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Allyson Kapin 6 min read

How Your Nonprofit Can Rock Instagram

Allyson-Kapin-headshot1 Instagram is becoming more and more popular. Just take a look at the stats:

  • Estimated number of users in the US in 2015: 77.6 million   
  • Estimated number of users in the US by 2018: 106.2 million
  • Number of people who use Instagram: 300 million monthly active users
  • Users in the US who access Instagram from a smartphone: 47%
  • A tablet? 53%
  • Photos get 36% more likes than videos on Instagram
  • In 2014, posts with faces were 38% more likely to receive like that posts without faces
  • Users that login at least once a day: 70%
  • Users that check Instagram multiple times a day: 35%
  • Average number of photos posted daily: 70 million

Okay, you get the point. Instagram's numbers are huge. The question is, are you really leveraging Instagram to be the most effective for your donors, activists, and volunteers? If you’ve got the capacity to spend some time building up your Instagram account, we recommend that you devote some resources and test this network, espcially if your organization has a lot of visuals to work with. I think this is also an opportunity for nonprofits to really show donors the human side of the organization - something we tend to forget when we get stuck in the daily grind of legislative work. 


If you are ready to start leveraging Instagram more, we’ve compiled some tips for you:

  • Use hashtags. NP Tech For Good reports that nonprofits who consistently use hashtags have 2x as many followers as those who don’t.
  • Tag relevant users and orgs who support your cause. This will enable others to like, and even regram (like a retweet, but for photos), your content.
  • Look into the 3rd party apps that were created to make your Instagramming even more useful:

o   Iconosquare.com will show your feed, others’ feeds, and your stats. You can see which photos received the most engagement from the most likes to the most comments, the app will reveal the users you’re most engaged with, how many users like your photos but don’t follow you, your talk rate, your love rate, etc. You can even filter your photos by the hashtag.

o   Pic Stitch allows you to make photo collages and share them. This is great for showing staff photos, a series of photos, before/after shots, etc.

o   Primary allows you to create lists of people or hashtags (similar to Twitter lists) so you can segment users into one place. You can even view activity on your recent posts and engage in real time right on Primary.

  • Keep active on Instagram so your followers have a reason to continue engaging with you. Encourage commenting, and make sure to foster conversations with those who engage with your content! Try to post at least 1x per day.

Are you on Instagram? If so, what’s your favorite app or trend? If you’re not on Instagram, what’s the reason? We’d love to hear your successes and your challenges.


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.