Guest Post by Rob Marsh, Communications Specialist, Cherryland Electric Cooperative

If you are like me, your co-op’s Facebook calendar is jam-packed with content: event reminders, safety tips, co-op news, etc. And just when you think you’ve organized it all, someone sends you a photo of a lineworker in the field.

*Sigh* Well, it was nice while it lasted.

As much as we would like to say that we lost the photo, we have to find a place for it. But do we have to tarnish the sanctity of our Facebook calendar?

Instagram is the answer to our prayers. It’s another opportunity to enhance your member engagement through great photos and relieve the pressure on that calendar.

Kick-starting an Instagram page can be intimidating. Here are several things I learned about launching a co-op Instagram page:

Gotta Keep It Real

Your Instagram page is a direct reflection of your co-op. I am assuming that not every employee at your co-op looks like they jumped out of a TV commercial with a model-like physique and a smile that could stop traffic.

People want to relate to what they are seeing. Your content doesn’t have to be pretty. Use your people (tag ‘em) in real situations in recognizable places (geotag ‘em). They want that “I know that guy!” or “I’ve been there!” moment. It makes themfeel like they are a part of your content and hopefully feel like a part of the co-op.

 Lineworkers Make the Best Photographers…

…and make sure they know that. Lineworkers are your greatest ally when it comes to building a truly amazing photo library. They can get to places we just can’t go. They see things we will never be able to see. We want them to have their phone ready when that great shot arises. Even if the shot is not-so-great, make sure they know that they are appreciated and maybe toss it up there anyway (that’s why they make filters, right?). Happy lineworkers equal happy photo library.


We have all seen posts that were followed by a mass of hashtags. Who in their right might mind wants to read 10-20 hashtags?

Think of it this way: a list of hashtags is like a bunch of gateways to your content. Right now, someone somewhere is clicking on #linework, #hardhat, or #energy because he or she wants to see everything related to that hashtag. You want your content to be included! By including hashtags, you are creating multiple opportunities for a fellow Instagram-er to interact with your content.

Show the Love

Instagram is not a one-way street.

If you want build a great, interactive audience, you have to be a great, interactive audience member yourself. Follow fellow co-ops, follow your biggest supporters on Facebook and Twitter, follow people and businesses just because you think their content is cool. Not only follow, but actually interact with their content. You are already on Instagram; why not enjoy it?

All in all, people use Instagram because it is light and fun. If you are having a good time developing (HA!) and posting content to your co-op’s page, your audience will have a good time too.