We Think

Shake it with an Instagram picture

Written By:admin

My friends Hudson, Valencia and Sierra have been coming with me everywhere lately. Sometimes they come to work with me, sometimes we go to a bar in downtown Raleigh and sometimes we just hang out at my apartment with my cat Pixel.

However, these friends aren’t people — they’re Instagram filters.

I’ve been an Instagram user for a couple of years now. For the first year I used it, it was kind-of a niche product that only a few of my friends were using too. However, everyone seems to know about it now that the free, photo-sharing application is available on both the iPhone and the Android, and now that Facebook just acquired it for $1 billion last month.

A few friends have asked me what all the Instagram fuss is about, so let me clear it up.

Instagram lets users turn their cell phone pictures into digital homages to vintage film photographs. While I wouldn’t recommend shaking your smartphone like a Polaroid picture, the myriad filters the app offers morph potentially mundane photos into small, square masterpieces. Then, users can share their images on a host of third-party social networking services including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr and Flickr. Users can also follow other users as well as “heart” and comment on their images. It’s pretty straightforward.

Last fall, I read a great TechCrunch article by Nate Bolt that details the app’s fascinating popularity. Bolt says people love the app’s high quality images and filters, its unique audience and its easy, instant ability to share visuals.

Brands can use Instagram too. In fact, several big-name brands are already on Instagram, including Threadless, Starbucks and GE, to name a few.

The trick, however, is to keep followers interested. Instagram and Fast Company agree: To make your brand’s Instagram feed successful, you’ve got to do more than just sell products.


Sunset over Sanford

Sunset over Sanford

Pixel

My feline muse, Pixel

Oranges

Orange you glad it's snack time?

Bella

Taking a break to walk Cameron's dog Bella

Time entry

Tracking time spent on jobs


Show your followers why they should be your customers (and vice versa) by telling your company’s story. With an editorial eye and your unique perspective, parade photos of your employees, your headquarters, your staff retreat, Dan’s birthday cake, Casual Friday, your booth at a trade show, your new brochures fresh from the printer, a sneak peek of your new product… Basically, post any photo that expresses your culture without pushing your brand — the possibilities are pretty much endless. Show the behind-the-scenes as well as the scenes, but make your content meaningful.

Then, add a filter and share your photos on your company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts as well. And don’t forget to use a hashtag or tag your location.

Let your viewers know how much you like working where you work, that you like crafting a brand and the products you make. Show them why you think they should keep an eye on the trends you’re setting. If I can procure followers, you can too.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll follow you too.



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