Displaying items by tag: social media

My Love/Hate Relationship With Instagram

by Ellen Foell, International Program Specialist of Heartbeat InternationalSocial Media to Reach Women

I have a confession to make: I am a baby boomer, born in 1957. That means I still use Facebook. I laugh at Facebook Reels and TikToks that my children send me but cannot create one. I use LinkedIn to get articles for free but usually do not respond when someone wants to connect. I text and I do not write in all caps—REALLY! Finally, being a boomer, I have an Instagram account—like 2 billion other people—but I don’t post regularly. In 2022, the typical Instagram user spent around 12 hours per month using the platform’s app, up from an average of 11.2 hours per month in 2021. I think I am maximizing my use of Instagram when I “like” or “heart” a post. End of confession.

I am aware of the power of Instagram, and that is probably why I have a love/hate relationship with the platform. I have issues with anything that has that much influence over people because I think of all the unsuspecting people who may have a regular, but uncritical, “diet” of what Instagram has to offer.

On the other hand, it is a great way to reach people; and that is why I started an Instagram account: to be where my children are. They are no longer on Facebook; they do not read my long emails detailing every aspect of daily life, and I think they only communicate on the phone because they know how Neanderthal I am. If I could carry a cave wall, I would totally send my children pictographs. So, if rule #1 of marketing is that we need to be where our clients are, then Instagram seems to be the place.

Instagram has 2 billion active users, making it one of the most popular social networks. That is a lot of people. Only TikTok, WhatsApp, and Facebook have more users.

According to a page on HubSpot dedicated to marketing on Instagram, “Instagram’s primary advantage over other social media platforms is its visual nature. If you have a business that benefits from the design of your product or if you have a service that has a visibly noticeable end result, Instagram is the best platform to showcase that content.

Video, imagery, and illustration are all great content fits for this social media platform, but your marketing strategy will ultimately determine what type of content to publish and how often to post it. Establishing a strategy before diving right into a new social media platform, no matter how well it works for everyone else’s business, will keep you focused on your goals and — most importantly — your audience.”

If the pregnancy help movement wants to reach young women, we cannot ignore the breadth and depth of reach Instagram has. If you look at Instagram's worldwide audience, you’ll find that Instagram users are almost equally split between males (51.6%) and females (48.4%). Worldwide, the largest group of females were those ages 25-34, making up 16.4%.

According to the Pew Research Center, “In the 46 states that reported data to the CDC in 2020, the majority of women who had abortions (57%) were in their 20s, while about three-in-ten (31%) were in their 30s. Teens ages 13 to 19 accounted for 8% of those who had abortions, while women in their 40s accounted for 4%.” Thus, 88% of women having abortions are in their 20’s and 30’s. And statistically, a lot of them are on Instagram.

I shop at almost the same places every week. When my children were small, I even went to the same checkout line if the cashier was friendly to my children. It wasn’t just that I liked the brand, I liked the prices, and I really liked the people. It is not that different from Instagram. According to Forbes, “Of those Instagram users who follow businesses, 26% typically visit business profiles every day. Another 27% visit business profiles every week.” Repeat customers are good customers. They come back, they remember, and they spread the word. A good Instagram account can reach loyal customers and they will spread the word for you.

Best of all, because I love a bargain, Instagram is free. It’s true: I do not like the time-vaporizer that it can be as a user, but looking at it from the other side of the screen, isn’t that what we want? To have young women consuming Instagram posts, remembering the source, and spreading the word?

Finally, Instagram can be used to let your donors, or potential donors, know what you are doing to change the world and culture to be more life-affirming, even those not looking for your organization. In 2022, Social Media Today reported that “Instagram says that many users have requested more direct ways to support charities, while it also consulted with several organizations on the project to ensure that it was taking the best approach to amplify relevant movements.” 

We have a relevant movement. What you do matters. Let people know so they can support you.

You can use Instagram to reach not only clients but donors. It is an effective way to reach women with a carefully crafted message of life and reach donors with a well-articulated appeal. In other words, Instagram helps to market not just your brand but your message, and it can serve as a powerful fundraising tool.

I urge you to engage with potential clients where they are—right now—who are on Instagram. If you agree, please “like” and share this article.


Getting Started with Social Media

by Becky Zemlicka, Mindz Eye MarketingSocialMediaPhoneLaptop

Whether your organization is already on social media, or you’re feeling pressured to join, here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

Where to begin.

The main social media platforms where your audience will expect to find you are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There are definitely others, but as of right now, these platforms are the most popular. However, with the current political influences on social media, many users are switching to other platforms, so it’s something to keep an eye on.

What to know about Facebook.

Facebook is the most popular platform for organizations to engage with (right now), and is the most user-friendly platform to manage. Facebook has earned the reputation of being the “middle-aged moms” platform, but that’s not actually true. According to Facebook, their demographics are 19.3% male users and 13.2% female users between the ages of 25 and 34 years. However, women tend to be more “active” on Facebook than men, hence the reputation. Regardless, your content on Facebook should be aimed primarily to supporters and not clients. That’s not to say you shouldn’t make any client-focused posts. You will have some client-aged followers, and it’s still good for your supporters to see how you talk to and interact with your clients.

What to Post:

I often hear the statement, “We’re on social media, but we don’t know what to post or how often.” While my answer could be an article (or book) of its own, here is some general guidance:

  • Keep social media social. Your followers want to hear what’s going on inside the walls of your organization and how you’re making an impact. You’ll get the most engagement on posts such as staff anniversaries, client testimonials and accomplishments, staff/client events, decorating for holidays, etc. Always include a photo.
  • Educate your followers. While the majority of your posts should be social in nature, it’s also a good idea to educate your supporters about your organization and its services. Post answers to some of the most common questions you receive about your organization; dispel misperceptions people have about what you do or who you serve. Be careful not to get too “soap-boxy,” but education should definitely be a part of your mix. Always include a photo.
  • Include a photo. Always. Posts with photos will be seen by more of your followers, and photos with human faces are 38 percent more likely to receive likes than photos with no faces. They’re also 32 percent more likely to attract comments.*
  • Plan and post often. I’ve heard it said that you can’t post too often. I don’t agree with that, but most of you have so much on your plates, you won’t error on the side of posting too often. I suggest no less than one post per week – more often, if possible. However, plan your posts. Develop a monthly plan to ensure you have a good mix of social posts, education, events, testimonials, etc. Having a plan will also help ensure you don’t forget to snap a photo during your next potluck or when a big donation of diapers comes in the door. I’m not saying you can’t have impromptu posts – you definitely should – but have a flexible plan so social media stays top-of-mind.

*Source: Georgia Tech News Center

BeckyZemlicka 2017 smaller 1Becky Zemlicka is a speaker and owner of Mindz Eye Marketing, a virtual agency founded in 2001 that specializes in marketing, advertising and social media for small businesses and non-profit organizations. Zemlicka is also a co-founder of Ruth Harbor Ministries in Des Moines, Iowa – a home and program for young moms facing unplanned pregnancies or parenting young children.

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Multiply Our Fundraising Efforts through Social Media

by Kirk Walden, Advancement Specialist 

Just as Paul used a letter to expand support for those advancing the gospel message (II Corinthians 8 & 9 for example), in today’s world we have the web and any number of social media platforms to connect with those who have a heart for our work.

Through social media, we can multiply our own efforts to raise funds. What would it be like if one morning we opened our Facebook or other social media page to find 10, 25 or 50 friends of our ministry asking other friends to support our work?

Can we imagine 50 friends, each seeking to raise $1,000 in the next month toward saving lives and changing lives? That’s—you got it, math professionals—a $50,000 effort.

What’s fascinating here is that if we sat down to design a fundraising event or initiative to raise $50,000 we would need a lot of creativity, a lot of hands and this would take plenty of effort.

Yet by multiplying ourselves there is less effort, less stress and likely more funds.

One of the best avenues for multiplying our efforts is You Save Babies, a place where our supporters and would-be supporters can, in literally minutes, set up their own fundraising page. The page is user-friendly, gives ideas to those who might promote us and presents a positive, upbeat message for visitors.

There are two keys to success in this endeavor:

First, clearly explain how to use You Save Babies

We lay this out in our CEO Commentary, but it is important to leave nothing to chance. If we explain the concept first, our donors and friends will be more familiar with the idea once they connect with the actual You Save Babies site.

Second, remind our fundraisers to remind their friends

One post on a Facebook page is not enough in most cases. We need to be “lovingly vigilant,” reminding our friends on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and other sites a couple of times per week so that we are more likely to reach our goal.

We don’t need a Walk, or a similar event, in order to raise funds. Our friends can be helping us 365 days a year by asking on our behalf in honor of birthdays and other special events, or for particular needs we might have (“Help me raise $1,000 toward our center’s ultrasound machine”).

Utilize You Save Babies in regular communications with friends and supporters. Over time, we may find dozens of “development directors” who are ready to ask on our behalf.  

Click here for more of this month's Advancement Trends in the Life Community.

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