As a young adult, having a strong social media presence is as important for my social life as for my professional career. There are many social media applications that are used by people to express their thoughts and share ideas with friends and colleagues. Instagram is one of the most common social media platforms in which users engage with each other by sharing pictures and videos. As an incentive to join Instagram, the Instagram statistics report reveals that Instagram has “400 million monthly active users” (Smith, 2016). But how exactly did Instagram become such a sensation among people? It all started when it was launched in 2010 as a simple iOS app to share modified pictures with cool filters. Its popularity increased even more by releasing adaptations to Androids and when Facebook bought it in 2012. After that, Instagram accounts were enabled to link to existing Facebook profiles, increasing the number of users. A few recent modifications include video feature of only 15 seconds length, and direct messaging to a specific user. It is important to know that, “Instagram is all about visual sharing. Every user profile has a “Followers” and “Following” count, representing how many people they follow and how many other users are follow them” (Moreau, 2015).
Did You Know?
Instagram has being link with many other websites and applications. In fact, “Social media management platform HootSuite also recently announced the addition of Instagram to its app directory. This gives HootSuite users access to almost all of Instagram’s features, which include searching, viewing and liking content, adding comments and sharing photos to other social platforms” (Au, 2012).
In order to connect with people through Instagram the following aspects are required:
1.An account needs to be created, either with a person’s Facebook account or with his/her email.
2.Select an username and set up a password
3.Add a profile with your interests and information (optional)
4.Link another accounts (Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr) to connect with contacts and share the same pictures in other social media platforms.
5.Depending on individual preferences, set account to private this way pictures can only be seen by followers and not public
6.Double tap on images to like them, or click on the heart shape symbol under the picture
7.Follow people with common interests; some users have set their account to private mode, so in order to follow them a request must be sent.
8.Post picture by selecting the desired image, modify it (apply filter, crop it, change the brightness, saturation, adjust color) and add a caption.
9.Add Hashtags # to pictures so more people will see it.
10.Other users can be tagged on pictures by adding @ and the username. Ex. @sarahluciah.
11.The location can be added as well in the picture.
Instagram is also a great channel for small businesses and companies to interact with their public and expose their products. Brands and businesses can benefit by sharing pictures of products in creative ways that motivate their customer to leave comments and thoughts. An Instagram account can also be used as a way to humanize a business and establish a two way communication with stakeholders. Interesting post strategies like pictures of the behind scenes from a campaign, the before and after the use of the product, exclusive information about promotions and events, sneak peaks of upcoming products, services and locations, capture the attention of customers and potential ones. An example of this is seen in the Mango post of equipment behind the scenes of a photoshoot.
Another example of attempting to public engagement by Mango is seen just by posting a picture of their products.
Instagram can be used in many ways. From an communication strategy applied by a business to a way to interact with friends and family, this media platform will continue increasing as many people discover their practical and easy way to express ideas through pictures.
Moreau, E. (2015, August 3). What Is Instagram. Retrieved February 21, 2016, from http://webtrends.about.com/od/prof4/a/What-Is-Instagram-Wiki.htm
Smith, C. (2016, January 19). By The Numbers: 160+ Interesting Instagram Statistics (January 2016). Retrieved February 21, 2016, from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/important-instagram-stats/
Au, V. (2012, October 3). 10 Creative Ways to Use Instagram for Busniess. Retrieved February 21, 2016, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/instagram/