Trying to reach members, new and old, is no longer what it use to be. In fact, social media has made it that much easier to stay connected.
Before, you would have to reach one member at a time through email or a quick phone call. The process was tedious, time consuming, and overall less effective than anticipated. Now, thanks to social media platforms, your association has the ability to reach dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of people daily.
But just like everything else surrounding social media, Instagram is a tough platform to master. However, if your association can get a grip on its Instagram activity, you’ll find some serious value to be had on its platform. And one way to do this is to get into the world of Instagram challenges.
Instagram photo challenges aren’t new, but their value in attracting and engaging members is still just as high as the day they were introduced to the social media world. So, if your association wants to get in on the fun (and engage members in the process), here’s what you need to know about getting active in the Instagram challenge world.
What is an instagram challenge?
An instagram challenge happens when an Instagram account posts content every single day of a set time period. While the guidelines of the challenge can vary based on the account that originally forms the challenge, most challenges follow the same format- and bring in an extreme influx of engagement.
Typically, the usual Instagram challenge will last a month, encouraging accounts to post a photo every day in that month. Anything less than a month would be too short to gain attention, and anything longer would be too much for audiences to focus on.
As mentioned earlier, challenges can vary. For example, there are challenges where the themes of your daily posts already planned out for you.
In fact, your association can even create a challenge of its own for followers and members to get involved with. The themes of your content can be anything you choose, and are usually related to popular social media hashtags and trends. It’s a great way to pump out content on social media while keeping everyone interested and interacting.
Instagram Challenges: Why they count
If you still aren’t convinced that an Instagram challenge is right for your association, here are a few reasons to help change your mind.
REASON #1 –To gain instagram followers.
It might sound obvious, but without a large enough social media presence all of your hard work will reach no one.
A successful instagram challenge will encourage your challenge participants to follow your instagram account. Think of your Instagram followers as potential members, and your follower count as a chance to increase your membership rates with each follower gained. .
If your association wants to reach a wider audience and increase its received attention, growing your Instagram following is a must- and that’s where Instagram challenges come in.
REASON #2 –Engaging your followers
Chances are that many of your members already follow you on instagram, so what better way to engage them?
An Instagram challenge can help you stand out. If you are not active on instagram, you are just another number under “followers.” But when you post exciting, helpful and aesthetically pleasing content you stand out on your member’s instagram feed.
Use an Instagram challenge to get your members involved in the content you post.
REASON #3 – Brand identity
When you’re a growing business, it’s important to establish authority in your niche and become more established in your brand identity. What better way is there to gain the trust of your audience than to engage with them specifically and regularly through an Instagram challenge?
Work on your association’s social media brand identity by incorporating it into your challenge posts. This will help you earn that closer relationship needed to get more of your audience onto your email list- and hopefully convincing them to join as a member. .
Instagram Challenges: A Plan
An instagram challenge is exactly that, a challenge.
To make sure that you host the best instagram challenge for your association, you need to make sure that you have a plan, written out and ready to go before the challenge begins.
Choose posts that relate to your business or industry
Whatever your association’s industry is, make sure that it is clear on your social media platforms.
As soon as someone reaches your page, they should know, what it is that you do. Themes should be general enough so that all your members feel included but specific enough to your brand.
Choose a hashtag
A hashtag will help you expand your association’s reach on Instagram, allowing a wider audience to view your challenge content.
If your association does not have a hashtag for members to use on social media yet, make sure to set one up as soon as possible.. Your hashtag should be true to your association’s mission and beliefs.
Once you have one hashtag that works well, you can start experimenting with more. If you are tabling at an event or promoting content, make sure to post a picture on instagram with the hashtag of the event name.
Collaborate and mention other users
Like hashtags, tagging other Instagram users (like your members) in your posts is another great way to expand your reach on social media.
There are a variety of ways to use the “@” feature on instagram. Here are a few examples:
If you are hosting an event with a speaker, tag him or her on your instagram and have them do the same. Now, all of his or hers followers know you and all of your members know the speaker.
Similarly, featuring a member on your instagram can help increase your engagement. It shows your members that you see them, and encourages them to tag your association in the future. Post a relevant and flattering photo of your featured member and caption it with his or her achievements and how it relates your association.
Promote your challenge
Don’t forget to spread the word about the photo challenge on your other social networks and in your emails. Link to it on your website and in a blog post to expose it to a wider audience, or embed a board of images that include the hashtag using tools like HashAtIt.
The people who follow you on other networks, subscribe to your emails, or read your blog might not know that you have an Instagram profile, so talking about the challenge in other places will increase your exposure.
People often like to start challenges at the start of the month, but you can promote the challenge even after your business has completed it.
With an Instagram challenge, your association can see its social media engagement increase and your Instagram content amplify.