Often referred to as the “Photo Album of the Internet”, Instagram is used by nearly one-third of American women. With more than 40 billion photos and counting, the platform now serves as a powerful tool for reaching young, abortion-minded women.
Instagram differs from other social media platforms in many ways. Young people typically flock to this form of social media because its users are often much younger than Facebook or Twitter.
Here, we’ll walk you through the steps for getting started on Instagram and how to make the most of its multiple features. These tips will be useful even if you already have an account.
STEP #1: Getting Started
Before creating an Instagram account, it’s important to understand how it all works. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, you cannot post to Instagram from a desktop computer.
Instagram relies on high-quality photos to tell a story. Because mobile devices are optimized for taking and uploading photos easily, you download the app onto your smartphone or tablet to start sharing. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, every post requires a photo.
To set up an account, download the Instagram app to your mobile device or set it up on the Instagram website (although you won’t be able to post anything on desktop).
Next, you need to pick a username that will resemble your brand. Your ideal username may already be taken, but don’t be afraid to get creative. You can include your full name in your profile’s bio. The bio is also the only place where you’ll be able to include a clickable website URL.
Finally, link your profile to your organization’s Facebook page. This will allow your existing followers to easily find you on Instagram’s suggested pages.
STEP #2: Establishing Your Brand’s Style
Instagram is an incredibly visual platform. Photos and video are the most important part of a post. Beyond that, it’s important to create content with your target audience in mind. Young women care about fashionable social trends.
Successful brand accounts often have a branded style to their photo. They choose images that are timely and fashionable. At the same time, you want to appear genuine and human. Focus on the unique way your organization sees the world.
Make the most of what’s going on behind-the-scenes in your organization. Did you host a guest speaker at an internal luncheon? Did a staff member or volunteer celebrate 10 years of service? Snapshots of these moments can receive high engagement on Instagram.
STEP #3: Take Advantage of Hashtags
Hashtags serve as a clever way to categorize posts and connect users. Imagine you are on vacation in Florida and snap a photo at the beach. You can type “#beach” or “#summervacation2017” into the caption to increase the visibility of your photo. Users search for hashtags or click on one to search for people posting about similar topics.
General and Trending Hashtags
Make the most of general and trending hashtags to increase the reach of your post and gain new followers. Don’t be afraid to snap photos of your team enjoying their morning #coffee or celebrating #MothersDay. These types of posts give you a unique opportunity to connect with people who are not following you.
Branded hashtags for events, contest or social campaigns allow followers to participate in the conversation. Some popular examples are the #readeverywhere contest coordinated by the Paris Review and #WizardingWednesdays, a hashtag used to promote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
STEP #4: Stay in Touch with Followers
The purpose of social media is to create stronger relationships with people who may be interested in your cause or services. That is why interaction is key. Instagram users trust organizations that pay attention to them.
There are several methods you can use to create engagement:
- If someone follows you, follow them back.
- Mention your followers in posts using “@” before their username
- Like and comment on followers’ photos (But be aware that users can view your actions)
- Repost high-quality content from your followers (Remember to give them credit in the caption or through the Repostly app)
To grow your following, you also must stay up-to-date with the latest trends. Instagram has integrated with three content creation apps: Boomerang, Layout and Hyperlapse. These apps give you the ability to play a video forwards then backward, create a photo collage or increase the quality of mobile videos.
In addition, Instagram recently launched its Stories feature. Similar to Snapchat, this feature allows you to capture video content, add text or emojis and add it to your stories. The content disappears after 24 hours and can be viewed at the top of a user’s news feed. PHCs can use the Stories feature to promote events or show the behind-the-scenes lifestyle of your center.
STEP #5: Use Geotags to find followers near you.
When you take a photo with a smartphone, it automatically drops a geotag into that photo’s metadata. This means that online apps like Instagram can tell where you were when the photo was taken. As a result, you can add a location to your photo. This will categorize the photo based on location.
As a brand, you can reach people near you through using this feature. Use geotags for conferences, cities, states or nearby colleges or universities to target people close to you. After you select a location, your photo will be added to a gallery of photos with the same geotag.
Is your organization interested in growing a following on Instagram? Contact us for a social media quote.