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Instagram Stories are fun, they’re fresh…and they’re completely unforgiving. Your photos and videos vanish in 24 hours*, which means you need to get your strategy and content right if you want to make an impact. (*Unless you’re a real pro and save them to your highlights, but let’s set that aside for now.)
That impact is real, and growing more significant. According to the most recent M+R Benchmarks Study, Instagram is the fastest-growing of the Big Three social media platforms, with a 34% increase in followers over the last year.
Not only is the platform popular, but guess which feature stands out above the rest? You got it: Stories. With 500 million people using them daily, Stories are set to surpass feed posts in popularity. And here’s the kicker: some Instagram features are only available on Stories (not feed posts)—and that includes the Donate Sticker.
If you haven’t used Instagram Stories yet, check out this Hootsuite blog post for a quick 101 lesson. Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to create some 🔥content that keeps users coming back for more. Here are 5 ways you can use Stories to mobilize your supporters.
1. The questions sticker lets you ask a question and get answers back from your followers—a simple engagement with a ton of possibilities. Many nonprofits use the questions sticker like an AMA (ask me anything) for staff experts, answering questions in real time to educate and engage. You can use a question to collect real feedback from your supporters about the issues they care about or how they feel right at that moment. It’s a great way to take the temperature of the supporters who are paying the closest attention to your cause.
To check responses, simply go to your Stories and swipe up. Don’t forget to share them back with your audience to show you’re listening (and as an easy way to create additional content). If you really want to step up your game, you could even create a video responding to followers’ questions and share that to your Stories as a kind of Q-and-A segment.
2. Quizzes allow you to ask a single multiple-choice question and designate one correct answer. Use them for trivia about your issue—it’s a great way to solidify the learning and make it much more fun than giving facts. You can also use this to measure what your social media audience knows and what they might need to know more about.
3. The countdown feature can be used to promote events (join us tomorrow at 7!) or deadlines (only 3 hours left to meet our fundraising/petition goal). Users can even sign up to be reminded when the countdown is done. Bonus: Followers can share your countdown to their Stories to help reach even more people.
4. Swipe up feature is available only to accounts with over 10K followers—it allows your viewers to “swipe up” on an Instagram Story and visit a certain link. (Don’t worry if you’re not there yet. Check out our Social Media Calisthenics in the meantime.) Instead of directing followers to *LINK IN BIO* (they might get distracted along the way!), a ‘’swipe up’’ link drives even more traffic to your action page or website. Or maybe you’re trying to promote long-form content like a blog or op-ed. Post a compelling quote on a photo of the author and see if you can’t get those clicks up!
5. Donate Sticker. So you’ve done all the hard work of engaging and building relationships with your followers using the tools above—now it’s time for the ask. Like Facebook Fundraisers, the Donate Sticker allows people to raise money for nonprofits from their followers—and you can use it in your Stories too! (Don’t forget to add the Donate Button to your profile too!)
Facebook Fundraisers made a real difference for some organizations. The average nonprofit raised $1.77 through Facebook for every $100 they raised through other online channels. Instagram’s donate tool is the next iteration of this trend, and it has the bonus of asking users to share their email with you. So what are you waiting for? Check out our Lab Post on the Donate Sticker for more information, and start using it!
While these features are a great way for your nonprofit to step up its Instagram game, tools are only as useful as you make them! The real power of Instagram Stories is the ability to show your brand’s personality and to invite your supporters to be a part of your organization’s story. With Instagram removing likes from Feed Posts, Instagram Stories are a must for every nonprofit.
When Ophelia isn’t coming up with new ways for our clients to make a buzz on social media, she can be found painting or at the beach. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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