For those of us who were born in the 1980s or decades before, Instagram may be about as meaningful in our lives as colorful advertising on bus stop benches. All those pithy posts and prettily framed photographs that pop into view through this social media app cannot clean our houses, fix our plumbing or pick up the dry cleaning.
For those younger than 30, however, the mention of Instagram gets a much different reaction. It’s as coveted as lunchroom clique conversation and as seamless as ordering a hamburger.
For destinations, Instagram has turned into a spitfire promotion machine, allowing vacation destinations to show off their wares and even bring in a new attraction phenomenon: the buzzworthy selfie backdrop. For travelers, the social media channel is a must for finding out the cool things to do in a certain destination or even deciding where on the map to put the next pin.
Business travelers looking to have some fun broadcasting the travails and triumphs of their trips find Instagram to be the perfect confection. But for entrepreneurs or business managers who rely on social media to bring in traffic, frame their brand or convert sales, managing an Instagram presence – indeed any social media channel – can be as vexing as putting together a console from IKEA in poorly translated Swedish.
“Instagram is going to go the way of Twitter and Facebook to become a dominating force in social media. So every business should probably look to Instagram as a big part of their marketing plans,” says Sandra Mohr, owner of Mohr Publicity, an agency based in Los Angeles offering an expertise in social media management.
“If you don't have an Instagram page, and if you think it's too limiting, think again. The folks at Instagram are going to add more and more features until it becomes extremely well rounded. It may even create a new genre of movie-making. It will definitely start to run more advertising, allow more links for businesses to post to create more traffic to their websites, and grow in terms of the number of people that are using it. Instagram, for now, is the future.”
That means Instagram is growing up, lengthening in the tooth and is likely to become a fact of life as much to those who grew up listening to the Rolling Stones or Duran Duran as to those who rock to Maroon 5.
FLUENT IN INSTA GRAMMAR
So, exactly what is Instagram and why should you care? By definition, the social media presence is actually an app managed best in one’s smartphone. It focuses on photographs, rather than words, as its dominant medium and relies on its users to follow other users and create lists of geo, ID and concept hashtags with each post to spur on connectivity.
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