and be true to what you do. Instagram is improving all the time, so stay in touch with the updates. We are sure you will grow leaps and bounds.
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