By Kat Connelly Last week, I shared some ideas and tips on managing your nonprofit’s Instagram account. I made two suggestions to use the video feature and consider hosting an Instagram “takeover.” In this week’s follow up post, I’m sharing my #Instagood video tips and why hosting a “takeover” can help diversify your nonprofit’s story.

Instagram Video Feature

In June 2013, Instagram, the popular photo sharing social media platform, launched a video feature which allowed users to create videos up to 15 seconds long. To learn about more technical aspects, refer to Instagram’s help center.

#Instagood Tips for Nonprofits NatGeo Example
Video Example from National Geographic’s Instagram.

It is a great idea to give users a variety of content by publishing videos in addition to photos. As technology progresses, more mobile devices are capable of creating high quality video content. However, handheld footage is either blurry or shaky and the application can distort and lessen the quality of the footage when it gets re-sized to Instagram’s square format. To avoid these problems, here are a few tips for mastering the art of Instagram video:

  • If you are going to use the application video camera, be sure to film with a steady hand and support your camera on a surface if possible. For advice on stabilization and more, visit this WITNESS camera guide.
  • When using footage from your mobile device, make sure the material or content is in the middle of the frame since Instagram crops it to a square.
  • Use InstaSize or other full size photo/video placement apps to upload videos that are meant for viewing with a widescreen aspect ratio.
  • If you want a more professional look, edit footage to 15 seconds on your computer and move it to your mobile device through a cloud or document sharing site, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Download the video from there and then upload to app.
  • Check here for examples of other nonprofit accounts creating great video content.

(We’ve also covered the basics of how activists can use the other popular mobile video app, Vine,  in this post.)

Instagram Takeover

Want your followers to see a side of your organization from another’s point of view? Consider having an Instagram Takeover! The “takeover” merely means allowing someone else to control the account for the day. This person can post content based on their daily experience with your organization, whether it be in the office or on the ground domestically or internationally. A break from the regular posts can help with follower engagement and drive traffic while giving a personal and creative look into someone’s life with your nonprofit.

Introduce your Instagram Takeovers with a consistent image so your followers will know each time.
Introduce your Instagram takeovers with a consistent image so your followers will know each time.

Before you let someone #takeover, be mindful of these suggestions:

  • When choosing someone, make sure they understand the mission of your nonprofit and know what kind of material is appropriate for posting.
  • A staff member, board member, volunteer, intern or nonprofit partner are all good choices to allow for perspectives from all organizational levels.
  • Allot a specific time for posting (usually a 12 hour window works best) and change your account’s password after each takeover.
  • Have the person make their first post a selfie – it’s a great way to introduce themselves to your followers!
  • For ideas and examples of takeovers by university students, check out @UConn, @unimelb and @ithacacollege

If you have any other ideas, suggestions or tips for nonprofits on Instagram, please comment below or tell us @witnessorg. Happy ‘gramming! Kat Connelly is a rising junior at the University of Connecticut pursuing a double major in Communication and Human Rights. She is an intern with WITNESS’ Engagement Team.

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