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One of the things I like about Instagram is that – at least in theory – it’s actually harder to share content than it is on Twitter or Facebook. Taking good photos takes a different level of effort and even skillset.
On those other two networks, you can share blog post links or quick soundbites and that’s that. Don’t get me wrong. Writing good tweets and Facebook posts takes effort and skill, too. But if we didn’t get a picture when the story happened, that moment has passed and you needed a photo for Instagram. On Twitter and Facebook – even when you have to get posts approved by too many people you can still publish something – even if you didn’t get a photo.
Sure, on Instagram you can go out and buy some stock images and maybe even slam some market-y quote on them and keep publishing. I wouldn’t recommend that at all, though.
Instagram is best when you share authentic and original photos. Ones that share your story. They don’t always have to be polished. They just have to show something interesting. Tell a story. Be interesting. Don’t overthink it.
Fourteen hundred posts and 2,200 followers into my Instagram adventure, I see the value more and more of the network. I see way more “engagement” on it than on Facebook and even Twitter – which might still be my favorite of the three. And Instagram helps me get better pictures, because it reminds me to think of taking pictures.
No picture. Nothing to share. So, I look for pictures. I story shop for them so to speak. And they don’t all have to be selfies. Though some selfies are okay.
Here’s how you can make Instagram work:
- Keep an eye out for something happening that is worth taking a picture of.
- Take the picture.
- Encourage your team to do the same.
- If you are in a highly regulated industry – like healthcare or banking – make sure to get consent forms signed if others are in the picture. Don’t violate any laws, but also don’t let that mean to never post anything.
- Post the pictures and tell a story through them and in the caption.
I reuse many of my Instagram photos on here too when the time is right. Some recent ones I took on a July 2016 trip to Miami:
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Move your content from happening to performing. The 2020 textbook: