Instagram is my favorite social media platform. According to newly released statistics when Instagram added video, there are 130 million users on Instagram, 1 billion likes daily and 16 billion photos have been shared to date.
It is simple, easy and a great community for me to connect with people with common and different interests. First, I love photos and video, which you can now share both on Instagram.
I have an iPhone that makes it easy to capture my favorite family, food, farm and prairie moments. Instagram is the platform I most often use to share those captures because of the simplicity of use. Prior to my iPhone and Instagram, I took more photos on my SLR camera, took hours to upload and blog the photos. I still do that but as social media evolves so as my sharing and life in social media. My blog The Pinke Post has my Instagram feed on it. If I am short on time, which I alway seem to be, my blog might not be as updated as I would like but my blog community is still seeing updates on my Instagram feed.
While I never set out to build an Instagram community and never knew it would be my most used social media platform when I first started in it 18 months ago, I know appreciate and love the community I have within Instagram.
Here are five tips on sharing and building community in Instagram:
1. You don’t have to wait for the perfect moment. Snap a few photos in the moments of your everyday life.
2. Use hashtags. Hashtags build community. I don’t always use hashtags. But when I first started on Instagram I noticed there were only about 1,200 photos using #northdakota (where I live). I started using it. I connected with other people living in North Dakota. I connected with our North Dakota Tourism Division. I connected with people just interested in, moving to or visiting North Dakota.
3. Find your niche. I accidentally fell into one of my Instagram niches. Pictures of the sky. I love sunrises and sunsets. North Dakota has a stunning sky. I was commuting 98 miles one way daily. I took photos to break up the drive by pulling over on the highway and soaking in some fresh air and sunshine. Then I would upload them. A few others joined me in sharing and we started to have a “contest” of our favorite sunrises and sunsets. It was simple. It was sharing. It built community. Now I take more sunrises and sunset photos than ever because my Instagram community of friends expects them from me and I enjoy it. It’s now a hobby.
Instagram is about beautiful captures to me. I use Snapseed which was the first app I ever paid for and my artistic sister insisted on it. I rolled my eyes.
Why would I need to edit photos from my phone? And then I saw the difference.
5. Share variety. Video and photos now on Instagram is a part of the variety. As in any social media platform, keeping it real differentiates users. There are spammers on Instagram. There are people sharing inappropriate photos in my mind. But I don’t see them. I focus on what I love, on people I enjoy, that share common interests, also who have different passions than mine or live hundreds and thousands of miles from me. I share variety to connect to different people. I am transparent and only share my own captures, from my own iPhone. Nothing fancy. I just keep it real to who I am.
To improve your Instagram web profile, I recommend reading this Social Media Examiner article with a few tips that work for business and personal.
Connect with me, katpinke on Instagram and share your favorite tips!