Instagram is one of the more successful platforms and a huge part of that success lies in the engaged community that it enjoys. Instagrammers are passionate about their platform and have high levels of interaction with those who use the network.
Research shows the network as having:
- 300 million active users
- More than 70 million new photos per day
- 5 billion photo likes daily
- More than 30 billion total photos shared
With stats like these, it is easy to see why so many businesses are turning to Instagram to reach new audiences. (Philadelphia Cream Cheese saw an increase in sales by 41% after using Instagram to reach foodies)
Instagram uses a visually focused design which enables quicker viewing. We all of course know the value of images on the other social media sites, so it stands to reason that a platform comprised of images would do exceedingly well. It seems that our brains like the visual images. Videos and images are displayed large on the screen, eliminating visual clutter, and directing the viewer’s eyes directly to the content.
To create lasting engagement with your users, you need to share beautiful and targeted content (in the form of images) that resonates with your audience.
If you have not started an Instagram account yet, the platform will give you plenty of information to help you get started here. I also plan to do a series of trainings in the near future so watch my website
Getting those HIGH QUALITY IMAGES
The very appealing feature to many with Instagram is the instant accessibility. Download the app onto your mobile device and you can instantly snap and share. There are filtering tools, writing tools and more all available for that mobile platform.
One option is to use your DSLR, professional camera or other equipment to create the content as you would normally and then download the photos to a mobile device to upload to Instagram. You can also use an application like Gramblr to upload images from your PC. Recently Hoot suite has added Instagram as part of their available stream meaning you will be able to schedule those posts through Hootsuite. This is huge news for those using Instagram and PC users.
A second option to create stunning content is to use photo editing applications here are a few:
Afterlight: although Instagram already offers great filters, if you want more, this app will allow you to take advantage of 59 adjustable filters, 128 frames and 66 different textures. However, I did carefully look at the app and noticed that the most recent version (which is $.99) seems to have quite a few bugs.
Facetune: : If you are showing photos of employees and customers in your Instagram feed, Facetune is a must have. Use the Facetune toolbox to correct portraits like a pro and make sure that everyone looks their best.
Hyperlapse: use for creating time-lapse videos for Instagram, allowing a way to capture the changing of a scene
Lumify: for Instagram video, this is a great one. Not only does it offer video editing capabilities, it can also add soundtracks
Overgram: Add text to your Instagram photos with a variety of fonts that match or complement your business image
Photo Editor by Aviary: Aviary is now a part of the adobe family and has a wide range of effects and color correctors. You are also able to crop your images into a variety of sizes and ratios.
PicFrame: as well as Stitch can turn a handful of photos into a collage that you can share . This is going to be perfect for those times that one image provides for another image and you want them posted next to each other. You can select multiple photos and organize them as a single collage image. There are tons of layouts to choose from
Slow Camera Shutter Plus: How about those great photos where glowing shapes float in the air at night. Grab a couple of glow sticks and use the Slow Shutter Cam app to take long –exposure images with your mobile device.
Snapseed: Snapseed by google (available for android as well as iOS) allows you to perfect your photos using retouch, red eye reduction and tilt shift and straightening. The fact that it is a favorite of many professional photographers. Snapseed is a must when you need to make elements of a photo pop, especially when showcasing products or logos in a real-life setting.
Superimpose: Want to get around all the masking and color processing involved in swapping someone’s face onto another body? Get Superimpose. This app allows you to change the background of an image, swap faces and blend images and more. Your imagination is going to be the limit.
Which of these apps have you tried? How did it work for you? Which one doe you want to try first? Please comment below