Three Big Ideas For Instagram

Dear Christian Radio,

In the world of social media where things are becoming more divisive, political, and difficult to read, there are still many positives. Radio can use these positives to interact with listeners and artists in a way that will deliver real meaning and influence.

Facebook has experienced a mass exodus of its users who have either gone over to Instagram or have abandoned social media all together. Because of this, businesses and nonprofits alike have to adjust to and shift with this online behavior. Those who have left social media may or may not return in the future, but having a plan for Instagram has become a necessary priority for those who operate in the realm of social media.

The concept of Instagram circulates around the idea of people and real life. The lack of genuine content is a red flag to Instagram users. They can spot fake in an instant. Therefore, having the right type of content is paramount if you want to grow in this unique space. Your Instagram account should be about sharing real life experiences with those who follow you.

Here are three big ideas that will help you grow your Instagram account organically:

  1. Know your audience. – Demographics matter. No doubt you know the demographic for your station: its emails, direct mail, and the like. All audiences are different in some ways.Therefore, it only makes sense to treat your social media audience with the same level of care. Dig in and actually learn who is following you on Instagram. This can be time consuming and even difficult at times, but it will become a huge part of what makes Instagram work for you. Knowing that you may be serving a younger or older audience on Instagram allows you to gear your content to their tastes. This opens the door to more discoveries that may lead you to keep your content shorter, more concise, and full of only the most captivating information. These critical observations are what lead to an increase in followers and interactions.
  2. Let Instagram tell your story. – The timeliness, flexibility, and creative freedom that comes along with the Instagram’s story feature allows you to be real in every moment. The feature delivers a more personal touch. It showcases personalities, events, promotions and creates great interaction. Should your station stumble into a debate over something as trivial as biscuits versus cornbread you now have an Instagram story to tell. It is an easy and fun way to share a different view of the work God is doing through your station. In turn, you will be serving your social media audience with a quick, behind the scenes look that will captivate their attention.
  3. #Hashtags, #Hashtags, #Hashtags! – What once was called the pound sign or the number sign has now become the most important symbol in all of social media. Allowing people to connect ideas, promote causes, create humor, or just relate in a new way, hashtags are #thewaveofthefuture. Using 13 or more hashtags for a single post allows it to be seen by others who follow that hashtag. Essentially, it points them back to your content stream. My advice for you: never make a post with less than 13 tags. Anything less is almost a waste of your time, since the post will not meet its full reach potential.

Connecting your hashtags with hundreds of thousands of other posts will increase your overall exposure, interaction, and your followers. However, this does come with a reality warning: be sure to check your chosen hashtags before adding them to a post. The only thing worse than not using enough hashtags is using a hashtag that leads your user someplace unintended.

Example: #spiritdoug sounds rather benign until you find out that some David Crowder look-a-like used the same hashtag to document his wild night out on the town. Sometimes you just have to learn from experience.

These big ideas will help you, but they will not make your Instagram better on its own. Having people at your station who are dedicated to studying and identifying shifts in social media are key, too. Use them along with these tips to help separate yourself from the rest of the market.

Instagram won’t be here forever, but it is definitely here today.


Doug Day
Social Media Coordinator
Positive Alternative Radio


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