As one of the fastest growing social media sites, Instagram now has 100 million active users (Whittman, 2013). It is my go to social networking sites because I believe that pictures say 1,000 words. Everyone can be a photographer and capture any moment they are ready for. The editing capabilities, along with other apps, like PicStitch, allow for endless amounts of unique posts. You are able to connect with celebrities, companies, friends, family, sports teams, and more. The world is shrinking with every new social media technology available. Instagram is a way for people to build their brand, whether it is personal or business related.
Public Relations professionals need to become comfortable with Instagram. Lucia Davis wrote an article titled, “6 Instagram Tips for PR Pros” in PR News. He says that PR pros should follow 6 steps when launching an Instagram campaign. Those are: To start with a clear start and end date, to engage with other Instagram users, to leverage other blogger’s and influencer’s followers by teaming up, to use third-party editing apps, to share photos with more people through hashtags and to host a contest as a way to engage existing and new fans (Davis, 2013). Major companies can benefit greatly by using Instagram when launching a major campaign. Based on what Davis says, it is important to network and connect with other influencers because you can also reach their followers.
PR professionals can communicate and improve a brand through Instagram. Jenny Wittman’s article, “Instagram- The PR Perspective” in Cision Navigator, describes the positive impact that Instagram has on companies that stay relevant with social media (Wittman, 2013). PR professional, Natasha Koifman (mentioned in the article) believes in the effectiveness of hashtags and its ability to reach a variety of different audiences. Another PR professional, Leila Lewis discusses the popularity of Instagram in the wedding industry. Different companies will benefit more from Instagram than others (Wittman, 2013). Choosing the right image is not an easy task. PR professionals have to take into consideration what the audience will be drawn to and what will have the most visual impact. Creativity is important in the field because everyone has the ability to use the same social media tools to whether you are a professional or part of the audience.
As an frequent Instagram user myself, I would recommend limiting the amount of hastags used, posting clear and appropriate photos, taking advantage of the editing features offered, tagging other users, using the newly released video feature, and interacting appropriately with users that comment. Remaining professional is key. Having fun and being creative with Instagram will engage people and catch their eye immediately! Start new trends.