Using Instagram in Your Digital Strategy

Beth Kanter shared this slide deck "The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing" on her Facebook page the other day and I found it to be a great overview, including everything from strategic thoughts to some tips on how to best set up an Instagram account.

Perhaps most telling is the 3rd slide which says "If your strategy includes marketing to Generation Y or Millenials, Instagram is kind of a big deal." 

When talking to a lot of our clients -- most of whom frankly don't do much marketing to Millenials or Gen Y -- about whether or not they should even be dipping a toe into Instagram, I often advise a combination of the following:

  • First evaluate whether or not you think you're using your existing Social platforms well, if the answer is no, work on sorting those out, before tackling something new;
  • If you think you have time to dip a toe into something new and you think you can generate good visual content, by all means go for it. 
  • And, if you do start using Instagram, like any other platform decide what your goals are and start tracking and measuring to see how you're achieving those goals.

Let me be clear, just because I think Instagram is an important part of outreach to Millenials and Gen Y, doesn't mean I think non-profits who typically see donor profiles that are a fair bit older than those generations should write it off. Instagram may not be where most donors are currently in your community, but broadening your reach and connecting with supporters, who may eventually become donors, at different ages can be a good long term strategy for sustainable donor development. That said, if you are clear that your typical donor is likely to be older, then you may not want to include "donations completed through Instagram referrals" as one of your metrics for Instagram success and perhaps instead tie it to volunteer engagement, or other metrics that impact your organization. 

For more reading on some ways that Non Profits can use Instagram, here are a few useful articles: