Instagram has been around for over a year now, and with over 15 million users, it’s just starting to get the buzz that it deserves . Instagram is the free photo-sharing app for iPhone that allows users to manipulate photos with 11 different filters, share your photos via social networks, and interact within your Instagram community. Think of it as Twitter for photos.

How it works

Photo Editor: The photo editing capabilities of Instagram will make any amateur photographer look professional with the tap of a finger. Choose from 11 different filters and crop, zoom, rotate, and focus your photos to your hearts delight.

Share Photos: Users can take pictures directly from the app or use photos that already exist in their camera roll. You can give the photo a title, include hashtags, tag your location, tag other Instagram users, and share your photo via various social networks.

A Social Network: The true genius of Instagram is that it’s not just a photo editing app. It’s a community of photo lovers talking about and sharing their photos with one another. Just like any other social network, Instagram is built around friends or followers. Instagram profiles display a users profile picture, username, number of photos, how many followers they have, and how many they are following. Only the photos of those users you follow will show up within your feed. You can comment on these photos or like them, very similar to how photos and posts work on Facebook.

Finding Followers: You can find and follow Instagram users through your other social networks, find users through the popular photos feed, through hashtags, or people that comment on your photos.

How can Non-Profits use Instagram?

 

Brand Identity

This is becoming much more than a logo design, color, symbol, product or website. With Instagram, Non-Profits can share what is visually happening behind their organizations walls and on the grounds of their operations.

Connectivity

Fans, users, customers, supporters, etc feel as though they are connected on a personal level to the non-profits that they follow. They can interact with the photos through comments and likes, interact with other users and fans, and feel as though they are “in the know” and connected to the non-profits that they care most about. After all, these photos are showing up in the same feed as their friend’s photos.

Awareness

Non-Profits should utilize Instagram to create awareness of their platform and needs by posting photos of ground operations, events, contests, and office operations. Be transparent to connect donors and supporters with the work you are doing.

Advertising

Instagram, just like all other social networks, created another way to advertise for FREE. Your customers and supporters are already using Instagram, so smart brands and Non-Profits recognize the importance of “fishing where the fish are”. Brands and Non-Profits can advertise by posting photos of new products, campaigns, and exclusive contests that they want to create excitement around.

We think these organizations are doing a great job utilizing their Instagram accounts to connect with their fans and supporters.

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[wpcol_2third_end]Charity Water @charity

Being one of the first Non-Profits to join Instagram, charity:water is ahead of the game. They are using their photos as a platform to tell the story of their organization; explaining why water changes everything. They post photos of activity around their home office in NYC, events happening state side, and of activity on ground operations around the world. Some of these photos are even delivered via text message to the main Instagram account controller so that they are able to publish and share them.

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[wpcol_2third_end]Show Hope @show_hope

Show Hope is a movement to care for orphans founded by Contemporary Christian Recording Artist Stephen Curtis Chapman. They are doing a great job utilizing their Instagram account to create excitement around their most recent campaign the red bus project.

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[wpcol_2third_end]Red Earth Trade @redearthtrade

Red Earth Trade sells 100% handmade and 100% fair trade jewelry, accessories, and products. They use the profits to further the work of Global Support Mission. Red Earth Trade is very active on Instagram running contents, advertising their products, and publishing pictures of their products being handmade in Africa.

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