This is a guest post by Adam Marshall.
Instagram is presently one of the most popular social networking photo-sharing platforms that allows people to add stylish and cool filters to their photos and publish them for display to a large network of people. On their site, Instagram is introduced as follows:
It's a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family. Snap a picture, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram. Share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr too - it's as easy as pie. It's photo sharing, reinvented.
All the pictures uploaded on this site can be followed and liked by anybody. So if you have a blog and want to promote it, you can employ Instagram to your advantage, just like you can use Facebook or Twitter to promote your blog. For people not interested in any form of social networking, the concept of Instagram might sound silly. However, for people who are passionate about promoting their blogs through creative means, Instagram is certainly going to serve as a mouth-watering recipe.
Instagram is only 18 months old, and it has managed to generate over 30 million iOS users. Isn't it amazing? Last month, April 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for a whopping $1billion. What is it about this site that the social networking giant would find it worth a billion dollars? Strangely enough, Instagram has no patents and does not make profit.
Unlike Facebook and other social networking sites that generate revenue from advertizing, Instagram does not. It has even been argued that Instagram's concept is not anything new. Picasa can be used to modify pictures, flickr helps to manage your photos online and there are Vimeo and YouTube for video sharing. So, why would Facebook buy Instagram for $1billion? The answer is unclear yet, but there is one thing obvious: Instagram is fast catching up as a popular social networking site, and its potential is very huge.
Now, as to what Facebook will do with Instagram, we all do not know yet. But while we wait to see what will happen, we can still take advantage of the enormous potential of Instagram to help us promote our blog.
How to Promote Your Blog with Instagram
How Instagram operates is similar to Twitter. There is a constantly updated feed that shows and shares your visual content. To produce this visual content, you can use Dropbox and save all of your blog pictures in a "blog Instagram" folder. As you promote your blog posts on your feed, your posts will begin to spread virally, helping you to reach a larger audience and attracting a lot more traffic.
How to Boost Your Followers
The traffic you will be able to generate with your Instagram feed is dependent on how many people are following you. How then do you get followers? Here is a stepwise process to help you gain more followers. Once you have enough followers, you can easily promote your blog.
Understand How Instagram Works: In order to master a hot new social channel, you must first understand the nuts and bolts of how the channel works. If you click on the “Popular” tab within Instagram, you can start scanning the types of photos people prefer to share on Instagram. Look for patterns, themes, style, and quality. When learning a new social platform, sometimes imitation (with your own twist) is the best form flattery. You will want to dig into your creative soul on Instagram and share photos that are fun, funny, cute, unique, funky, and/or emotional. Be candid and aim to make real connections with your images. Studying others will help you know what fits with Instagram and what doesn’t.
Make Proper Use Of Hash tags: Similar to Twitter, Instagram users also prefer making use of hash tags for proper categorization of content. Tagging photos helps people to find them quickly. Presently, there are hundreds of hash tags to choose from, some of which are #iphoneography, #icat and #isky. Therefore, getting all your photos hash tagged is definitely going to increase the chances of your photos drawing the attention of a greater number of people.
Follow Others: As indicated above, the real trick lies in expanding your follower base. One of the easiest ways to increase your contacts is to follow others on Instagram. As soon as you follow someone else's profile, that person will also notice your profile in their lists of contacts. Therefore, it is highly probable that the person is going to revert back to take a look at your profile. This can help in drawing more and more numbers of people to your profile. With more visitors, you stand in a better position to promote your blog.
Geo Tag Your Photos: Geo tags are used for categorizing users based on their geographical locations. Therefore, if you get your photos geo tagged and someone else residing in your city publishes a photo, that person will get to see your photos as well. Therefore, you will come up with a good chance of adding another new member to your list of contacts. As you keep increasing your contacts, the more people you will have to promote your blog to.
So now you have a few new tools in your Instagram tool belt. This is the time to get started building your profile and start having fun. Remember like all social profiles, being active regularly and consistently is key. Be sure to listen and interact vs. just trying to push your marketing messages to yet another platform. Have fun and overtime you will start to enjoy the new audience your blog will reach.
About the author
Adam Marshall is a technology enthusiast and a blogger with many interests. He writes for several sites including Degree Jungle a college student resource. When not working, he enjoys fishing and sky diving.