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Instagram for Associations: How to Attract a New Audience

Marketing, Technology Audra Hopkins

Your association should know about the power of Instagram.

SmartInsights recently released the latest statistics about the photo sharing social platform, and the results are incredible.

For example, did you know that there are 800 million users on Instagram overall? That’s right, Instagram doubled their monthly active users in only two years.

In addition, 70.7% of US businesses are using Instagram in 2017. It seems that everyone is starting to recognize the value and growth Instagram has in store.

So, does your association have an Instagram account? Are you using it to the best of its ability? If not, you could be missing out on a whole world of opportunity.

Think about it, there’s a lot of membership opportunity to explore on Instagram. If your association is looking for a new audience (or even a specific audience of a younger generation), it can look to Instagram for that boost in audience engagement.

Let’s go over the top Instagram results this past year, what they mean, and how you can use them to your advantage as an association.


Use Instagram as a marketing tool.

Chances are your association has a marketing strategy, and that strategy may include social media.

However, have you ever thought about adding Instagram into your marketing plan? If not, you should consider what Instagram has to offer from a marketing standpoint.

There are 2 million advertisers promoting monthly on Instagram. That number has doubled in only less than a year.

As quoted from Instagram’s business blog, “Through our visually passionate community, businesses are able to create unique experiences around their products and services with Instagram ads unlike anywhere else.”

Still unsure if marketing on Instagram is a smart move for your association? Well, according to Instagram itself, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business on their account.

Expand your social media use and meet your members on Instagram. Use it as an opportunity to post informational images they can benefit from. Or, you can even throw in photos of office life.

Another way to use Instagram is to market with video.

The average time spent watching Instagram video has increased 80% year after year. But what does this mean for your association?

There are many ways to use Instagram video to your marketing advantage. One way is to directly post video to your Instagram page (like we’ve done here!)

Another way is to use the Instagram Stories feature for both live and pre-recorded content.

Speaking of Instagram Stories…


Make the most of Instagram Stories

Using Instagram Stories for associations doesn’t have to be a mystery. There are many ways to use the feature as a valuable source to reach members.

According to Sprout Social, Instagram Stories has more than 250 million active daily users. That’s a lot of opportunity to get your association’s story out to its audience! But, how does it work?

To start, let’s discuss the feature as a whole.

Instagram Stories allow people following your Instagram to see live updates at the top bar of their photo feed. The second you update your story, it moves to the top of their list- perfect for any association capturing a live event or conference.

You might have known about Instagram Stories and its ability to reach people who follow you.

However, did you know you can also use it to reach people that don’t follow your association already

One way to reach a new audience is to use your location in your snap story. Adding a location into your Instagram post or story attracts 79% more engagement from audiences.

Hosting an event in a special area? Tag the location in your story. Even better, use the location of an event your association is attending.

Why does this work? Well, people in the surrounding area can check the area Instagram Stories by heading over to the ‘Explore’ page and viewing the top bar. This works well for specific event locations where you know potential or current members will be.

You can also use hashtags in the same way. However, hashtags might have better results for associations.


Advance your Instagram with hashtags.

It’s no secret that hashtags can enhance any Instagram post. It allows access into a more specialized community of Instagram users.

But, do you know just how powerful a hashtag can be for associations?

According to Hootesuite, posts with at least one hashtag generate 12.6% more engagement than those without. Something as simple as a one or two word phrase, when used the right way, can drive more engagement for any Instagram user.

Think about it, what hashtags do you search for when using Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook? Chances are you stick to hashtags that are important to your industry and its needs. Well, your audience thinks the same way.

Audiences who follow or search for your used hashtag will see your Instagram post and/or story. So, you want to make sure the hashtags you use are effective.

Research what hashtags your audience uses on Instagram and incorporate them into not only your Instagram posts, but your Instagram Stories as well. This way, you’re doubling your Instagram marketing approach.

Try adding your location or a related hashtag to your association’s next Instagram Story for a wider social media reach.


Incorporate Instagram into your content schedule.

Just like traditional content, Instagram content should be approached with a scheduled strategy.

Did you know that your Instagram engagement can be affected by time and place, just like traditional content? It’s true.

A recent study by CoSchedule reports there actually is an optimal time and day to post on Instagram. According to the research, posting on either Mondays or Thursdays seems to provide the best results.

As for timing, 5pm and 2am ranked for the most engagement. Yes- 2am!

While this seems like an inconvenient time to post, social media scheduling apps like Buffer and Hootsuite can help make late night posting a simple task.

Another interesting find is that video content posted on Instagram at 9pm gets 34% more engagement than a video posted at any other time. It’s important to know what forms of media will perform at what times, especially for associations looking for a new audience.

Create a content schedule for your Instagram content. Make sure you keep to a consistent schedule. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with content, but you also want to make sure to post at an even frequency.

You should also make sure your Instagram content is interactive. Interactive content is key, especially on Instagram’s platform. Create content audiences can like and start a discussion on in the comments.


Let Instagram work for you.

If you’re looking for a new platform to engage audiences on, give Instagram a try.

Don’t let Instagram’s mainstream culture scare you away from the marketing and engagement opportunities it holds for your association. With a large group of millennial and gen z members waiting on Instagram, it’s a way to find a brand new audience.  

With its constant growth and variety of tools to make content exciting, any association can find success on Instagram’s platform. (oh- and feel free to check out Web Scribble’s Instagram for more helpful tips and tricks for associations!)

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