10 Ways To Use Instagram For Activism

photo by Roman Odinstov

Hey, Instagram Loving Friend!  When you joined Instagram years and years ago, you probably joined it to share with your family and friends.  For most of us, we joined to be part of a community and to connect with others.  Those communities grew into businesses, and…..here we are.

There is an important place on all of our Instagram accounts for activism, and I’m here to tell you that regardless of your content type, you can use your Instagram account to support and share your core values. 

Whether your audience is following you for recipes, travel tips, fashion photos, parenting stories, or beautiful interior design, your audience is also following YOU. 

In the last few years, Instagram has placed an increasing focus on adding bells and whistles to their platform.  From stories to IGTV to Live to the coming soon Reels option, they have given us a ton of ways to connect with our audience and a ton of great options for sharing our content, as well as the content of others.

My suggestion?  Commit to doing SOMETHING every 24 hours if activism is a core value of yours.  My goal is that whenever you come to my Instagram account you’ll see a static post, an IG story share, a live, an IGTV that shares the messages that are important to me. 

What does that look like practically? Each evening I watch through my IG stories and feed.  Is there something up? If not, I make sure I share 2-3 things before I go to sleep.  

10 Ways To Use Instagram For Activism

These are 10 simple and effective ways to use ANY Instagram account for activism.

1. Static Posts to Share Your Beliefs and Values:  State your beliefs and state them clearly.  In a static post for all to see.  I just posted a “mission statement” last week.  A simple post that states my core values and beliefs.  I plan to do that once every 4-6 weeks.  As followers ebb and flow, and the world moves and adjusts, I think stating and restating is IMPORTANT.

2. Amplifying Voices in Posts / Passing the Mic: Does your Instagram account always have to be YOUR voice? Absolutely not. In fact, there is incredible power in “passing the mic.”  Consider having another influencer take over for a day in your stories. Give them an opportunity to cover an event, movie release, museum visit on your behalf.

3. Sharing Posts in Stories: As simple as it sounds, sharing posts in your stories is a highly effective way to be an activist.  How does the Instagram algorithm work? As far as we know, shares are prioritized over likes or even comments.  The more a post is shared (using that little paper airplane tool) the more impressions Instagram will give it; that means the more people’s feeds it will show up in.  Pick a couple of posts a day, or a week, to share in your stories.  It will help them become more visible.

4. Starting Book Clubs and Discussions: There’s power in your DMs (your direct messages).  People will ALWAYS say things or ask questions in a private message they wouldn’t say on a post.  Use the DM me sticker in your stories.  Encourage people to ask questions and to share THEIR favorite resources.  It’s a great way to involve your audience.  With their permission, you can even share their responses.

5. Use the Donation or Register Sticker: Instagram recently added two new stickers to use in your Instagram stories: a donation sticker and a register to vote sticker. When your followers click these, they can donate to a cause that you choose (this is great during lives) or register to vote.  These are simple ways to encourage some VERY important steps and actions.

6. Share In-Person Events: Rallies, Protests, Lectures, Fundraisers…these are all great offline events to share, especially if you have a strong local audience.  Pro Tip? Look at your audience demographics to see where the majority of your followers are (check cities) and share events in those locations.

7. Share Online Events: Online events are also great to share.  Lives, interviews, Zoom meetings that open to the public…all options that your audience can access, regardless of location.

8. Connect with Brands and Express Support or Frustration with Their Values: Trust me, brands check the notifications when you tag them. A lot these days.  See a brand doing great things? Say so in a story and tag them.  Not such great things? Do that too.  It’s important for your audience to see, but it can also truly help to change brands for the better.

9. Follow Organizations To Receive and Share Information That You May Not Otherwise Access: Instagram isn’t just for influencers or product-based businesses.  It’s a great place to follow organizations and foundations you want to support.  You can easily access their content, share it, or learn more about their programming for yourself.

10. Go Live:  Go live. Alone or with a guest.  What if the area you’d like to be an activist in isn’t your area of expertise? Invite an expert to go live on your account.  Maybe you can curate a list of questions from your audience that they can answer.

Thank you for using your space on the internet to make a difference.  

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