T hey say a picture is worth a thousand words. My Millennial staff begged me to get an Instagram account for the mission, so I finally gave in…at which point they both decided to go back to school! Well, the world will get one great doctor and one great diplomat, and I got an Instagram account. Instagram is a social media photo sharing network that has been popular with Millennials. If Twitter isn’t for you, and you’re about raising up the next generation of donors, you might consider Instagram. In my forced Instagram experi- ment, 68 percent of our followers are females age 25–34, so we’re tracking in the expected range. Don’t Let Hashtags Scare You A big thing for Insta is hashtags. To grow your pro- file, figure out some branded hashtags to use. I also always set the location to our mission, or if the picture is off-site, to where it was taken. I use our mission hashtag #SoulsHarbour for every post. Experiment with other hashtags, finding tags unique to your brand that might be popular in your locale. You want the majority of users to be from your area in order to have the greatest impact in your community. But even if you can’t take time for more than one branded hashtag that represents your mission, it’s still worth considering Instagram for its impact on social justice. One hashtag alone increases your engagement by more than 12 percent. And if you’re a “keener,” the sweet spot is 11 hashtags. How You Should Start Instagramming The pressure isn’t as intense with Instagram. You only need to post once per day or a few times a week, unlike Facebook and Twitter, which demand a more intense schedule. In Instagram you focus on quality vs. quantity; the richness of the photograph is what will attract people and make them want to reach out to the mission. Set up your handle so it matches your social media sites across the board. For instance, if your Facebook page is www.facebook.com/opendoor mission, then use www.instagram.com/open doormission as your handle. If that one is taken, use “opendoor” or “odm,” but as much as possible, make it an easy, logical social media package as far as your naming goes. You can find ours at www.instagram.com/SoulsHarbour. Facebook owns Instagram now, but resist cross- posting unless it’s an advertisement. You want to give your Insta users unique, creative shots that they won’t find anywhere else. It’s fun and unique way to reach out and connect with a generation that needs to know about the most important ministry that happens every day in your city. Ĩ 58 WWW.AGRM.ORG JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 DAY-TO-DAY In an Instant Why your mission should be on Instagram—and how to do it! ACROSS THE STREET Michelle Porter Michelle is founder of Souls Harbour Rescue Mission in Regina, Saskatchewan, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she currently resides. She serves as president of AGRM’s Northern Lights District. Find her on twitter at www.twitter.com/missionmusings.