How your charity can punch

above its weight on Instagram

Almost everyone has at least heard of Instagram. But perhaps you’re not sure how best to use it for your charity espe- cially if you’re a smaller organisation with limited resources. This is a timely topic of conversation. Last June Small Charity Week, organised by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) was held. The Small Charities Coalition (SCC) used the week to launch their Big Support Small campaign, where they’re encouraging char- ities of different sizes to work together to have a powerful impact.

This got me thinking about how we in larger organisations, like the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) can help. In our 2019 Charity Landscape report, it was revealed that 86% of charities with an annual in- come of below £1m are trying to boost social media engagement, or are planning on doing so in the next 12 months.

I know that 91% of charities are run by volunteers and have limited budgets. So, with this in mind, I wanted to share this quick and easy guide for small charities full of free advice on how to get up and run- ning on Instagram.

Let’s start with some juicy stats:

n Instagram is the second most engaged with network after Facebook

n There are 1 billion monthly active users and 25 million business profiles

n Users like 4.2 billion posts per day

n There are 95 million posts per day and 500 million stories a day

26 FOCUS The Magazine September/October 2019

And most importantly: it’s your chance to tell your story and reach donors, volun- teers and advocates. Before you start using Instagram:

n Think about your charity’s objectives and who you want to reach

n Decide how Instagram will help you meet your objectives and what part of the journey the platform will take your audience on

n If you have capacity, create a one pager outlining your strategy for Instagram and if you can, add a time- line of events. This will save you time in the long run and help you see if the platform is working for you

Setting up your profile

n Make sure you always have the latest version of the app – it’s always being updated with new features and will prioritise content which uses them

n Set up your business account. This will link to your Facebook page and allows you to access additional insights

n Make sure you use an on-brand Instagram profile picture such as your charity’s logo

n Your ‘bio’ (the description at the top of your profile) is one of the first things your visitors will see. You have a maxi- mum of 150 characters; use them smartly to let people know what you're about and give them a reason to follow you. Include who you are

and what you do, and be sure to add a hint of personality. Keep it simple. You can also add an address and contact number. Make sure you include a link to your website. A special hint: check out Linktree

Instagram stories

It’s all about the “in the moment” experi- ences on Instagram, which are growing 15 times faster than feed-based sharing. People are now more likely to go straight to your story rather than scrolling through their feed.

Aim to post stories daily if you want to feature before other organisations at the top on the feed.

Stories are great for events and behind

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