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SHELLY KOMER

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How to Get the Most out of Instagram

May 04, 2012 in Tech. 0 Comment

How to Get the Most out of Instagram

The latest social media buzzword is Instagram, an application where users can take photos with smartphone and edit them for a vintage look. Instagram, recently bought by Facebook for $1 billion, has developed a dedicated community, where over 27 million users upload and share vintage-filtered snapshots on a social network. Whether you’re a novice or expert user, here are some tips to help you make the most out of your photo-sharing stream.

Explore the Popular section.

Instagram curates a section on the app of the most popular images. This is a great feature to explore if you want to meet talented fellow users. According to Instagram, the Popular feed is based on a complex formula which allows even users with just a few followers to have a chance of landing a spot on the page. Aspiring artists can quickly build a fan base if one of their photos makes the Popular feed.

Read the Instagram blog.

This clutter-free blog is a great resource for company news, new app features, and inspiring collections of shared images. The blog serves sometimes as a gallery for Instagram artists, as seen in this post. Other collections like this harrowing, journalistic one for Hurricane Irene are great sources of current event coverage. The blog also has advice for incorporating hashtags into posts, which is a great segue for our next tip.

Use Hashtags.

Just like Twitter, users can add hashtags, which are short messages that identify groups and topics. Hashtags make content more searchable, so that users can find images that interest them. If you started using Instagram before they introduced hashtags, you can go back to your old photos and add hashtags to them in the comments. If you start a hashtag trend, you can click on it and see everyone who’s attached the tag to their photos. 

Link your Instagram account to your social network.

Sharing your photos on each of your social network sites can be tedious. Instragram has introduced a new feature where you can enable sharing photos on Twitter, Facebook, Email, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Posterous. If you’d like to keep your photos private, there’s an option for that, too. Setting your profile to “private,” you’ll have to approve people before they can follow the photos you post.

Third-party apps offer added Instagram services.

Just because there’s no web browser interface with Instagram doesn’t mean you can’t view your photos on a computer. You can easily download your photos using apps like Inkstagram, Webstagram, and Gramfeed, which are specifically designed to connect your Instagram account to a computer. If you want to turn your charming vintage-inspired photos into keepsakes for yourself or gifts for friends, there are plenty of apps for that, too. Prinstagram lets you create mini-photos, posters, stickers, books, and tiny books, whereas StickyGram and Keepsy let you make fridge magnets and photo albums, respectively.

Encourage user generated content if you’re an Instagram-savvy business.

One of the best ways to promote your business is to crowd source creativity. Encourage patrons to post photographs of themselves or of your venue on their Instagram streams. Sharing the fun of Instagram with your creative customers is a great way to use modern tools to build loyal relationships. 

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