Related to our previous post about using Instagram, Mashble posted about some other companies that are using Instagram for promotion efforts. Fortune-500 companies like Nike, Walgreens, Target, and Whole Foods launched successful Instagram publicity campaigns, highlighting their brand and providing their followers with useful information.
The article analyzes success of campaigns based on the post type (video or image), filter-usage, time of day, and Hashtag usage.
For example, research found that pictures are more successful than videos but videos are most successful during “off-hours” (9 PM to 8 AM).
In the end, final tips and thoughts are presented by Sabel Harris, of TrackMaven.
NASA now has an Instagram featuring images of planets, space stations, and stars.
So you may be asking: Why does NASA, a huge government organization, have an Instagram account? I thought this site was just for sharing personal photos with fun filters!
Well, yes and no.
“We believe we have some of the most engaging images on and off the planet — and we can’t wait to engage with Instagrammers.” – Lauren Worley, NASA Press Secretary (via this article)
NASA has an immense image library. Instagram is a free, public place to display and distribute these images. Currently over 90,000 users follow NASA’s account. Followers are able to like, comment, and share images (and videos) with their friends. Suddenly there is a conversation.
Question: Can you (and your work) benefit from Instagram?
If you research area is very visual or you have an image library, the answer may be yes.
Say your lab just received a new piece of equipment. You can take an image of this machine and then add a filter and compose some hashtags. With a click of a button, it will be shared with your followers.
Followers will then be able to comment or like or share with their friends. Instagram also has an embedding feature so the image can be cross-posted on websites.
Of course you need to decide if you feel comfortable sharing pictures of research, equipment, and other scientific developments with the public. Instagram does have “private profile” functionality. By choosing this type of profile, people have to be approved as followers before they can see your updates.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- Does your research institution/ university/ lab/ company allow you to take photos?
- Are there developments, materials, equipment that would make good photos?
- Do you think there could be an audience for those photos?
When you contemplate these points, you will be able to make an informed decision about using (or not using) this promotional tactic. Just like with videos, if you use it smartly, Instagram could add some visual cache to your work and your brand.
Instagram developers announced that users will now be able to embed images and videos into their blogs or other sites (not including Twitter). Currently, this function is only allowed through a desktop web browser to those who have public profiles.
The directions are as follows:
“Now, when you visit an Instagram photo or video page on your desktop web browser, you’ll see a new share button on the right side of your photo (just under the comments button). Click the button to see the embed code. Copy the block of text it gives you and paste it into your blog, website or article. When you hit publish, the photo or video will appear.”
You can read the full official announcement on the Instagram blog.
Here are some links from across the web:
Mashable has step-by-step instructions on how to embed your images and videos.
CNET also features a how-to guide.
All Things Digital says that Instagram added this feature in order to stay relevant in the “real time” space.
In response to the popularity of Vine, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) released its own video application. It is integrated into the already popular Instagram app and will have the a few features that the Vine app does not have. For example, you will be able to take 15-second videos and add filters to each video.
Instagram’s co-founder, Kevin Systrom, posted a full description of this new functionality on the Instagram blog, along with a video.
“Today, we’re thrilled to introduce Video on Instagram and bring you another way to share your stories. When you go to take a photo on Instagram, you’ll now see a movie camera icon. Tap it to enter video mode, where you can take up to fifteen seconds of video through the Instagram camera.”
It seems pretty easy to access if you already use Instagram as a photo-sharing tool.
How can this new application help authors?
Video are an integral part of your self-promotion process. Like with Vine, you can create a short video to show off the front cover to your new book. You can film teases to your longer videos. If you are comfortable with showing a more personal side of yourself, you can use these short videos to pan around your office or home space. But unlike Vine, Instagram videos can be up to 15 seconds and you are able to add filters to jazz up the look of the video.
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