I’ve got an Instagram, now what do I do?

I wanted to talk a little further on Instagram this week, why it might be the right tool for some self-promotion. While having a Facebook page is almost essential it might not longer the best way to get attention. Facebook serves as a more of a guestbook or holding space for all the other media available.

 

This is a mobile based, real time sharing platform gives users a way to combine visual and text to grab consumers. Originally designed to pick up where twitter failed in the image-sharing realm, there is now a whole new tactic to being a super user. What Instagram allows you to do is make visual statement and expand on it with text. For me I might post a picture of post a picture of some students inside of a museum trailer and in the text put something like “Students from @WestMiddleSchool are learning to Think Like an Artist with #DIAaway. Come see us @WestboroLibrary 2/14-2/17”. To create that text I needed to do a quick search to find out if the attending middle school has a twitter or Instagram account, I need to know the event hashtag and search for the event sites Instagram or twitter. In the end all easy steps if you want to create maximum impact.

 

Instagram primarily uses a square format but now also allows for wider images and helps a user with some simple editing along with pre-set filters. Each filter allows members to add to the overall mood you want to create. For a museum program with kids I want to make sure the image looks bright and colors bold.

 

Now that I have the image and text ready I will choose what additional forums I want this image to be shared on. This is exactly why Instagram is such a great tool, it creates content for other platforms. I would choose to share this image on the Facebook page that Josh and I have set up for our professional lives (not my personal page), the twitter feed for our professional lives, and possibly foursquare/swarm (this is a geotagging app that would make that image available to anyone looking at the location on one of those platforms). There are even further options as they fit your current needs. The benefits are that you are easily creating content to push out to whatever platform desired users are seeking. Using the hashtag and @user connection you helps a post to reach even further.

 

The complicated element of Instagram is choosing hashtags, figuring out the right ones to use takes some time. By searching some terms within the app you can hook onto what is popular and will fit your needs. Don’t hesitate to search via a tag you came up with then look at what other terms are used on popular posts. You’ll quickly be able to take part in the discussion.

 

**For my regular readers this post has a slightly different format, as it is part of my coarse work for SNHU.

 

Keller, K.L. (2013) Strategic brand management: building, measuring and managing brand equity. Pearson Education, Inc. Fourth Edition

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

 

Streatfield, B. (2015, December 23). “Rise of a tech giant: the history of Instagram”. The Telegraph. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/technology-video/12064686/Rise-of-a-tech-giant-the-history-of-Instagram.html

 

 

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How Social are you?

How many different social media accounts do you have? I’m guess there are even a few you have forgotten you signed up for. I’m certainly guilty of this, checking out something new then losing interest as it fails to gain participants or just doesn’t appeal to me (and can someone please explain Snapchat to me). This really isn’t a problem, when Josh or I decided to quit a platform. We are our own brand yes, but few people look for us outside of this blog, instead we get found on those networks. There isn’t going to be a great deal of capital lost from Josh taking a break from Twitter when we aren’t on a business to consumer program. However a larger brand, let’s say my employer must be a bit more strategic.

 

There was a great deal of buzz around the marketing department when MRA decided to start an Instagram account. This would be a companion to their existing presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These other accounts are managed by multiple members of the team who coordinate and monitor the content. Instagram in an increasingly popular and powerful platform for brands. So why would you want to wait to join in? Well, one major reason to be strategic is time. Until an organization has a plan for who will manage and when content will be added, it’s best to wait. There is also the element of listening that must be attended to, who is going to then monitor this new account and interact with followers?

 

Winter is definitely here as Josh, one of our drivers, discovered yesterday! #MRAmobile #LifeOnTheRoad

A photo posted by MRA mobile experiential (@mra_experiential) on Dec 21, 2015 at 12:59pm PST

 

Another reason to wait and evaluate the usefulness of a particular platform, is having the right content. Will the managing team members be able to gather enough appropriate and engaging material to make the efforts rewarding. Speaking of reward, what can this particular platform give an organization, the return on investment. If one employee is going to be dedicated to only monitoring and managing social media accounts, what is that cost and the cost of tasks that must now be reassigned? Are these social interactions going to lead to new business? There are certainly a number of industries and business that won’t see any benefit from platforms like Facebook or Instagram. A mobile experiential firm is not one of those. Without the right combination of presence on media platforms we could easily look outdated to a protective client. Many firms seeking these kinds of services aren’t necessary going to find a vendor on Instagram but they might be engaged enough to make an inquiry.

Winter is definitely here as Josh, one of our drivers, discovered yesterday! #MRAmobile #LifeOnTheRoad

A photo posted by MRA mobile experiential (@mra_experiential) on Dec 21, 2015 at 12:59pm PST

 

By having a presence on selective social platform, firms like MRA can give prospective clients great insight into how we do business and what we provide. While Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all placed that MRA shares a mixture of information about their business and the industry, Instragram is becoming a place to get to know the people behind the projects.

 

**For my regular readers this post has a slightly different format, as it is part of my coarse work for SNHU.

 

Keller, K.L. (2013) Strategic brand management: building, measuring and managing brand equity. Pearson Education, Inc. Fourth Edition

Kumar, V., & Mirchandani, R. (2012). Increasing the ROI of social media marketing. MIT sloan management review, 54(1), 55.

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

Streatfield, B. (2015, December 23). “Rise of a tech giant: the history of Instagram”. The Telegraph. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/technology-video/12064686/Rise-of-a-tech-giant-the-history-of-Instagram.html