What is Instagram?

By Hannah Klare

Recently, I created an Instagram account and strategy for a RGI client association. So, what is Instagram? Instagram is a place where communicating with pictures is an outlet of power. It’s fun and easy—and like they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Instagram is a mobile app. It’s not desktop-friendly. The only thing you can really do from your desktop is login, check your followers list and like other images on your feed.
  • A fun fact: On Thanksgiving Day 2012, more than 200 Thanksgiving-tagged photos were uploaded every second.
  • Facebook purchased Instagram in the last year for $1 billion. When they purchased an average of 58 photos were uploaded per second.
  • Only 6% approximately of posts to a Facebook page are actually seen on fan’s timelines. Instagram doesn’t have any limitations to who can see your posts.
  • It has approximately 150 million users and is one of the fastest growing platforms.
  • It is easy and inexpensive to get started, but integrate it with the rest of your member communication platform for the biggest impact.
  • You can also upload and take 15 second videos—which is twice the length of videos on Vine.
  • Associations are adopting Instagram to engage and educate members, show highlights from successful events and advocacy work and to generate non-dues revenue .
  • Use relative hashtags and stay current with what is a trending hashtag. For example, #TBT (Throwback Thursday) may be an opportunity to post a photo from your organization’s first convention.
  • You can edit images to fit the dimension of the “square” and add text or filters through additional apps like Square InstaPic and Snapseed.
  • Instagram allows comments and likes, however does NOT allow shares.
  • Linking in your bio. Unlike Facebook, you cannot include linked URLs in your posts. Links are only available on the account homepage in the “About Us” section under the profile picture. With that being said, if you post something and want your followers to go to the link, make mention in your post that the URL that can take them to the desired site is in the bio (you can only have one URL at a time) and leave it there for the desired time—24hrs is typical.Tell your followers of other handles you have in your bio.

To get the best results with your photos, use images with a high amount of background space. These photos typically generate 29% more likes than those without. Blue is also a very dominant color and invites people in. In a test between blue and red images, blue images generated 24% more likes than photos that are predominately red. Images with high levels of texture also generate (approx. 79%) more likes than those photos without. Next week I’ll share more tips on getting the most out of Instagram.