We have been showcasing the use of social media sites to help with marketing in your encore career. Whether your goal is to work as a freelancer or you plan to extend corporate work, social media can play a significant role. Demonstrating your skills with these platforms could make you a more marketable employee. So far, we’ve talked about Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If you haven’t check them out, you can find them here:
You might be wondering why you should pay attention to Instagram if you’re already using one or all of the social channels we’ve already covered. You will see as we explore Instagram, there are some very unique aspects to this medium. As such, there are many users who spend hours on their accounts – – far more than any other site. So, as any fisherman or marketer will tell you, you need to be where your audience is!
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app where subscribers can upload graphics and share them with their followers. Instagram launched in 2010 and quickly grew in popularity with more the 1 billion registered users as of May 2019. They were acquired by Facebook in 2012 and are arguably the most popular social media site in operation.
The reason for the popularity? Images! The main focus of Instagram is visual, and this has attracted a huge amount of creativity. It allows users to get a glimpse of the lives of their favorite celebrities and engage with beloved brands at the same time they enjoy vacation and children photos from friends and family.
You can sign up for Instagram easily and, like all other social sites, it’s free to create an account.
Your 5 Day Plan to Learning Instagram
DAY 1 – Download the Instagram App. The whole idea behind Instagram is to quickly and easily share images and video you capture with your mobile devise. For that reason, it’s easier to use the mobile app which is available for iOS or Android.
DAY 2 – Start Following. Like most social sites, you have a feed that will showcase the people and brands you follow. At the bottom of your screen you will see a magnifying glass so click on that. Here you can enter names of people you know and follow elsewhere or topics you find engaging – like retirement. Just like with Twitter, hashtags will bring users with similar interests together. If you find an image you like, click on it to launch a window with all the posts within the hashtag. From here, you can immediately follow them simply by clicking “Follow” or click on their user name to see everything they’ve shared. After a short while, clicking on the magnifying glass will give you recommendations on people and brands to follow based on your interests and likes.
Day 3 – Engage, engage, engage. Social media is all about engagement and Instagram is no different. Now that you have people, brands and hashtags to follow, you are bound to find photos and videos you really like. If so, go ahead and click on the “heart” under the image. That will tell the person – and Instagram – that you like it. You can also post a comment by clicking on the “word balloon” or you can “heart” other peoples’ comments. Pay attention to the hashtags that your followers share. If you like their content, chances are good that their hashtags will lead you to others who share similar – but different – images.
Day 4 – Post a Photo. By now, you should be pretty comfortable getting around the app. You found some people to engage with and you want them to interact with you. It’s time to post a photo! Once you have a subject, take 2 – 3 photos at different angles. At the bottom of the Instagram app is a plus sign – clicking on that will bring up your camera roll where you can choose the best image to share. Click on the image then click “Next”. This will take you to an editing screen where you can quickly edit the shot before posting. Or you can quickly apply a “filter” which applies a preprogrammed set of attributes to your image. For now, just keep it normal and click “Next” again. In this screen, you can say something about the image (don’t forget hashtags), tag people, and add location information before sharing.
Day 5 – Set Audience Goals. To be really successful at something, we need to have goals. As you can see with Instagram, like most social channels, success is centered around growing your audience. And growing an audience takes more following, posting and engaging. You can make your goal to follow 5 new people every day and follow one new hashtag every week. Set aside 20 minutes every morning to like images and share comments. And don’t forget to snap some photos and share them as well. Remember, there aren’t any shortcuts for this so just schedule the time. Before you know it, you will have a fun and engaging audience!
BONUS! Repost for Instagram. You may have noticed that Instagram differs from most social platforms in that they don’t easily allow you to share other people’s images. The idea behind Instagram is to informally let others get to know “the real you” through pictures. So, they want you to share YOUR pictures. Fortunately, enterprising app developers have created independent apps that will allow you to repost what other people share. Just look for them wherever you download your mobile apps.
Instagram has set itself apart from other social platforms by creating a unique and exciting ecosystem and remaining true to their brand. That should be a lesson for all of us! Another thing to know is that 80% of Instagram users follow a business brand. That shows the power of Instagram in brand marketing. Just think what it can do for your personal brand in Unretirement!