So you’ve bitten the bullet and registered for Instagram. The problem is, you have 0 followers and don’t know where to start! It is okay, our tips to build up Instagram followers for your charity will come in handy.

Develop your brand

Your Instagram feed should be stylish and consistent. A charity that follows this is Charity: Water. Their Instagram feed features high-quality images that compel you to donate to them. With more than 300,000 followers, they must be doing something right! If you are using text over your images, ensure that they are consistent with your charity’s branding. Although many people use Canva, I stay away from it as they don’t have the fonts I require for the charities I manage social media accounts for. You want your potential supporters to see your brand frequently enough so that in the end they can recognise it is you automatically. Spend the time to develop templates to use for your Instagram feed, or contact me to help you!

Utilise hashtags

Do hashtags confuse you? They confused me for a long time! When we use hashtags, we want to be relevant so we aren’t attracting the wrong following. To do that, it is best to use a mix of common and unique hashtags. The common hashtags will get you a larger following, however, they get lost in Instagram feeds due to a number of people using that hashtag. Also, you are more susceptible to ‘spam bots’ and people who will unfollow you as soon as you follow them back. The unique hashtags will be seen by fewer people, however, will stay in a newsfeed for longer.

Let’s say you are posting a photo of a woman studying on a university scholarship through your organisation. Some common hashtags would be #women #photooftheday and #happy. Some unique tags would be #scholarship #inspiringstory and #thenameofyourcharity.

Be consistent with your posts

It is best to be consistent with your posts so your followers know what to expect. Don’t post five times in one day then have radio silence for two weeks. People are more likely to unfollow you if you are not consistent. I am very particular about who I follow on Instagram, and will always check the last time someone posted before following them. I don’t want to follow inactive accounts, yet at the same time, I don’t want to follow someone who will spam me several times in a day.

Interact with your followers

If somebody posts a question, write back within a day. Show people that you appreciate their support. It can be very difficult to keep up with comments, however, so, fortunately, the new ‘like comment’ button that Instagram released helps you interact with followers without taking up too much of your time.

Follow people with similar interests

Remember, you are looking for quality followers who aren’t just after followers themselves. Often, followers will unfollow you once you follow them. That can be very frustrating, and not worth your time! You are after followers who are potential supporters of your organisation. They might remain silent for quite some time, however when you launch that campaign of yours, who knows what donation they might give! If you are a charity that rescues animals, follow people who use animal hashtags in your posts. If you are a charity that protects the environment, follow people who are passionate about environmental protection. If your Instagram name features the cause you are involved in, they are more likely to follow back as they can identify your passion just by looking at your name.

Although it will take some time, you CAN build up your Instagram following. By dedicating at least 30 minutes a day to growing your account, you will see results within the first month. Given that many grassroots charities are operated by minimal staff or are entirely volunteer run, this can prove challenging. My social media starter pack from Samaky can help you out, so contact me today!

I donate 10% of every invoice to Human and Hope Association in Siem Reap, Cambodia.