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Justyn Hintze 7 min read

A Photo A Day Keeps Lack of Engagement Away

How many photos do you take a day? A week? Do you capture your nonprofit's monthly potluck? The office plant that just bloomed? How about your office mascot? Or more importantly, that special dinner with donors? Or awesome volunteers helping out at your major events?

They say that a photo is worth a thousand words. And if nothing else, it's worth a whole lot of social engagement.

In the realm of social media, this infographic, Storytelling One Frame at a Time, explores just how photos and videos are ruling social media, and why you should jump on this social bandwagon if you haven't already.

What this infographic reveals:

  • On Facebook, videos are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined.
  • Photos are Liked 2 times more than text updates are on Facebook.  
  • On Facebook's top 10 brand pages, photos and videos drive the most engagement.
  • A whopping 42% of all Tumblr posts are photos.
  • Photos on Pinterest are referring more traffic than Twitter, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Where is your audience talking? A recent study by app analytics firm found Instagram has become the second-most-popular app behind Facebook globally. People are so busy nowadays with managing so many different tools and apps, from social platforms, to email, to real life relationships, and it's a lot work. It's much easier for some people, and a lot less time consuming, to glance at photos to see what's new with your favorite organizations vs. reading whole articles all the time. Try sharing your news via photographs with engaging captions; it's what folks are looking for.


Instagram has 30.3 million monthly users on mobile (even President Obama joined Instagram in January), and more than 5 billion photos have been shared.

Though, some nonprofits do have a concern with this: What if we're ostracizing people who don't have a Smartphone? Well, there are remedies for that too:

  • Maybe your nonprofit has a Flickr stream on its website? If so, you can share your Instagram photos directly to Flickr, or even to Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.
  • Anyone can view your Instagram stream on sites such as Webstagram.
  • Since Facebook recently purchased Instagram, the photos are a lot more accessible.

People don't always read websites, they skim it for chunks of information, actions, and you guessed visual cues like photos, graphics, and videos. Your audiences want to see what you're doing, but it's a lot easier for them to visualize when there's a photo in front of them. They can see those cool t-shirts that your volunteers are wearing, and their mouths may start watering over that delicious donor dinner you just hosted. And they will want to know what you're doing next.

To really get your nonprofit brand out there, you've got to get those photos out there. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook Timeline: they're all about stories. Your org has a story to tell, and people are out there listening (or more realistically, looking). 

In June 2012, folks began following more Brands on Pinterest than on Facebook or Twitter; and while you can't Pin directly from Facebook, you should have more than one outlet that hosts your photo. A great way to implement this is to have a blog (if you have the capacity to manage it). Each time you publish a blog post, you should include a photo. This way, when people share your article, they can share the photo (or have a choice of photos) to go along with it. Not only will this increase your supporter's engagement on their Page, but it will increase the Sharing and reach of your own article.


What kind of photos does your nonprofit share? Do you use the photos for activism? To increase engagement? How about to recruit donors, volunteers, and supporters?

Think about it, a photo may be just the remedy you're looking for to hook your supporters.