Article Photo How Nonprofits Can Use Instagram: 5 Easy Tips Create powerful, compelling content to tell your organization's story Gabriella Martinsson - February 12, 2018 Making your organization stand out among the 800 million active daily users on Instagram isn't easy. But remember, using social media is ultimately about telling your story — something you can do better than anyone else.That's right, you're the subject matter expert of your organization, and with a few tweaks here and there, you can have a supercharged social media presence in no time. Let's take a look at some tips to help you create powerful, compelling content on Instagram.1. Power Up Your PicturesInstagram began as a picture-only platform, so it's no surprise that photos still enjoy the highest levels of engagement. However, if you don't want to overwhelm your followers with multiple posts or can't decide on just one amazing image, use the gallery feature. It allows you to tell your organization's story with up to 10 photos in one post. It's a great way to create smaller libraries for your followers to enjoy and makes a more cohesive story within your feed.Tip:Only post photos that are relevant to your organization and tell your story. Also, always try to use high-resolution photos and keep your images consistent with a relevant theme.Catskill Animal Sanctuary A post shared by Catskill Animal Sanctuary (@catskill_animal_sanctuary) on Nov 23, 2017 at 1:23pm PSTUsing humor is one of the best ways to spark engagement.Edutopia A post shared by Edutopia (@edutopia) on Dec 3, 2017 at 11:26am PSTHere's an example of graphics and information working together to spread a message.Feeding America A post shared by Feeding America (@feedingamerica) on Nov 28, 2017 at 7:07am PSTThis post shows an excellent use of the gallery feature.You can also check out TechSoup's resource guide, which provides more helpful tips on how to harness the power of Instagram for your nonprofit. 2. Make the Most out of CaptionsAlthough Twitter limits the number of words you can use in a post, Instagram allows you to tell a much longer, more comprehensive story to your followers. However, as with photos, it's important to stay on message and adhere to relevant themes while maintaining a unique voice.Tip:Enhance your captions with relevant hashtags and emojis to build a feeling of excitement and engage people. Also, develop a hashtag for your organization in order to personalize and better aggregate your content. If users adopt that hashtag, tools like Stackla are helpful for corralling and displaying user-generated content (UGC).Rainforest Alliance A post shared by Rainforest Alliance (@rainforestalliance) on Dec 4, 2017 at 12:09pm PSTThis post features an informative caption using the hashtags #FollowTheFrog and #rainforestalliance.One Campaign A post shared by onecampaign (@onecampaign) on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:25pm PSTNote the use of emojis and a short caption with relevant hashtags paired with a powerful text-forward image. (Click on the post to see the caption, emojis, and hashtags.)GirlUp Campaign A post shared by girlupcampaign (@girlupcampaign) on Nov 28, 2017 at 11:25am PSTThis organization used the hashtag #GivingTuesday in order to promote its campaign. It's also done an excellent job of using emojis, not to mention an A+ image!3. Say More with Video ContentAlthough video content is a relatively new feature on Instagram, it's certainly one of the most appreciated. Since March 2016, users have been able to create 60-second short films. And starting last February, videos were allowed in the gallery feature — enabling up to 10 minutes of video content in a single post.Square or vertical videos are recommended in order to take up as much screen space and grab your followers' attention. An appealing thumbnail is also important when it comes to standing out in a user's feed.Tip:Instagram autoplays videos without sound, so be sure to incorporate graphics and subtitles to create a more cohesive story.Malala Fund A post shared by Malala Fund (@malalafund) on Oct 2, 2015 at 6:52am PDT This post shows a fantastic use of graphics and short-form video production.(RED)This video was actually posted on Facebook, but is still a good example of how you might create content for Instagram.4. Make Things Personal with Instagram StoriesInstagram's newest feature is Instagram Stories, and it's quickly becoming one of the most popular aspects of the platform. It's similar to Vine and Snapchat in that it allows you to create short, 10-second videos that expire after 24 hours. These stories are a great way to show real-time snippets of the everyday work that goes on at your nonprofit and connect with your followers in a more personal manner. Shoot and edit your content within the app or upload videos directly from your camera roll from wherever you are. If you choose to do the latter, bear in mind that you only can feature content that was created within the last 24 hours. Also, if you'd like to save your story and use the content elsewhere, you can easily send it to your camera roll. Then, export it to wherever you want it to go.Tip:Don't forget to use hashtags and tag other users and locations directly in your stories. Also, use the pen tool, filters, and graphics to give your video a personal feel that aligns with your mission, message, and brand.Take a look at how CARE France used Instagram Stories to inform and inspire its followers by sharing the daily lives of women around the world.5. Use Adobe SparkAdobe Spark is a free, user-friendly graphic design tool for photos and videos. Learning this powerful yet easy-to-use software can benefit anyone in your organization who's tasked with creating content on Instagram. Use it make subtitles on videos or take advantage of numerous design templates to make your posts stand out against the rest. Below you'll find some links to get you started.Video Storytelling Made Easy with Adobe SparkHow to Create Awesome Instagram Stories + 13 Exclusive Design TemplatesAn Intro to Adobe SparkFor more Instagram tips, download TechSoup's resource guide on Instagram for nonprofits.Additional Resources: Social Media for NonprofitsCheck out TechSoup's Social Media Starter KitRegister for TechSoup's beginning course: Facebook Ads 101: Using Insights and Analytics to Inform Your StrategyRegister for Facebook Ads 201: How to Build, Manage, and Optimize Your AdsYou can also sign up for both Facebook Ads courses as a learning track This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.