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The Arts & Social Media: Instagram (Part 2)

October 15, 2012

With my first post, I wrote about social media and the arts and how to effectively start using Instagram for your arts organization (especially for performing arts centers and companies).  My post relied heavily on explaining IG and its simplest functions and subsequently gave ideas on the type of image content to use as opposed to the capabilities of the actual application.  With Instagram slowly becoming a powerhouse platform with exceptionally high usage, it’s important to make sure you are using it to it’s maximum potential.

These are a few really quick ideas and tips on how to creatively use Instagram for the arts, outside of simply posting pictures.

  • Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag!
    • Instagram allows for hashtags to be incorporated in captions and are actually searchable by users.  Therefore, if you can effectively hashtag your picture, do it!  A simple hashtag can go a long way (#dance #theatre #Sondheim #Ailey #Gershwin) and getting specific can yield some great results.  A simple #LesMiserables hashtag can put your community theatre production’s photo in the company of content from past professional productions and other current productions.
  • Start a photo challenge
    • A lot of IG users are finding pleasure in participating in monthly photo challenges that call on users to follow a set guideline and post a photo a day based on that’s guidelines content request.  These challenges pop up monthly but can be adapted for weekly challenges, if a month proves to be too strenuous.  Check out a general photo challenge outline and think of how you could potentially adapt it to fit your own organization.  Perhaps think of incorporating the challenge into a contest, with its completion yielding a prize.

  • Follow your peers AND your devoted patrons.
    • Much like Twitter, IG can and should be a platform for two way communication.  Nothing reads quite as badly as an organization who has tons of followers but chooses to follow no one.  Social media is exactly that, social and should be taken advantage of in that way.  Therefore, interact with IG users and followers, whether they are other organizations or fans of your organization.  Follow them and don’t be afraid to interact with their photos, if relevant.  This builds a relationship and is likely to increase loyalty to your cause/brand/content.

More to come in future blog posts!  I’ll be hitting on best practices for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms as it relates to the arts.

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