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11 Types of Photos Nonprofits Should Post on Social Media

June 25, 2012

My Return on Investment (ROI) from using Pinterest to promote Nonprofit Organizations is somewhere between minimal and better-than-expected, but using the site on a regular basis has fundamentally changed how I think about social media and the people who use it. In the same way that Twitter forced me to rethink online messaging in 2008 and onward, Pinterest has made it abundantly clear that expecting our online supporters and donors to read even only 140-characters can sometimes be too much to ask. The barrage of messages we all experience on a hourly basis now is without a doubt changing how the online commons processes online messaging – and that means if your nonprofit wants to stand out and get your messages through all the clutter,  nonprofit communications and fundraising staff are going to have to evolve quickly in their skill sets and become more adept at visual storytelling.

To get started, nonprofit social media managers need to learn and feel comfortable with taking a lot of photos at events, on the street, in the office, and on site visits. You are going to need to know where to find photos online and how to source them. You’ll need to invest in a photo-editing software or app that will allow you to edit, crop and insert text or your nonprofit’s logo or avatar into your photos. And finally, a good social media manager will be empowered with a smartphone or  tablet to take, edit and post photos in real time – and at the expense of the nonprofit! Nonprofits communications and fundraising staff should not be expected to use their personal smartphone and tablet for work purposes unless compensated. The deeper you get into mobile, the more you realize you do not want your personal and professional lives entangled on the Mobile Web. Over the last six months I have been pondering heavily this popular concept that “Social media is free!” and how destructive it is. Like any other communications and fundraising tool, social media requires staff time, training, experience, hardware and software.

All that said, the good – no great – news is that that the photos that work well on Pinterest also work incredibly well on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc. Pintersest has made me a much better social media manager and it will do the same for you. It’s a real eye-opener. If you are accustomed to only getting a trickle of Retweets, Likes, Comments, or +1’s, then start working with the eleven types of images below and the engagement you seek on social media will no longer be so elusive:

1. Photos with Inspirational Quotes:

Pinned on Pinterest by Trees, Water & People

2. Photos with Powerful Statistics:

Posted on Facebook by the One Campaign

3. Inspirational Quotes and Powerful Stats as Images:

Posted on Facebook by Rio+Social

Posted on Facebook by the National Committee to Protect
Social Security & Medicare 

4. Photos with Your Nonprofit’s Logo or Avatar

Pinned on Pinterest by the World Wildlife Fund – Germany

5.”Oh, Wow” Photos

Pinned on Pinterest by WildAid

6. “Ah, Pretty” Photos

Pinned on Pinterest by the Peaks Foundation

7. “Aw, Cute” Photos

Shared on Google+ by Big Cat Rescue

8.  Thought-Provoking Photos

Pinned on Pinterst by Greenpeace East Asia

9. Infographics

Posted on Facebook by Save the Rhino International

10. Quirky and Humorous Photos

Tweeted on Twitter by Rock the Vote

11. Call to Action Photos

Pinned on Pinterst by Project 7

Related Links:
Webinar: YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest for Nonprofits
[INFOGRAPHIC] How to Get More Likes, Shares on Facebook 

24 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2012 7:50 am

    Great post. You’ve inspired me to create more Pins with graphic & educational elements. Also, you’ve given me some great new non-profits to follow. Thank you.

  2. Mark permalink
    June 25, 2012 9:15 am

    We should call this Return on Pinvestment.

    • Viviana Pagán - SOS Children´s Villages Latin America permalink
      July 21, 2012 4:02 am

      Excellent! haha

  3. June 25, 2012 2:10 pm

    Oh dear! Better get my pinterest account. I admit to resisting! Thanks for the heads up.

  4. June 26, 2012 11:51 am

    Great post, we’ll link to it from our blog if you don’t mind!

  5. Denise School permalink
    June 26, 2012 2:46 pm

    Great post. I have a question for you and anyone else who has an opinion on smartphones and which ones they prefer to use as social media managers. Does anyone have a preference?

    • Joel permalink
      July 2, 2012 9:41 pm

      well it depends if you like Android or the iPhone.

  6. June 26, 2012 7:01 pm

    Great post as always! Have you considered compiling all in a book? If so please make it available for international delivery. Thanks for writing!

  7. July 1, 2012 10:33 am

    Reblogged this on 101 Ways to Make Friends and commented:
    blogging about social media… one of our favourite topics!

  8. July 4, 2012 6:56 am

    Terrific post! I’m still new to Pinterest, and always looking for creative ways to use it in our field. Much obliged!

  9. July 9, 2012 2:08 am

    Great post — helps us break out of our habits — and great examples, too. Thanks.

  10. July 18, 2012 11:48 am

    Thanks for the eye opener Aaron!

  11. August 12, 2012 8:53 am

    Reblogged this on txwikinger's blog.

  12. August 15, 2012 6:32 am

    Great post! I am new to Pinterest and am still wondering how to use it for the nonprofit organization I founded, HispanEduca (@HispanEduca) and its bilingual, news digital platform we are launching in October! Look forward to become more Pinterested.

  13. December 14, 2012 2:54 am

    Am I right in thinking there is a website where you can search inspirational quotes?


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  3. 11 Types of Photos Nonprofits Should Post on Social Media | txwikinger-cloud-computing |
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