You want to have an engaging chapter instagram account, but knowing what kinds of posts to create, how often to post, and how to use this time well...it can feel overwhelming.
This resource will help you think about the types of regular weekly posts to create and how to change it up every now and again. We’ve compiled some of the best ideas for running a chapter instagram account. Here's what you'll find in this resource:
- General Tips on Getting Started
- Weekly Post Ideas
- Variable Post Ideas
- Story Post Ideas
- A quick primer on using Instagram Ads
Getting Started with a Chapter Account: General Tips
How do I create an Instagram account?
First things first: create an Instagram account for your chapter. Use this resource to get started.
How often should we post?
Your chapter account should post 2-3 times a week to maintain engagement with student contacts and highlight the values of your community. Think about a weekly rhythm of one regular post and 1-2 variable posts.
How can we plan our posts?
A monthly calendar can help keep track of the different kinds of posts, ensure variety throughout the month, and help you anticipate important announcements like conferences.
How do I get pictures?
People in your community are bound bound to be taking pictures with their phone or a camera and there are probably some great ones to share. Use a service like Google Photos to create shareable albums so you can easily collect great photo content.
Remember, always ask for permission before sharing a photo of someone on a chapter account. If working with International students or scholars, be particularly mindful of their country of origin and any security concerns around associating with a Christian ministry.
How can I edit photos?
There a lot of great photo editing services out there, many free. Even Instagram has a powerful photo editor. You may also consider investing in a pro account with Canva ($10/mo). Staff and student leaders around the country have found Canva to be a huge help in quickly making excellent graphics. The free version is also great!
A few quick tips on photo editing:
- Crop, straighten, and add a filter to every photo so they have a consistent look and feel. Learn more here.
- Add the InterVarsity logo to every photo. Find logos and other brand resources here.
Weekly Post Ideas
Weekly posts have essentially the same main message every week, with different images or other slight variations. They are posts meant to communicate the regular rhythms of your community to folks who want to get plugged in.
Remember to always include the specific info (time/date/location). Share your post to your story for maximum engagement. And don't forget to engage with the comments!
- Announce your Small Groups and create excitement an anticipation for deep community.
- Announce your Large Group and create momentum. Use series titles that are catchy and easy to promote.
- Engage with the comments
- Make sure to include time/date/location where needed.
- Share your post to your story for maximum engagement.
Announce your Small Groups, small group leaders, and build anticipation for deep community.
Announce Large Groups and Build Momentum
Use titles that are catchy and easy to promote
Variable Post Ideas
1.) Fun Times!
Sharing photos of fun community events in your chapter can not only help promote your ministry, but also create lasting memories. Whenever you are having fun, hanging out, enjoying a meal together, encourage people to take and share photos as appropriate. If possible, tag the location/venue and the people who were there. These photos make for great weekly posts.
Use your variable posts to encourage your followers to stop, pray, worship, and focus on the Lord. Take a photo or video of your chapters worship time or encourage folks to record a worship cover on their phone. This can also be pieces of scripture, song or dance, art, however your chapter likes to worship!
3.) Student Highlights
Highlight your students leaders, introduce them, tag them, and help them connect with people in the comments.
Build excitement for conferences, retreats, and other special events.
Invite your community to share stories of how God is working in their lives.
Story Post Ideas
Instagram stories last 24 hours, and can be used to share candid ministry moments, Instagram Proxes, or a testimony.
1.) Candid live moments
Capture and share real, down-to-earth moments in the life of your chapter: Setting up for large group, waiting for the bus, printing out manuscripts for Bible study.
Use short teaser clips to promote an upcoming event.
3.) Instagram Proxes
Also known as Insta-Proxes, are great ways to awaken curiosity and start spiritual conversations online. Learn more here.
4.) Creating good story highlights that will give new students an at-a-glance of your community.
Curate your favorite moments to show what your community is all about! Story highlights are often one of the first things people see when they open your Instagram profile. Learn more here.
Creating Instagram Ads
Instagram Ads can be a great way to connect with new people outside of your networks. Below are a few great example of Instagram ads done by the University of Utah InterVarsity chapter.
They did 3 important things when creating their ad.
- They found great photos from last year that highlighted their community and showed recognizable places on campus. They gave a picture of what their InterVarsity community is like.
- They worked hard on writing a compelling caption that explained their community.
- They simplified InterVarsity to the most important values for students: Scripture, Worship, Fun, Community
The ad that @ivuofu used pointed students to the national contact card. The staff immediately made the first connection via text or Instagram then connected each student with a student leader