I’m About To Instagram All Up In This, Straight Flexin’!

by joesloanie

It definitely took me awhile to get interested in Instagram, but lately I’ve been #straightflexin like nobody’s business.

At first I didn’t see the appeal; wasn’t it just kind of a mixture between Facebook’s pictures and Twitter’s hashtag function? I already had a profile on both of these sites. Why would I want to waste more time on the internet on Instagram doing something I already do on Facebook? I post my pictures there for my friends to look at and comment on, so I really didn’t see the point.

It took a bit of prodding but eventually one of my buddies got me to make a profile and do a little, shall we say, flexin’. At first I used it very sporadically, not yet understanding how to utilize the hash tag feature and just taking random photos like this little beauty right here:

Instagram

This was the third photo I posted on Instagram, and it’s still one of my favorites. The picture is of Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center building in Ypsi during the evening and although I don’t have the original anymore, it looked nothing like the vibrant and colorful photograph you see here.

Instagram has all sorts of cool (and very easy to navigate) filters and effects that you can apply to your photos before publishing them. There are an innumerable amount of ways you can alter your photo to get the desired effects and honestly it’s a bit addicting. I could spend the entire blog post explaining the ins and outs of how to use Instagram, but I’d rather just let this guy do it. Work smarter, not harder right?

So the hashtag function is (in my humble opinion) one of the most important components of Instagram, especially when taking a public relations perspective into consideration. When you post your photo you get the option to give it a title/label/comment. It is at this time that the usefulness of the hashtag becomes evident. See, when you put one of these in front of a word on instagram it acts in the same way as it does on twitter, effectively linking you to everything that has the same hashtag.

I didn’t know about this function when I posted the photo that I showed you above, but if I had I would have tagged it with #EasternMichiganUniversity #EMUeagles #Ypsilanti #Ypsi and various other words and topics that I feel relate in some way to my photo, kinda like this.

Instagram 1

As you can see, I have learned a bit more about hashtags since my meager beginnings uploading photos to the internet. I’m no expert though, seeing as I still rely on iPhone screen shots to make copies of my instagram photos.

If any of you know of a better way to save my favorite Instagram pics, please let me know down there in the little ol’ comments.

With the hashtags attached, both my followers as well as anyone who goes on instagram looking for any of those topics will likely see my photo. It is in this way that, when done correctly and creatively, Instagram can be a very effective tool in terms of growing awareness of a brand, networking, and engaging the  public.

Not only are many well recognized organizations utilizing the heck out of the  photo-sharing capabilities the site offers, but with the recent addition of the ability to record, edit, and post video to Instagram some companies are choosing to fully embrace the various functions of the site to help them grow their brands and effectively communicate not just to, but WITH the public in a whole new way.

Did I mention that Instagram is owned by Facebook?

Well it is, and with the kind of money and creative thinking that is present within the Facebook organization, I would look forward to Instagram continuing to grow, evolve, and improve.

Also, If YOU are truly interested in straight flexin’ you can scoop the tee shirt right here. I hope this blog post has been informative, insightful, and super-duper-all-around-awesome.

And a funny video to play us out:

Until next time.

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