Every month, 700 million people around the world sign in to Instagram and 80% of them follow at least one business or organization. These data make Instagram one more reason our mobile phones have become an incredibly powerful tool for reaching, informing, and motivating people with HIV messages.
There are a lot of national and community HIV organizations using Instagram well, and we wanted to take a moment to highlight a few. But we’d also love to hear from you. Leave a comment on our Instagram page to give your organization a shout out.
To connect with their audience, Whitman-Walker Health encourages photo and video sharing and highlights a diverse set of individuals throughout its channels. On its Instagram profile, Whitman-Walker Health’s consistent use of bright colors and energetic images match their website design and overall branding. The primary colors of the organization’s logo are reflected in the photos and sometimes enhanced with filters. Their images, along with other social media, are also integrated across platforms. They use Instagram to announce events, drive event sign-ups on their Facebook page, and serve as accompanying images for blog posts.
“The vision and strategy behind our Instagram presence is serving community. There are so many ways to be of service to people. Whether it’s a post highlighting the latest statistics on HIV prevalence to keep people informed, creating an opportunity for our clients to engage with us outside of a care visit by sharing an event, or telling them that we’ll be there to help them navigate through open enrollment and that they can always call on us, we want to be of service.” -Jewel Addy, External Affairs Manager, Whitman-Walker Health
With a following of over 2,000 individuals, the Black AIDS Institute’s (BAI) Instagram profile also demonstrates consistent visual branding throughout its content. The channel uses a variety of styles and formats to highlight people of color, including a mix of studio photography and pictures of individuals engaged in community advocacy and policy work. To connect with their users, BAI’s images are combined with compelling captions and relevant hashtags. They also actively engage with their audience in the comments section, responding to questions about events, campaigns, testing, and other issues. Lastly, BAI regularly updates the link in their bio to connect followers with events and timely resources.
“Instagram is an important part of the Black AIDS Institute’s digital communications toolkit and we use it in 3 ways: Share positive images of Black Americans who are proactively fighting HIV in Black communities; Reach young, Black, gay and bisexual men through personal storytelling campaigns like “In The Life“; Raising the personal and first person voices of Black people most impacted by HIV/AIDS” – Phill Wilson, President and CEO, Black AIDS Institute
A Day with HIV, observed annually on September 22nd, mobilizes people around the country to combat stigma through their social media posts. The campaign, which is the primary focus of the Instagram profile, encourages user-generated content on a specific day to create maximum impact – a strategy similar to creating a Thunderclap on Twitter. The content uses clear, close-up pictures of people’s faces to create an immediate emotional connection with the audience. By highlighting content from previous years, they can educate participants on the best kinds of images to take and share during the awareness day.
We’d also like to give a shout out to some of our federal colleagues who have great Instagram profiles. If you don’t already follow these HIV government accounts, take a minute to check them out:
Don’t forget to follow HIV.gov on Instagram and, for more resources, check out these recent blogs posts: