By Jen Lieberman
[Written with synagogues in mind but applies to all nonprofits as the ideas are universal.]
Instagram presents a unique and exciting opportunity for synagogues to engage with their members outside of the building’s four walls. Facebook may still be king, but Instagram isn’t far behind. With 55% of adults age 18-29 and 28% of 30-49-year-olds already on Instagram (see Pew Research Center study), the potential for your synagogue to use this platform as a way to actively connect with young adults and families is great. Images are powerful. When used effectively, your synagogue’s Instagram account can tell a compelling and inviting story of what it means to be a part of your community. The case for Instagram is clear, but getting started can feel daunting.
Our Simple Tips Are Designed To Give You A Sense Of What To Do After Signing Up.
Focus on slowly building out your Instagram page over the upcoming weeks and months. It is not about posting an image every day or even every week, but rather it’s about creating an active and consistent presence. Your main goal is to avoid having a visitor stumble across your Instagram account and see only one or two pictures from 45 weeks ago. Abandoned Instagram accounts send the wrong message. The same is true for an account showcasing lots of blurry or unappealing images. The whole point is to celebrate your community with engaging images.
2. Compelling Photos
Instagram is a blend of eye-catching images, funny memes, and pictures of food. Lot’s of food. An image that makes you pause, catch your breath, or even smile is right for Instagram. Get started by selecting one or two of the best images from a recent event and post those to your account.
3. Tell A Story
Over the upcoming weeks and months, as more images are added, Instagram will slowly begin to show what it’s like to be a part of your community. From building the Sukkah to celebrating Hanukkah, all special events and milestones will be there, creating a dynamic and appealing portrait of synagogue life.
4. Promote Upcoming Events
Similar to Facebook, Instagram can be useful in publicizing upcoming events. You can also include information on how they can attend.
5. Create Accounts For Youth Groups
The teens in your community are already using Instagram. Consider creating an account that showcases their events and accomplishments. This approach can also work well for religious and preschool families.
Worried about privacy? Make the account private and approve all followers to ensure an intimate and secure environment.
Given the growing number of people using Instagram and the potential to actively engage your community, it’s surprising how few synagogues actively use the platform. Try something new this year. Try out Instagram as a way to better market your congregation to prospects and connect with current members.
Ready to learn more? Join us for a webinar on Thursday, December 15 as we dive deeper into how synagogues can use Instagram.
Jen Lieberman is Client Relationship Manager at Jvillage Network.