Not one day goes by that I don't use Instagram. It's basically an addiction, but I can't help it!
However, I've noticed that I'm not using Instagram to its full potential. It seems so wrong that this great application that just hit 25 million users is stuck on my mobile device. Isn't it time that I start harnessing the power of Instagram?
Yes, yes you can! Step out of you safe Instagram box and really use your account to its max potential. (Ok, I'm done talking like a politician now…)
Here are 4 easy ways to get the most out of your Instagram account:
- Incorporate Instagram onto your social media profiles: Because Instagram is such a personal outlet and reflection of my life, I enjoy sharing my photos on both my blog and Facebook. With new widgets and plugins, it has never been easier to add my Instagram feed on all of my digital spaces. To add Instagram onto your Facebook as a tab, you will need to use Instagram's API (application programming interface) and create a Facebook tab that grabs the information from the API. Ifyou are familiar with API codes, you can do it yourself too. After finishing the coding, your tab will look like this. Seamless and a fun destination for your friends and blog readers! For your blog, you can find a plugin that uploads your Instagram feed either as a widget for your sidebar or footer. Do a little digging and make sure that the size fits within your selected area.
- Promote your blog posts: The beauty of Instagram is that it basically operates just like Twitter. You get a constantly-updated feed that shows and shares visual content. If you want to virally spread your blog posts and generate more traffic to your blog, you should start promoting your blog posts on your feed. Not only will it help your reader visually comprehend your post, it will also allow you to reach a bigger audience. To do this, I use Dropbox and save all of my blog pictures in a “blog Instagram” folder. Then I access these photos on my mobile device (after downloading the Dropbox app, of course). Don't forget to use Bit.ly when adding a caption to your Instagram feed, which will shorten your blog links and also track how many click-throughs you received.
- Pin your images: Talk about a cross-platform marketing tactic! By pinning your Instagram images, you offer a more personal look into your life outside of your blog. I've noticed that many bloggers and brands are doing this and I love it! I'm all about more original content on Pinterest and pinning your Instagrams can help increase your presence on the digital space.
- Take on an Instagram challenge: Let's face it, sometimes your Instagram feed can get pretty formulaic. Beat back the Instagram rut by taking on a photo challenge. You can join a month-long Instagram project (#marchphotoaday, which IFB is embarking on) or create your own. If you are a business traveler, maybe vow to take a photo a day from each hotel room. Or take the obligatory airplane shot. One Instagram trend I enjoy following is called #fromwhereIstand where users take pictures of their feet in various parts of the world. While it may sound lame, it's actually interesting. Whatever challenge you take on, have fun with it and play around. That's what a challenge is all about!