October 11, 2016

5 Creative Ways to Engage Supporters with Instagram Stories

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john-haydonInstagram Stories create an extra layer of visibility for your nonprofit – whenever you want that visibility.

Like Snapchat, Instagram Stories last for 24 hours. And like Snapchat, stories are told in a series of pictures and videos.

Users who’ve published Instagram Stories within the past 24 hours appear at the very top of the home screen:


What are the benefits of Instagram Stories from a communications perspective?

Let’s dig in!

Get on the marquee with Instagram Stories

When you publish a story your profile picture appears at the top of the home screen (as shown above), giving your brand extra visibility. Once your stories expire (after 24 hours), your brand will no longer appear in the marquee.

In other words, the simple act of publishing Instagram Stories creates more visibility your brand!

Content with an expiration date:

Before Snapchat, social media content was assumed to be permanent on the Internet. In fact, Facebook updates, Twitter tweets, and Instagram posts all have a unique URL called a permalink – a permanent link to a piece of content. No expiration date.

But with Instagram and Snapchat stories, social conversations can have a shelf-life. An expiration date helps you:

  • Create a sense of urgency: If your people are going to act, they have to act now. The story won’t be there tomorrow.
  • Get and keep their attention: The stories only last seconds, pay attention, or you will miss out.
  • Inject more “human” into your brand: People seek to engage with people, not brands. Brands are fiction, people are everything. Instagram Stories allow you show supporters the people behind your brand – immediate, transparent, and spontaneous.

5 Creative Examples of Nonprofit Instagram Stories

A few nonprofits have started using Instagram Stories in very creative ways. Here are five examples.

1. Do Something

Do Something engages users in a creative and fun mini-campaigns to grow and engage their mobile supporter base.


2. Stand Up To Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer invited Instagram followers to a live Q&A with Sharon Jones to discuss her new documentary.



PETA invited Instagram followers behind the scenes to film a new PSA about the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car.


4. Pencils of Promise

Pencils of Promise invites followers to tap through a series of pictures that promote#BacktoSchool. Fun, interactive, and creative!


5. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium entertains with cool facts and bad puns… Hovercraft!


What other creative Instagram Stories have you seen?

John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter or leave a comment.

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2 thoughts on “5 Creative Ways to Engage Supporters with Instagram Stories

  1. What a fun! Instagram is really popular nowadays and it seems to make people crazy! The are so many social experiments done with it. I am sure that there are many people who like to check some instagram pictures