Visual Storytelling with Instagram

Content From: HIV.govPublished: July 12, 20163 min read

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Visual storytelling lets you build awareness, trust, and loyalty while engaging and expanding your audience. With 500 million active monthly users as of June 2016 Exit Disclaimer, Instagram's popularity proves how a “picture is worth a thousand words.” Eighty-seven percent of Instagram users are under age 34 Exit Disclaimer. This image-sharing app has created opportunities to tell visual stories about your organization and powerfully connect with followers within this age group.

On Instagram, your visuals take center stage to convey your message, instead of a lot of text. A single image can speak volumes about you, your mission, and your work. As with all your social media, it’s important to offer consistency and quality. Grab attention and build your followers with these tips:

A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why GMHC loves Instagram. We live in a culture where most Americans spend over three hours a day on social networking, and for many, these platforms are their primary source of information. This is why you can’t be afraid to think broadly about hashtags for your posts because many people search by words; for example, #Instagay has over 16M posts, #treatment has over 700K posts and #NYC over 60M. The rise in HIV transmission in young people is alarming, and we hope that Instagram’s predominant age group, 18 – 29, sees our messages about prevention, treatment and advocacy. GMHC has always taken our message to where people are..” – Anthony Hayes, GMHC’s VP of Policy and Public Affairs

  • Be observant and "listen"Exit Disclaimer. Pay attention to what your followers say in their questions, popular conversation topics, timely events, and issues they care about. Then strategically use visuals to draw attention and build engagement around these topics
  • Prepare for real-time sharing . If your organization is at an event that is important to your audience, share a few images in real time. When you do, it's essential to share only those visuals that convey your organization’s voice, values, and mission.

Instagram’s unique ability to let you share stories visually offers a powerful tool in your social media toolbox, and an excellent way to engage followers in helping to fulfill your mission.

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