Event Organizers: Implementing Instagram into Your Social Media Strategy


By Jen Franklin Kearns, ds-connex team member

Key Takeaways:

  • Bio: include an engaging description and link (Linktree)
  • Photos/Captions: post clean, well-lit photos to catch followers’ eyes; include a “hook” in your caption
  • Hashtags: ensure exposure to your target audience
  • Instagram Stories: showcase your org’s day-to-day activities
  • Goal: consistent content

Social media can play an important role in your organization’s digital marketing strategy, especially in terms of growing awareness for fundraising events. With a carefully planned social media strategy, you can easily increase the number of registrants, donors, and volunteers who participate in your events. Many of our Stride partners have a strong presence on Facebook, but we would encourage you to also explore building a presence on Instagram. In 2019, our data shows that 50% of Stride partners had traffic to their Stride sites from Instagram, with an average of 231 visits per site. By expanding your efforts to include consistent content creation for Instagram, we believe there is a remarkable opportunity to increase traffic to your Stride site and therefore increase participation in several aspects of the event.

We understand that there may be reservations in adding another social platform, resulting in more work, to your already busy schedules. We also recognize that Instagram functions a bit differently than Facebook, which may result in having to learn best practices in order to properly use it. But, with Instagram tripling its users from 2014 to 2019, we strongly believe that incorporating the platform into your strategy is worth the effort, and we are happy to present the following tips and tricks to help you make the most of this important tool.

When you begin planning your strategy of including Instagram into your social presence, it’s important to first become familiar with the basics. If you already have an account, take a look at it and make these housekeeping updates as needed.

Bio

First, review your bio to ensure you have a brief yet engaging description, as well as a link. The link can go directly to your organization’s website, to a specific page on your website (like the donation page, allowing you to include a call to action in your bio), or to a free service that allows you to have more than one link (we use Linktree on the ds-connex Instagram account).

Photos/Captions

Once your bio has been polished, glance over the photos that you’ve already posted (or make notes on what you want to post, if your account is new). Typically clean, well-lit photos are the most eye-catching on this platform, so you’ll want to take that into consideration when planning your posts. Also, when writing your captions don’t forget that while you have up to 2200 characters, only 125 will show up before the caption is truncated. If you want to include a long caption, make sure there is a “hook” to the message to ensure followers will continue reading, and you may also consider adding your hashtags as a comment on the post to keep the caption brief.

Hashtags

Speaking of hashtags, don’t forget to include them! We recommend using a combination of organization-specific hashtags (like those you create for an event, or one used to simply “brand” your posts; ds-connex created #DSConnexUs to brand our posts) as well as community-specific hashtags (check out local accounts to see which hashtags they are using!). Some posts will also easily lend themselves to popular hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday, #MondayMotivation, #TheLuckyFew, and countless others. Again, we recommend reviewing accounts that are popular in your greater community, as well as in the Down syndrome community, to see what is currently being used. This practice will allow more people to view your posts! As another quick tip, we encourage you to use camel case when posting hashtags, to make your posts more accessible to those who use screen readers because #InclusionMatters!

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is a very popular feature; there are 500 million daily users of Instagram Stories, making it a tool that you’ll want your organization to utilize! Content for your Stories can generally be more casual than content for your main feed; it’s a great space to introduce your team, provide “behind the scenes” info, and even post fun and whimsical content. The best way to become familiar with Stories is to watch what other organizations are putting out there, and then put your own spin on it. Like most social media tactics, there is a trial-and-error component with Stories until you find what works best for your organization. The most important thing is to just try it out and see what works!

Aim for Consistent Content

Once you have the aesthetics down, you’ve determined the best hashtags to employ, and you have a list of fun ideas for your Stories, you’ll want to make sure your followers see consistent content. We recommend posting to your account at least three times per week, and ideally posting once per day, to maintain engagement from your followers. Adding content to your Story will also help engagement on your account; we recommend adding to your Story at least once daily.

While adding another social platform to your strategy, or ramping up your efforts if you already use Instagram, may seem like a daunting task, we believe it is well worth your efforts. Instagram provides us with another easy way to grow awareness around our events, and leveraging this resource can allow you to increase fundraising and engagement as well.

To learn more about the social media support ds-connex offers to Stride partners, please visit our website.  


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