My Thoughts On Instagram

This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Hailey discusses the social media platform Instagram and how to use for your brand.

Instagram is pretty cool. I can’t deny that. It takes ordinary pictures and makes them look extraordinary, maybe. It’ll turn a sunset into a sunset with a sepia tone, or a plate of pasta into a plate of pasta that just looks a little cooler. All joking aside, that’s what has made it so popular. It lets us feel creative and allows us to see things a little bit differently. It brings out the artist in all of us.

I don’t use the app very often, but my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with Instagrammed shots. Some of them really are neat, but others just make me want to eat and then go on a de-friending spree. I think some people abuse Instagram and take WAY too many pictures of their meals. Last night while I was out to eat with my mom, I watched the girl at the table next to us take and upload pictures of her drink, her appetizer, her entre and then her empty plate. Unnecessary. I personally don’t really care what other people eat, but for those who do, check out my InstaGRAHAM CRACKER.

In just two years, Instagram has acquired more than 50 million users. Although many of these Instagrammers use the app for their own personal pleasure, many brands and companies use it as well. Hosting an Instagram contest is a good way to use the app to interact with users. For example, almost weekly, Red Bull runs contests asking users to use a specific hashtag depicting that week’s theme. This week happens to be #SummerIsComing. To win, users must:

  1. Find the week’s theme
  2. Snap a photo
  3. Tag the pics
  4. Rack up the votes
  5. Win prizes! (The grand prize is a trip to X Games 2012)

Brands obviously don’t have to run a contest to engage with Instagrammers, but it’s definitely a good idea. Even simply uploading Instagrammed pictures of products is a step in the right direction. TJ MAXX does a good job of re-tweeting consumers who have tweeted Instagrammed pictures of their finds.

Like most of the other social media sites we’ve already been introduced to, this one is also great. Brands and companies should take advantage of it, but keep in mind that like other platforms, they need to use it appropriately and consistently. And unless you’re a chef or food-related business, please refrain from making me drool by uploading dozens and dozens of filtered pictures of mouth watering food. Thanks.

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