See How Three Nonprofits on Instagram Are Crushing it

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I was lucky enough to represent WC Smith and Apartminty at the PR NEWS’ Big 4 Social Media Conference this past week in San Francisco speaking about the ROI of Instagram. We examined the best way to measure the ROI of Instagram and then highlighted my favorite nonprofits that are crushing it with some content tactics.  

If a picture is worth a thousand words, these tactics for engagement are worth all the $$$ in the bank. The best part is that these ideas don’t require a massive financial investment. 

Girls on the Run

For those of you who don’t know about this organization, GOTR uses running as a vehicle to teach girls how to live healthy, joyful, confident lives. Their goal is to unleash girls’ potential and send them into the world boldly pursuing their dreams. GOTR has councils all over the country and you can volunteer as a coach for 8 week seasons and get girls ready for a 5k.

The Girls on the Run brand story is immediately obvious when looking at their Instagram feed. They have stayed true to their color story. You can see their feed is beautifully laced with inspiring quotes. And I would just like to point out, budget wise, there’s no expensive production value going on here. This is most likely a Canva template and probably a couple hours on Pinterest finding all the quotes and boom, the feed is cued up for months.

And then you see this fill-in-the-blank post. It’s a “refer a friend” Instagram style. “Dear ____, I think you would be an amazing coach because …”.

This is awesome. It’s user generated tagging and “refer a friend” and all without the annoying email, so the post creates a compelling reason to engage. And we all know the algorithm loves engagement!

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Another organization that is very close to my heart is the Leukemia and Lymphoma SocietyFor those of you unfamiliar with LLS, they not only to support patients fighting cancer but also the patients’ families and friends. One of my favorite things about the society (and that’s a very long list) is the amount of education they put out about blood cancer research and treatments.

Looking at their feed, it is a little less stylistically disciplined, but their color story still rings through.  The content on this feed is what really makes them shine.  Highlighted below you will see the post asking, “What advice would you give to someone just diagnosed?”  The engagement on this post is so high because it triggers so many different things.  It’s immediately emotional, but also gives people the chance to be inspirational, empathetic, and in some cases just deliver really practical advice.  

Beyond the usefulness of the post for patients, survivors and their families, the comments on the post also provide LLS with 37+ new pieces of user generated content.  Each of the pieces of advice shared by the community can become their own word art and another Instagram post for LLS.

The third image shown here is all about education.  It answers a question we’ve probably all wondered about at one time or another.  Answering a FAQ may not create a bunch of online engagement, but providing answers to your audience’s most burning questions does give users a reason to return to your feed over and over again.

..again, neither of these posts require any budget…or even a camera for that matter if stock photography is used. 

Comfort Cases

Comfort Cases is local to DC, Maryland, and Virginia. It was started by a former ward of the foster care system who is now a foster parent. Often foster children carry their belongings from home-to-home in trash bags and when they are exited from the program at age 18, their belongings are again carried out in a trash bag. This delivers one singular message to these children: You are trash.

Completely heartbreaking and totally unacceptable.

So Comfort Cases is working to change that message.  They provide foster youth with not only a suitcase but a book, toiletries, a fresh pair of PJ’s with the tag still on them and a blanket. Incredible. This is a mission I think everyone should be donating to.

So Comfort Cases is pretty new to the Instagram game {the account is only two years old.} They have a super strong mission and I love them. Their feed is getting stronger, but they have something cool happening that I want to share.

We’re all familiar with the phrase, ‘Playing hard to get’…what is that all about? It’s anticipation. Anticipation is a psychological trigger that will lead to customer engagement. And engagement will lead to click-thru’s, visitors, and donors. Why? Humans are curious by nature.

So the Instagram post telling fans to be on the lookout for a “Big announcement on Friday,”  does a great job of piquing that curiosity and starting to build anticipation.  It’s a really good start and the right strategy.

Key Takeaways to Crush it on Instagram

  • Give your followers a chance to call out others {It’s “refer a friend” without the annoying email}
  • Let your followers be the experts-Ask them to give advice
  • Take that UGC advice and make it into word art, give the user credit, and tag them.
  • Answer FAQ’s {Be useful}
  • Build anticipation

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