Recent data confirm that Instagram is a very popular social media platform. The total number of Instagram users grew from 90 million monthly active users in January 2013 to 1 billion by June 2018. In addition, Instagram has over 500 million active users—more than Twitter (326 million) or Snapchat (150 million).
That kind of reach makes Instagram an important messaging and outreach tool for HIV programs. If you’re looking for an outreach opportunity, try using Instagram for your HIV/AIDS Awareness Days communications!
To find out how others are using Instagram for Awareness Days, we asked our colleagues in the HIV community to share their experiences:
Why is Instagram an important communication channel for HIV messages and Awareness Day outreach?
“Instagram allows us to share the messaging around HIV Awareness Days with our followers, but it also allows us the opportunity to engage those not directly connected to us. It’s an excellent platform to activate youth, young adults, and social peer networks in disseminating HIV Awareness Day information.”- Daniel J. Downer, Creator & Founder of Bros In Convo
“Instagram is a powerful tool, and it’s so much more than sharing a picture. Instagram is one of the biggest and most used social media networks today, and it can really expand our audience when used correctly. There is a community for everyone through the app. By using Instagram on HIV Awareness Days, Alliance joins a much larger community, all working toward the goal of ending HIV/AIDS once and for all.” - Mitch Case, Communications Manager for The Alliance for Positive Change
“Just by searching #HIV, you can see that Instagram is home to a large, diverse community of people and organizations creating, amplifying, and consuming content about HIV. Highlighting HIV Awareness Days on Instagram allows us to showcase NIAID’s work in biomedical HIV research with appealing visual content and to engage this community during the observances on which it is most active.” - Judith Lavelle, Technical Writer/Editor, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH
How have you used Instagram for Awareness Days and what advice do you have for other HIV organizations?
“We use the Instagram Story feature to amplify and share our messages on HIV Awareness Days, including highlighting the personal HIV Awareness Day narratives and videos our followers have created.” - Daniel J. Downer, Creator & Founder of Bros In Convo
“Instagram has been a great tool for Alliance to engage our community during HIV Awareness Days. We’ve used Instagram to share national campaign materials, as well as highlight our own services and programs. We always try to use the most visual and interesting content, such as infographics. A simple picture or short video on our feed can be a source of information and a resource for those living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS.” - Mitch Case, Communications Manager for The Alliance for Positive Change
“Our World AIDS Day Instagram post quickly became one of our most popular, attracting an unprecedented number of likes and impressions with the trending hashtags #WorldAIDSDay, #wad2018, and #worldaidsday2018.” - Judith Lavelle, Technical Writer/Editor, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH
Be sure to follow HIV.gov on Instagram and check out our event guide for planning HIV Awareness Day activities. You can also find helpful blogs about Instagram in the Digital Tools section of our website.