Getting Creative with Engagement: Instagram

You may think Instagram is just for the “cool kids,” but do you know the different ways your nonprofit can benefit from it? First things first, what exactly is Instagram?

Instagram is a social network that operates through a smart phone application.  It allows you to take a picture, and with filters and contrast options provided by the app, turn it into an extraordinary work of art.  Once you’ve altered the photo, you can post it directly to Facebook and Twitter to easily share with your stakeholders.  You don’t have to be a professional photographer to create amazing photos!

Show who you are

Your audience wants to know who you are.  They want to see your personality and meet the people behind the doors of your nonprofit.  Take pictures of your staff doing what they do every day.  Photograph your volunteers working hard for the cause.  Go behind the scenes to show your personality and what you stand for. 

One of your biggest assets is the passionate community you already have. 

An Instagram is worth a thousand words

As a nonprofit, you probably hold a lot of events and fundraisers.  These are great opportunities to show your supporters what they can expect from your events and a simple way to promote your next event.

Have your event attendees take pictures, and use a designated hashtag to group all of these images together or use your handle when publishing the image.  Instagram allows you to use hashtags!  Hashtags are a fancy term for the actual # symbol used in front of a word or phrase on Instagram, and they categorize photos so that they can be easily found.

Connect the dots

One of the best features of Instagram is how easy it is to connect your account with Twitter, Facebook, Email, Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare, and even your website.  This makes Instagram a dynamic tool to integrate with other forms of social media. 

Get comfortable with something new

The best way to get to know any new social network is to see how other nonprofits and businesses are using it.  Set up a personal account to get comfortable with the app and its features before you direct your audience to your nonprofit’s new Instagram page. 

Have fun exploring this new way to connect and engage with your community!

Anissa Starnes is director of regional development for the Carolinas with Constant Contact. She will present “The Power of Engagement Marketing” at the N.C. Center’s 2013 Statewide Conference, September 19-20 in Concord.


Hi Anissa,

Raleigh-based SnappforGood is launching a platform in September to host Instagram Photo Contests or Instagram Photo Petitions for Good Causes and Charities. Would love to get a shout-out when you pitch Instagram as a useful channel for engaging supporters at your speaking events.

Would be glad to set up a brief call to discuss.

Best Regards,
Roger Brook
@snappforgood (Twitter, Instagram)

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