Ahh…social media. An absolute must for business owners, and an addiction for others. My route to social media use was certainly business oriented, and after using different ones now for several years I definitely have my favorites. I started with a Facebook business page, which seemed like a fairly easy transition from a personal Facebook page. Twitter came next, although it is actually more difficult for me to write short tweets sometimes than blog posts. After a friend suggested I try Pinterest I found myself hooked on this social media, although I think of it more as visual bookmarks and don’t find myself engaging in the social media part as much. Then came Instagram. My Instagram. Why had I not explored it further at an earlier date? I love photography, so this social media just seemed like a very natural fit for me. It is definitely now ranked as my favorite social media.
Here are ten great reasons to love Instagram:
1. It actually works as social media. Meaning that you really can easily engage with other Instagram users. The Instagram app allows you to quickly scroll through your feed and “heart” user photos you like and leave comments. It is easy to make friends from around the world!
2. As with Facebook, you are able to easily read through all comments so that interaction between users is encouraged. Just type the @ symbol in front of a friend/users name in the comments section of any feed so they are pointed to a particular photo!
3. Like Twitter, hashtags are used to quickly identify keywords for a photo, or to identify the photo with a particular group. I have a hashtag that I assign to photos that I want to appear in my Instagram feed on my website. Very easy to do!
4. Like Pinterest, the photos are truly amazing – stunning in their beauty. And while Pinterest boards typically contain photos from many different users/sources, Instagram allows you to focus more on an individual photographer’s work.
5. Instagram is a photographer’s mecca. While you may add photos to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, Instagram was really designed by photographers, for photographers. So if photography is your thing, this is the social media for you!
6. No writing required, other than the hashtags. You can write a brief (or longer) description if you want, and some great Instagrammers do, but you certainly don’t have to. Writing pressure off!
7. This social media actually encourages you to LEARN a skill – how to be a better photographer. With photo editing apps like Mextures, folks share their formulas for their photo filters on Instagram, thereby sharing their techniques. And often they share a list of the photo editing apps they have used.
8. How did they do it? Look at different feeds and try to figure out how a particular photo was created. Then download some new photo editing apps and try to recreate a photo you see. I guarantee you will become a better photographer just by doing this! Also sometimes photos are made available for others to submit their edits to. Great interactions!!
9. It is the perfect way to visually display your products for a business. I use my feed for all my photography, but have seen some businesses beautifully display their goods using their Instagram accounts.
10. Other services, like Printstagram work with your Instagram photos for printing purposes. Create business cards, magnets, calendars, posters, t-shirts, and prints for yourself or your business. Can’t do that with Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. The folks at Facebook took a look, and purchased Instagram in April 2012! Smart move.