4 Ways Brands Can Use Instagram’s New Slideshow Feature

Instagram launched a new feature this week that allows you to upload up to 10 photos in one post. It is a swipe-to-view slideshow. Personal translation: I can now show close-up shots of my beagle’s precious ears, eyes, whiskers, and tail in one post – oh boy! Hopefully brands will utilize this new update in a more productive way. Here are four ideas to get you started.

1. Before, During and After

You no longer have to rely on a video or collage to show your work in progress. This works beautifully for nonprofits wanting to show the progress of their good work. For example, as a Social Media Manager at MiracleFeet, I’ll be using this feature to show kids before treatment, during the casting, and the happy after photo with one upload. Love it!

India before and after TW

2. In the Making

Similar to the above, but with more of an emphasis of starting from scratch and ending with a finished product. I’d like to see a brewery use this idea for crafting a new seasonal ale. This would also work well for restaurants, cleaning services, contractors, etc…

3. Zoom Out

For a more artistic (and mysterious!) approach, take a series of photos that start crazy focused in on something and zoom out with each new shot. Envision a gorgeous, intricate flower at a nursery: at first you just see vibrant colors, then a hint of a petal, and finally the whole bloom to announce hydrangeas are on sale.

Flower collage

4. Events

You no longer have to worry about picking your 1-2 favorite photos from an event to share. Highlight your event by sharing photos in order, so fans can experience set-up to after-hours. We will certainly see this used by brands and celebrities this Sunday for the Oscars.

Add those hashtags and get posting. #Slideshow already shows over 70k posts. So, what are you waiting for? Get started, ‘Grammers!


#GivingTuesday Planning: Create a Standout Theme

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving after the sales and sparkle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, #GivingTuesday takes place on November 29, 2016. This social media event is a fun and easy way to kick-off your end of year campaign and engage your donors. There’s no excuse for nonprofits skip this event. Last year, over 70,000 people participated and raised about $116,000,000 online.

To ensure you make the most of the day, all your marketing efforts (social media content, emails, newsletters, etc…) should all be coordinated around a standout theme. You want your theme to match your brand voice, style and guidelines, but this particular campaign should be unique enough to shine above your regular content and cut through the abundant amount of content that will be pushed out that day by other nonprofits. Creating that stellar theme can be a bit daunting, so here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Cause & Effect

You always want to show your donors how their support makes a difference and #GivingTuesday is an excellent way to visually illustrate impact. For example, you can start each hour with a photo that shows something missing without your help, the call to action in your copy should be the dollar amount/action needed to satisfy the goal, then end the hour with the missing object fulfilled.

SPCA of Wake County mock-up example:

Add color to this pic! Donate $5 this hour to give our shelter dogs toys to pounce on. [link] #GivingTuesday

before SPCA

You did it! We raised $100 in an hour and now Bella and her friends will have fun toys to chase. #GivingTuesday

Photo via @SPCAWake

Every hour can be a new black and white photo brought to life by your followers donations.

2. Humor

Humor doesn’t always have a place in the nonprofit world as their missions are usually very serious. However, if it is acceptable for your organization, #GivingTuesday may be the perfect opportunity for you to push the envelope a bit.

Pretty “ballsy” humor from the Alabama Spray/Neuter Program:


More subtle humor can work, too:


3. Milestone Moments

Keep momentum moving throughout the day by setting milestone goals and rewards. Set an hourly donation or volunteer sign-up goal and once that goal is reached, you can post a coupon code from a sponsor or a thank you video from a celebrity.

4. Challenges

Everyone loves a challenge, especially sharing challenges they accomplished. From walking challenges to photo contests, there are so many ways to ask your followers to step up on #GivingTuesday to help raise funds and/or awareness of your organization’s efforts.

photo contest

A well thought out theme will keep your #GivingTuesday campaign consistent and memorable. Regardless of your theme, remember to constantly engage and thank your participants throughout the day.

Need help establishing your campaign goals and strategy? Shoot me a message at kristina at littleenginesocialmedia dot com

5 Social Media Tactics to Boost Creativity

The dreaded blank page. All that white space. It’s the stuff of nightmares.


Whether you are a content creator, community manager or author, it is your job to transform all that white space into a spellbinding, revenue machine.

Easy, right?

No. This is what turns my hair gray. Why do we put ourselves through this? Simple–the light bulb moment is unbelievably satisfying. This moment isn’t always going to happen at your desk or your usual writing spot at your home. Time to pack up and head out in search of your next ah-ha moment.

1. Hit the Gym

This could actually be going for a run, using the elliptical in your house or lifting weights at the gym. Fresh oxygen will flow through your noggin and breathe new life into your ideas.

TIP: Keep your phone handy with a notes app open or bring a notepad and pen, so you don’t forget any of your ideas.

2. Visit an Animal Shelter

This may seem like an odd choice, but hear me out. All those furry babies have a story that is usually written on an info card or you can ask an employee or volunteer. Their history, attributes and quirks can be thought provoking for authors to big brand copywriters. If you’re looking to get away from a clinical or traditional approach to brainstorming, this option could be for you.

TIP: Be sure to leave a donation before you go! Better yet, if you’re a responsible human being, take a pet home and love them forever and forever.

3. (Nerd Alert) Go to the Library

Remember those big structures with shelves of books? Those are libraries and they are filled with light bulbs just waiting to be turned on.

TIP: Don’t immediately go to your genre. If you write for a realty company, hit up the fantasy section. Write romance? Grab a few pop culture magazines. This will force your brain to really think outside the box.

4. Word Race at a Coffee Shop

Grab a buddy for a fun brainstorming session over a cup of Joe. Come prepared with 8-10 questions related to the content you need to write on individual note cards. Let’s say you need to create content for a rental car company for a summer road trip campaign. Here are some sample questions you may ask:

  • What do people love about road trips?
  • How could things go wrong on a road trip?
  • Where did you travel as a kid?

note cards edited

Put your note cards face down on the table, set your phone to a 30-second timer, and flip over a card. You both write as many answers as possible per card. The person with the most answers at the end of the game gets a drink on the loser. Either way, you walk away with a stack of content ideas.

5. Go Camping

Ah, the great outdoors. Relaxing, but it also forces you outside your normal routine. You have to build a shelter, start a fire, and cook a meal on a stick. Think about your content needs and ask yourself how your brand could be used to help or what trouble your characters could get into while alone in the woods.

TIP: Take lots of photos. Take photos of your campsite and things you see when you go for a hike. You can reflect upon these images later for more ideas.

Get your butt out of your chair and go find your next light bulb moment. Be sure to share it with me when you do!