• Everything I needed to know about Social Media, I learned from Instagram

    by  • May 4th • Glows, Internet Marketing, Opinion, Photography, Social Media, Technology • 2 Comments

    I <3 Instagram: an iPhone-based Social Media service for Photo-Lovers

    Lessons learned from my favorite Social Media service, Instagram – a social photo app for iPhone. Obviously, there isn’t an all-knowing source for what works and what doesn’t when it comes to Social Media, but through observation and the use of several services, I have gleaned a better understanding of the Social pulse and what drives users to get so involved. My favorite example of a Social community explosion is Instagram. Not only do I love and use the Instagram service, but I can honestly say that my experience with this app has made quite a difference in my approach to working with Social Media on a professional level as well. A few of the lessons I’ve learned from Instagram: Be in the moment. - It’s not about perfection, it’s not about being cool… It’s about being real and right there in the moment, and it’s about expressing a notion, an idea, or a personal style.  Some of my favorite Instagramers, or IGers as regular users say, share a moment here and there throughout their day, even if it’s something that is as common as a view of the sky, gazing down at blades of grass, or what they’ve made for dinner. The power of making even common moments magical is where Instagram really shines.  Using the app’s filters and effects, a very personalized approach to everyday moments is possible.  Plus, if you’re an app nerd like myself (I’ll share my favorite photo editing apps in another post.), you can edit a photo with a wide assortment of filter/editing apps and post it to reflect any given mood or artistic whim. Get involved. – One aspect of Instagram I’ve enjoyed from the moment I began using the iPhone app (late 2010) is participating in “forums” or “challenges.”  Some IGers such as @joshjohnson, @jaywintermeyer, and @kewiki – to name just a few – often post challenges to get their followers engaged in the IG community.  These challenges can be based upon anything from a color theme to editing a specific photo using any combination of photo editing apps. My Word of the Day Challenge@joshjohnson is an Atlanta, GA based photographer who has probably been the most prolific Instagram challenge maker/influencer as he posts daily AND weekly forums/challenges, plus “Instatips” – daily photography tips on everything from capturing the perfect light with your iPhone to SLR gear.  If you’re an Instagram user, I highly recommend checking him (and the other two users mentioned above) out! I was even inspired to create my own challenge about a month ago – check Instagram’s #WOTDProject hashtag for my Word of the Day project feed.  Basically, this consists of a group of a few folks posting shots based around Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day. It’s less ME than it is EVERYONE. – The sooner you stop soap-boxing, or in this case, focusing on only receiving feedback on your own photographs, and stop for a moment to HEAR – and SEE – what others are doing, the faster you will improve your Social Media skills. I really dislike artificial ploys to grow your ‘follower’ or ‘friends’ lists when it comes to any Social Media service as they seem counterintuitive.  So, what to do?  Look at what others are posting, give honest and thoughtful feedback, follow people you are genuinely interested in… and pretty soon, you will develop real connections.  You will find yourself part of a conversation. Charleston, SC Instameet on May 7, 2011 at 12pmAnd, like Twitter, Instagram has given way to in-person Instameetups – In fact, there’s a Worldwide Instameet happening this Saturday May 7th.  I’m attending one locally here in Charleston, SC.  Is there one in your town?  Click here to find out. As with a lot of what was considered “web 2.0″ (Wow, that sounds antiquated.), I had to come around to Social Media in my own time… and find something that appealed to me before I could wholeheartedly say I loved it.  Instagram really pushed the needle, which is something that Facebook and Twitter just couldn’t quite do for me.  I can now say, “I LOVE IT!” I’m pleased that the takeaway from a passionate personal experience with a service such as Instagram has been a greater appreciation and understanding of the fundamentals of Social Media as a channel for connecting to an audience, sharing common interests, and building relationships. Do you use Instagram?  If so, find me: @mockturtle! Any other Instagram users our there?  I’d love your comments.

    About

    Owner, Blue Tomato Creative. eCommerce and Internet Marketing enthusiast. Coffee addict. Lover of photography, design, and music.

    2 Responses to Everything I needed to know about Social Media, I learned from Instagram

    1. Jeanne Hewitt
      May 7th at 10:12 am

      I totally enjoyed this, Ashley, so glad you wrote about Instagram. It’s become my favorite social media as well…I rarely get on FB anymore! Thanks for the tips…I love the relationship building aspect of IG- hope you’re enjoying your instameet!

      • Ashley Collins Sheets
        May 7th at 6:57 pm

        Thanks, Jeanne! Glad you enjoyed this post. I’d been meaning to write about Instagram for a while, but it took some time to get to it. :) Today’s instameet was fantastic! I’m very much looking forward to future meets. And, I hope our little group continues to grow!

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