22 Vine and Instagram Ideas

Instagram and Vine

Really clever things are happening on Vine and Instagram, two free social apps that ask us to communicate through images. Sift's Digital Engagement Manager, Elena Goodrum asks:

How can not-for-profits make the most of them?

About Vine

Vine is still quite new and may be unfamiliar. It is to video what Instagram is to photos. Like Instagram, it’s based around a stream of videos from your contacts. Videos are a maximum of 6 seconds long and loop continuously. They can be posted directly to Twitter and Facebook or easily embedded in to a web page or blog, bringing your content to life.

Diabetes UK on Vine

Many have been trying to make social video work (eg. Viddy, Gifstory, Cinemagram, SocialCam) but it hasn’t fully taken off just yet. Watching videos requires a bigger investment of time than images.

Cut through the noise and reach people

I don’t know if Vine will stick, but I see enormous potential for how photo and video apps can benefit non-profits - especially right now.

These arefree tools which put the power in our hands. No waiting for a third party to storyboard, film and edit a video. No professional photography expenses.

Given how saturated the social world is with information and over-sharing, anything you can do to break through the noise and communicate differently will get you noticed. Before long everyone will know what Vines are. Right now they’re new, intriguing and eye-catching.

Ideas for how you can use photo and video sharing apps

The best way to learn is to use them yourself. Join and get snapping! Follow brands and content creators from a variety of sources (not just NFPs). Draw inspiration from them but develop your own style. Once you’re up and running post engaging, shareable content. Include a call-to-action where it makes sense – what do you want people to do?

It's really important to participate in these communities of photo and video enthusiasts. Learn their cultures and practice good etiquette (eg. minimise the use of hashtags).

Everything your charity does tells a story about why you exist, and how what you do helps people. In the social world people want to know what you're doing and how you do it - they want to talk to you about it, and share their own ideas and thoughts with you.

Here are 22 ideas to inspire you

1. Recruit volunteers and staff, or introduce staff to the world


From @charity: water

2. Give people a view of what your charity does

Idea.org on instagram >

From @ideoorg

3. Send a personalised ‘thank you’ message to sponsors, donors, fundraisers

Plan UK on Vine

From @planuk

4. Share your annual report on Instagram

Calgary Zoo Annual Report on instagram

From @calgaryzoo2012ar 

5. Get people involved in your campaigns

Kiva Microloans on instagram

From @kiva_microloans

6. Share a diagram, or a useful statistic or fact

Idea.org on instagram

From @ideoorg

7. Post a quick how-to video or image


From mashable

Anyone have an example to share from the third sector?

8. Wish your supporters good luck

Merlin on Vine

From @merlin

9. Video “tip of the day” or “success story of the day”

WaterAid on instagram

From @wateraid

10. Share photos of your supporters at fundraising events

Marie Curie Cancer Care on Vine

From Marie Curie

11. Invite people to connect with you on your website and in social media

Practical Action on Vine

From @practicalaction

12. Share behind-the-scenes moments from an event

Humane Society of New York on Vine

From Humane Society of New York

13. Run a contest or promotion

Show Hope on instagram

From @showhope

14. Show what life is like at your office

Dogs Trust on Vine

From @dogstrust

15. Tell stories about your staff

16. Share news and announcements

17. Send a video invitation to celebrities you want to reach

18. Directly ask an MP where they stand on an issue

19. Promote your advocates and supporters so they get more followers

20. Write out an invitation to join your online community, or walk through the process of joining

21. Read out a quote from someone impacted positively by the work you do

22. Issue a personal apology for something gone wrong

What do you think?

  • Have you come across inspiring uses of photo and video apps?
  • How have you used them?
  • Do you think social video is just a fad?

Please share your examples and thoughts in the comments.

Photo credit (cc) Tech Crunch