Instagram has been out for a while now - since 2010 actually. And in that time, it’s grown tremendously. As of December of 2016, the photo sharing network had 600 million monthly users (up from 500 million in just July of 2016).
That’s some pretty significant growth!
That said, should your association be using Instagram? Well, in all honesty, it just depends.
For a more clear-cut answer, consider asking yourself these three questions:
1. Are your members (and potential members) there?
If your members and potential members aren’t using Instagram, then there really isn’t a reason for your association to be using it. Afterall, your marketing and communications (and time and energy) should be centered around where your members and potential members currently are.
That said, if your members and potential members are using Instagram, then you may want to consider joining the club. This is particularly important if you’re trying to recruit and engage younger members. (According to a study from Pew Research Center, 59 percent of Americans ages 18 - 29 use Instagram. That’s a pretty significant chunk and a prime opportunity for your association.)
2. Do you have the content?
As you know, Instagram is a photo sharing network. It’s 100 percent image-based. That said, does your association have images to post? (You don’t have to have them now, you just have to be able to take them - on a regular basis - if and when you set up an account.) So the better question to ask is, do you have enough to take pictures of? (Events, your office, your board members, swag, etc.) Most associations will, but for some, those “photo ops” may require a little more thought and creativity.
3. Do you have the bandwidth?
Let’s say you do have (or can have) the content you need to create and maintain an Instagram account. Do you have the bandwidth? In other words, do you have someone who can dedicate the time needed to get an account up and running (and keep it up and running)? If not, then you may want to hold off for now. It’s far worse to have an account that hasn’t been updated in 6+ months than it is to not have one at all.
Whether or not you decide to give Instagram a shot, chances are you have other accounts to manage as well: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Struggling to engage your members and potential members on those platforms? Allow us to help! Check out our Small-Staff Guide to Social Media below. It’s filled with best practices for using ALL the major social media sites! (And bonus: It’s free!)