We know your first love is Pinterest, but if you’re open to a new relationship, we suggest Instagram. It’s an awesome avenue to bring out your artsy side and experiment with the photography skills you wish you had. Kinda like the online version of the Polaroid (I miss those!!!), Instagram helps you capture quick instant moments that otherwise fall through the cracks.
As Pinterest has become more user friendly, Instagram is their poster child. Mosey on over to the other side of image-friendly social media and bask in the joy of professional, artsy pics.
The App is First
Download the app for your mobile device before anything else. While you can view and comment on Instagram on your PC, the pictures you take will be from your smart phone.
Sign up for an account and choose an artsy or funny username. It’ll take you far in this game. If you have a twitter handle, use that (or a version of it) to keep things unified across the board.
Spend the time to fill out your profile. If you aren’t sure what kinds of pictures you’ll be taking, you can always fill that out as your Instagram takes shape.
The Filters, the Filters!
I love the filter option Instagram. The photo filter options and cropping methods are simply off the hook! After you’ve taken your picture, spend some time familiarizing yourself with each filter. They can truly polish your pictures and make them look professionally filtered with one tap.
Think of Instagram as a mixture of Pinterest and Twitter. Combine creative pictures with artsy filters and add a catchy headline… and all of your friends will think you’ve become a photographer overnight!
Social Site Connections
Connect all your social sites. This is simple when you’re setting up the app on your phone, it will prompt you to connect at startup.
With Facebook, you have the opportunity to publish either to your business page or keep the “share setting” as “wall default.” Hint: depending on the image, it may be best to switch back and forth between business and personal profiles so your fans and friends aren’t seeing the same image.
Be conscious of what you’re posting where. Clogging the feed on every social media with the same picture isn’t effective branding. Pick and choose where you’ll place each picture to keep it interesting.
Make it Personal
I’ve often talked about personalizing your accounts, especially anonymous ones like Twitter and Instagram.
These sites are more about “a day in the life of…” than some of the other more integrated social media sites. Twitter is the textual version. Instagram is video and image.
Take pictures of your morning coffee break, your outfit for the day (fashion is HUGE on Instagram) or a silly picture of the note your husband left on the counter. Think quaint and comical. Think minimal.
The pictures that do the best on Instagram are close-ups, natural shots, and fashion or style. Creating a niche for yourself will help users to recognize you.
A fairly new feature is the 15-second video option. It’s a short clip that adds depth to your Instagram. Play around with that option to accent your account.
Many successful Instagram users get there because of their text. The title below the photo is just as important.
This includes hashtags. Research effective hashtags to get your pics out there in the general feed. And… please don’t throw hashtags in front of any and every phrase. That’s just bad practice on any site. Don’t forget to study Instagram sponsored posts to bone up on your recent history.
Comment to your heart’s content, connect with others, and tag your friends as you explore this new and visually stimulating social media site!!!
Here’s your chance to add your thoughts. What do you love about Instagram?