Instagram for the journalist
Originally posted April 9, 2014
If you haven’t been paying attention to Instagram since it launched four years ago, now’s the time to sit up and take notice. With Instagram stating that is has over 150 million daily users, 16 billion photos shared in total, and 55 million photos shared daily – this social app needs to be taken seriously by anyone interested in keeping connected. And if you’re a journalist, that means you.
This app is not simply a funky way to put a digital filter on your phone photos and your selfies. It’s a social media tool that allows you connect and engage with other users. It’s meant to be used primarily on your mobile device, and it’s fun.
WikiHow has a great article to get you set up, but after that, it’s important to think about the WHEN/WHERE/WHY and HOW you’re going to use it. This is where strategy comes in.
Here are a few ways you and your newsroom can use Instagram:
1. Engage your community: let the crowd tell their story, perhaps around a big event. Ask users of the platform to send you content using a certain hashtag. Take the content and look for a new community angle you report on.
2. Take your audience behind the scenes. Take photos of a bigger story you’re working on, or behind the scenes in the newsroom and studio. Brings your sudience into the loop.
3. Tracking live news events. Elections & emergencies, this is where your audience comes in to help you get a better handle on what is happening so that you can share up-to-the-minute information.
Now more than ever, people want to feel like they are a part of the social landscape. Engaging community is key in the new digital and social media age. Instagram is a simple way to do just that. It can be as simple as asking your audience to post a photo of their favourite beach in the summertime, that you then turn into a photo gallery on your website. You can then have your audience vote on the best shot, and feature it front and centre on the site for a day. It may not be news, but it’s engagement and that is just as important. It will also potentially give you more information on who your audience is, which is priceless.