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Archive for February, 2012

Instagram is a free iPhone app (although Android is currently developing a prototype) that allows users to edit cell phone photos using different Photoshop filters and techniques. Then, users share their photos through various social media sites. The following of Instagram by its users has shaped Instagram’s purpose and direction from initially sharing photos because of their content (similar to Facebook’s purpose) to sharing artistic photos documenting one’s life or daily activities. This shift gave Instagram an interesting niche in the app selection and became tremendously successful; during their first year in business, the six-person company had nearly 10 million users and had over 200 million photos uploaded.

Personally, I find Instagram intriguing. I wish I had an iPhone so I could be more connected with social media in general — not to mention my $10 phone is less than reliable. But Instagram seems like a great way to utilize cell phone photos to capture and document your life in an artistic, fun and easy way. However, for an organization’s purposes, Instagram’s function differs slightly.

An organization’s public relations/marketing department could use Instagram in a variety of ways to engage their audience and represent their message/product in an artistic way. However, organizations have to be aware of how they capture and present their Instagram photography. Photos should not be arbitrary, unfocused or mundane. Every photo should have a purpose and a theme that conveys the organization’s overall message. Using imagery that captures an organization’s essence is key to keeping their brand image consistent. Also, placing an emphasis on the artistic side is very important, because that is why people choose to use Instagram, otherwise they would post unedited pictures.

Burberry Instagram Photos

For example, Burberry’s Instagram photos seen above are not so much focused on their products are they are the artistic value of the photo. Angles, tone, lighting, etc. Instagram is meant to convey feeling rather than information (although it can do both).

Another use for Instagram lies in engaging the audience through competing for best Instagram photo. Photo competitions are great for engaging the audience and fostering active participation. An organization may ask their social media followers to post a picture that relates to a theme in their current ad campaign or ask their followers to post Instagram photos of what their favorite fashion trend of the moment is, etc. This app is versatile and can be catered to the message/product of the organization, not to mention, it is a great visual tool to garner engagement and interest for any organization’s social media sites.

 

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