Instagram: Summer Fun with Longterm Business Appeal

Social Media Trends By Karen Hendricks

Summer and photography go hand-in-hand, right?  And the relatively new smartphone photography app Instagram is riding a wave, right into the summer season, with 60 new photos added every second.  That’s 5 million photos every day.  And at 40 million users, Instagram is on track to reach the milestone of 100 million users faster than any other form of social media.  (Source:  Mashable)

And, for those of you who are reluctant to add yet another social media platform:  it’s as easy as pie.

Whether you join Instagram for purely for fun, sharing photos with family/friends, or approach it from a business perspective, you’re getting in on the ground level of the next big trend in social media, but with a nostalgic twist.

The app lets you select from a variety of filters (18, currently), many of which give your photos a retro feel.  For example, there’s the “1977” filter with a Polaroid-esque appearance.

Basically, your “feed” consists of photos from people that you follow, similar to other social media streams.  The big difference is that Instagram is 100% eye candy–simply photographs with very little text (just short captions which are optional).

Personally, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with photos from one of my favorite hobbies–gardening.  Here’s a sampling of some of my pics with “flower power.”

New businesses, non-profits, celebrities and sports teams are hopping on the Instagram train every day and adding it into the marketing mix.  What a beautiful way to showcase a brand, whether behind-the-scenes or highlighting products, events or features via photography. Some of the big, established brands so far are NBC News, USA Today, National Geographic and Starbucks (of course).  I recently discovered the Philadelphia Zoo–beautiful animal pics!

Want to learn more? Check out the Instagram Blog to take a peek at what’s being posted.  Relying on the strength of iphone, ipad and Android users, the app is free (check out http://instagr.am/).  Like Twitter, hashtags are essential to finding photos within a theme.

Do you have Instagram insights?  Share your tips or favorites to follow, below.  And feel free to follow me @karenhendricks9.  I look forward to seeing your pics!

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