Monday, April 8, 2013

The Social Series: Instagram

Discussing dos and don'ts of social media.

Instagram is a mobile-based app and traditionally considered a personal application. As Elise once said, "Instagram is like a peek into your soul." But, it's not only a peek into a person's soul, but also a business's soul. A lot of businesses use the app as part of their branding strategies. And it should be part of yours, too.

Instagram is the perfect creative outlet to showcase your personality, interests and hobbies. Whether you want it to or not, Instagram is part of your digital footprint. Make sure your footprint is a positive one. You never know who will see it.

  • Post photos of yourself: A la Facebook: Pictures of you with friends or places you're visiting are great for your Instagram feed.
  • Make your account private: Unlike Twitter (GM Social Media guru, Mary Henige, once told me your Twitter should be public--if it's not you're doing it wrong), personal Instagram accounts can be private because they're not typically considered part of your professional social networking circle. But don't expect much interaction if your account is private. You should consider making it public if you do have it linked to or listed on your LinkedIn or Twitter account.
  • Engage: Reply to comments, comment on others' posts, like photos, use hashtags, etc. If there's a way to engage, do it. 
  • Caption photos: While a picture is worth a 1000 words, some Instagram photos are worth more with a caption.
  • Selfies: Yes, there is a difference between photos of yourself and selfies. Selfies are stereotypically a self-taken headshot--it's your face and not much else. In the case of girls, it's often your face and your cleavage. While this garners a lot of likes, it's not the most creative way to fill your Instagram feed. And people will think you're narcissistic. But of course, everyone has at least one selfie. Keep selfies as minimal as possible. 
  • Request private accounts you don't know: This is a fine line rule: If a private account already has a lot of followers or is following a lot of people, it's probably safe to request. But if an account doesn't have a lot of followers or doesn't follow many, the person most likely only accepts people he or she knows. 
Remember, Instagram is supposed to be fun and interactive. It's social media! But also remember, it's social media and, for the most part, public. Use your best judgement.

Elise and I have public Instagrams, so feel free to follow us!

@esabak, @jrgrotto

Do you have any Instagram rules you care to share? Let us know! Drop us an email or chirp us on Twitter!

Until next time, kiddos!

- J 

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