Incorporating visual content in your nonprofit's giving campaign this holiday season is a fun way to engage your online audience, especially those younger Millennials. Using Instagram to easily take photos and record videos and share them is a great way to do so.
It's important, though, to remember to do a few things before you jump into this social network:
- Connect your Instagram account to Facebook and Twitter so you can share your visuals everywhere.
- Let everyone in your current network know you're on Instagram via email and/or your website by including follow icons.
- Remind yourself joining Instagram is about driving engagement. Don't worry about the quality of your photos or videos.
- Have fun with it! Test out different subject matters and see what works best for your particular audience.
Once you take care of these tasks, you're ready to create some content for the social medium and work toward improving the giving efforts to your organization as 2013 comes to a close and Giving Tuesday approaches.
How to Incorporate Instagram Into Your Campaign
1) Launch your campaign on Giving Tuesday via Instagram.
If you're participating (or thinking about participating) in Giving Tuesday, incorporate Instagram into your social media campaign.
For instance, you can use the Giving Tuesday logo as an image and share it. You could also use the comment section to link to your Giving Tuesday campaign and add the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Check out a couple examples of organizations using Instagram to kick off Giving Tuesday and their campaigns:
2) Share photos from this year’s achievements.
This is the time to brag about your achievements. For example, you could use pictures from your recent projects, campaigns, or events and share what your organization achieved this year.
It’s imperative to your current and prospective supporters that they see what their contribution has impacted and how it will in the future. Here are two examples of event photos on Instagram:
3) Film a 15-second video or take photos of your staff.
Give your staff a voice and have them answer one specific question in 15 seconds or less about your campaign and/or organization. Then, record and share the video on Instagram or have them write it on a piece of paper and take a picture of them. Erie Neighborhood House's executive director did just that:
4) Have your staff say thank you.
Another way to incorporate your staff into your end-of-year giving campaign is have them say thank you to your social audience.
One way you can do this is to take a photo of some of your staff members and have them write a personal thank you note in the comments. You can then post these once or twice a week during the month of December. You could even record them saying thank you with an Instagram video.
Either way, saying thank you at the end of the year in a creative way is essential. Charity: water did this on Valentine's Day this year by calling out specific fundraisers as their valentines to say thank you.
5) Ask your supporters to join the conversation using a hashtag.
If you have a specific campaign you’re running for December, create a custom hashtag to use on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can then monitor these hashtags and respond and share individual pictures, tweets, and posts throughout December.
For instance, charity: water also incorporates its September Campaign hashtag into the countdown to its campaign. This is a great idea to replicate for the last few days of the year.
6) Make an ask during the last week of December.
Create one image or video for the last week of December and post it on Instagram as a donation ask. Online giving in December accounts for 22.4% of total gifts for the entire year, so why not make the ask on social media this one time? The Salvation Army did so, as it started its red kettle campaign before it hit the streets via Instagram.
7) Run a contest for matching donations or give away holiday gifts.
If you have a corporate partner, a foundation, or a major donor providing you with a large donation in December, position it as a donation matching contest and promote the prizes as images on Instagram.
Whether it's free swag or a dinner date with a celebrity, promoting the images on all social networks including Instagram will help engage those more visual individuals.
You could even make this contest exclusive to those on Instagram if you want to build your audience on this network. You can ask that only people who start following you in the month of December will be entered to win.
I haven't seen this done by organizations yet, but it's certainly something worth testing!
8) When all else fails, educate and inspire your audience.
Fundraising never ends, so post inspiring quotes or facts about your organization and ask your followers to share.
For instance, you could use hashtags related to the image to expand your reach and get new followers. Here are a couple organizations that have posted images and inspiring quotes related to their mission.
Do you plan on using Instagram to bolster your organization's fundraising and/or volunteer efforts through the end of the year?