Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Instagram: Pro-Private vs. Pro-Public

September 5, 2014

By: Kelsey Miller @Kelsey_65

instagramIt’s the debate of the century: should I keep my Instagram private? This question may be tossed around for generations to come, but I am a true believer in keeping it public, no matter your career profession. My only exception to this belief is if you are under the age of eighteen, simply because you are a minor and probably aren’t pursuing a career.

Go Public

Although Instagram is the main focus, ALL social media accounts should be kept public (unless you’re inappropriate on those accounts). Many pro-public people believe in the power of feeling as though they can be free and uncensored to say and post anything they like without any consequences because they approve who can and cannot see their posts on Insta. Trust me, I see where these people are coming from, but I always find myself thinking that the generation before us was able to survive without showing everyone and their sister (whom they would approve) to look at pictures that would otherwise be embarrassing to show a potential employer.

Our industry in particular is very social. As future PR professionals, we must sell our image and knowledge as to how we want to be presented. If you want to be hired as a representative for a specific agency or brand, you;re a full-time worker in the way that you are portrayed online. No one wants to be judged, but the harsh reality is that we live in a judgmental society.

Pro-private Instagrammers feel that because Instagram isn’t considered a blog or micro-blog such as Facebook or Twitter, it slips under the radar and can remain private without scrutiny. This may be true with some employers, but most people should count on PR and ad agencies to be social media savvy enough to think to do their research on all social media outlets they have. When an employer sees that all of your outlets are private, they will automatically assume you have something to hide. If you have kept all of your outlets public except your Instagram, they will be just as suspicious. The sheer morbid curiosity of what a private Instagram account holds makes most employers pretty apprehensive. Those employers have been through college, but they don’t have public proof of it online…

If you are embarrassed of the pictures on your Instagram account, then you probably shouldn’t have posted them in the first place. If you aren’t embarrassed about what you have posted but feel that a potential employer may not approve, then that job wasn’t meant for you anyway. You want an employer that likes you for your personality and your work. There will be employers that have no problems with pictures that other employers may cringe at the sight of. Although if they are interviewing you for a job or internship and are a good fit for their company, it is also up to you to do a little interviewing for yourself to see if that company or agency is a good match for you as well.

Don’t sweat about the social media accounts, whether you are pro-public or pro-private. I know that there have been pro-privates that get the job over pro-publics. Do yourself a favor though, pro-privaters,, and think about going public even if it is only for a week. Does that make you feel embarrassed? If it does, then maybe you should rethink what you post. If you aren’t embarrassed in the least, then what is there to hide? The ultimate decision Is yours.

How to be #instagood

June 25, 2014

By: Angela Keane @angela_keane

TRENDInstagram is growing quickly and hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down. There are about 200 million monthly active users and more than 75 million daily Instagram users. Although the app is pretty straight-forward, most users won’t attract thousands of followers. Many users simply don’t know how to optimize Instagram to the best of their ability but I have a few tips and tricks to get you there.

Connect your Instagram with Facebook

A few months ago Facebook bought Instagram for a billion dollars and now it’s easier to integrate your photos into Facebook. Having your Facebook account connected to your Instagram opens you up to all your Facebook followers who see your photos and are more likely to follow you on Instagram. Here’s a hint, Instagram allows you to auto-follow or “follow all” of your Facebook friends!

Think of quality not quantity

Do not post more than five times a day. People get annoyed when someone is taking up their entire newsfeed. When taking photos with your Instagram, pay attention to angles and where you are placing the camera. Use filters! That is why Instagram became so popular so fast. Filters give each photo an inspirational or memorable appeal and people will be more likely to engage with your photo.

Hashtag, Hashtag, Hashtag

Use hashtags to your advantage but don’t be excessive and post more than two or three per insta-photo. It is important to always use relevant hashtags because people use it to search for interesting photos. *Note: General hashtags receive more views

Engage with your followers

Don’t treat Instagram as a one way communication tool. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. If you want to get a lot of likes, comments and followers you should be engaging with your followers. Like and follow other users to gain a following. Be active. The more active you are, the more exposure you will get and more potential to gain more followers.

Combine multiple photos

These type of Instagram posts can tell a story. Use apps like PicStitch or Instasize to combine photos to make it more engaging. Make sure it is a great picture/story – good content is key!

Taking Over Selfies, One Brand at a Time

June 19, 2014 2 Comments

By: Megan Newton @_megannewton

Instagram – an app so popular it manages to obtain 150 million active users and even score itself a reference in the hit song “#SELFIE”.

To this day, over 16 billion photos have been uploaded to Instagram. With an average of 55 million uploads each day, sure it’s a lot of selfies – but it also means a lot of money for brands that use the extremely fast-growing social network.

Before we get into the business of things, I’m going to ask for some reader participation here. Ready?! Take the time to say “one-Mississippi” out loud. Okay, go! —– In the time it took you to say those short two words (approximately one second), 8500 likes and 1000 comments occurred on Instagram – contributing to the overall total of 1.2 billion likes per day.

According to statistics, as of December 2013, 17% of all online adults are on Instagram – comparing with 18% who use Twitter, 21% who use Pinterest and 22% who use LinkedIn.

With 43% of accounts posting photos/videos more than once a day, the ability to connect brands and audiences is becoming a reality. Many find it simple to understand the popularity of Instagram for personal use but fail to understand the significance of the app for brands and businesses. This graph shows a quick and easy to understand representation of the industries who have decided to adopt Instagram into their social media strategies and marketing plans.

instagram satsAs the popularity of Instagram grows for personal accounts, it also does for brands and companies. Brands post an average of 5.5 times a week, allowing a perfect amount of engagement that is active, but not too overwhelming for followers and fans. According to the stats, 67% of the world’s largest brands now use Instagram. Most brands choose to stick with Instagram’s original purpose – photos. Only 4% of content is composed of videos.

In terms of connecting with their audiences, only 14% of brands were found to be including User Generated Content. If you want to highlight your customers as your audience, find more ways to incorporate UGC into your posts.

So brands, if you aren’t already using Instagram as a part of your PR plan, it’s definitely time to start considering it. You’d be surprised how easy it is to connect with your audience and should be willing to jump at every chance you get to do so.

Instagram: To be Professional or Not to Be

May 22, 2014 2 Comments

By: Morgan Peterson @mopeeeezy

instagramWith summer in full swing, I know everyone is happy to get a little loose, and with this comes a surge of Instagram photos to document the fun times. Just like the average college kid, I have a lot of trouble trying to distinguish what is appropriate to post on my Instagram and what is not. To me many of these lines are blurred, making it hard to separate the two especially working within Public Relations. The battle with being authentic is where many people get into trouble. Even though social media is for you to express yourself, sometimes every moment isn’t “shareable” on the Internet. Here are a few tips on how to manage your instagram personally and professionally.

Define Your Personal Brand

Your personal brand is what people are going to know you by when they see you on the Internet, so be cautious but yourself. Everyone’s personal brand is different, so once you know what yours is, it’ll be easier to know what’s appropriate for Instagram. Instagram pictures help make and enhance your personal brand. Remember, just because someone else posts something that you don’t agree with doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong, that might simply be how he or she wants to be portrayed.

If you don’t want your Mom to see it, don’t post it

I think this is a really good rule of thumb. Essentially you want to post things that you want to be known for. So if you don’t want to be known as a party girl, don’t post pictures of you always at a bar. I know sometimes that can hard considering a lot of Ohio University social life is centered around Court Street and fest season. You want to post a picture of you having a good time, but it’s not always the right thing to do. If you feel like you could be hindering yourself from getting a job or internship then don’t take the risk. Another option is to just make your Instagram private.

Show your work

Instagram is a great tool to show others what you’re working on! Lifestyle pictures are great but also try using Instagram as a marketing tool to show people your talents. For example, one of my friends is an artist and all they use instagram for is to promote their artwork. This shows companies that you’re serious about what you do, and you made it easy for them to view it.

Be yourself!

Be mindful of things that you post on the Internet, but at the end of the day the right job or internship will find you. If you feel like you can’t be professional and personal on Instagram, then that might not be the right platform for you to use. If you feel like you’re too scared or restricted on Instagram, then try and find a platform that fits you where you feel like you can be yourself while being professional.

Hope some of these tips help! Happy posting!

Measuring Instagram with these Analytics Tools

May 13, 2014 2 Comments

By: Gentry Bennett @Gen__andTonic.

There are many options for measuring Instagram analytics. Since Instagram doesn’t have an in-app analytics system, multiple third-party programs can give you the information you need.

Iconosquare, formerly Statigram

A free, web-based site for measuring Instagram analytics, Iconosquare is leading the way for data concerning the popular photo and video sharing app. What started out as a site called Statigram, now has users such as Coca-Cola, Victoria’s Secret and Starbucks. Not only does it tell you the best times to post to your followers, but also tracks which filters get the most interaction, which hashtags have been most beneficial, the common times and days you post and much more.

iconosquare

Just Unfollow

What seems to be a run-of-the-mill followers app, Just Unfollow is much more. As a mobile app you can view your updated information nearly anywhere, and it gives more information than who isn’t a part of #TeamFollowBack. With the new launch of their admirers section, you can see the users who interact with you the most. You can also view your “fans” (those who you don’t follow back), and it has a handy friend-check feature to easily view your relationship with another user.

friend

SimplyMeasured

Another web-based site, SimplyMeasured gives top-notch graphs and charts. While Iconosquare is mostly about content and community, SimplyMeasured is all about engagement. Some of its most unique features are tracking engagement of the photos you shared to Twitter and Facebook, top cities you’ve posted from, top keywords and the best time to post for engagement. You can get a free trial and then look in to plans and pricing

measured

Followers+

Found in the App Store, Followers+ is free to download. Basic data scrolls across the screen when you first log in, and a statistics button leads to two different packs being available. Both are in-app purchases of 99 cents. The Engagement Pack shows your followers, comments and likes analysis. The Insights Pack shows who is posting relative to your location, who is new to Instagram and more. Both packs are worth the cost if you want to have mobile access to the data they provide.

Followers+

No matter which program you use for measuring Instagram analytics, it’s easy to see the benefits Instagram can have for your brand. As a top app with almost entirely mobile-based users, Instagram brings a lot of potential for any user.

 

A Lesson from Warby Parker: How to Use Instagram Effectively

April 22, 2014 2 Comments

Warby Parker is an amazing eye-glass company that sells unique and stylish frames for $95 (yes that also includes the lens)! In addition to the amazing price point for every pair that is sold, a pair is given to someone in need. Aside to being known for its trendy glasses, outstanding customer service and exceptional prices, Warby Parker is also known for its social media – namely its Instagram account.

Warby Parker has mastered the use of Instagram and is a perfect example of a company who uses the platform effectively.

Culture

Looking at Warby Parker’s Instagram account gives a customer not only a look at their product, but an insight into what the company and its employees are like. It showcases their interests in books, favorite places to dine and amazing scenery from the company travels.

Instagram provides an all-access pass into WP’s company headquarters by documenting days at the office. Snapshots focus on behind the scenes work at photo shoots, company uniforms for WP’s “Spirit Day” and office pot lucks!

Promoting Events

Any event that WP is attending or hosting is usually featured on Instagram, accompanied with an awesome photo and unique hashtag.  There have been many events, such as The Warby Parker Class Trip (#wpclasstrip). Employees were sent on a road trip across the country in a renovated school bus to bring WP glasses to areas where there aren’t any showroom locations. Photos of their road trip were featured on Instagram – allowing users to follow along with them as they made their journey across the U.S.A. Other events and promotions have included #whereswarby and #warbyegg.

Earlier this year, WP celebrated another milestone: its 4th birthday. To commemorate the company’s birthday, its Instagram was filled with pictures capturing employees and the four founders when they were 4 years-old.

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2Promoting the Product

The ultimate goal of brands being active on social media platforms is to push their products. WP is no exception. However, its advertising is not as obvious or in-your-face as most brands. Photos of the glasses often appear on its Instagram surrounded by numerous other items such a books, newspapers, food, candles, coffee, etc. For these Instagram photo shoots, WP tries placing the glasses in an environment that they would typically appear in if a consumer had them.

People may feel uneasy about buying glasses online and that is why WP lets you pick out 5 pairs of frames, ships them to you for free and gives you five days to try them on and decide which frame you like best. This can be a tough decision! WP uses social media as a way to connect with its consumers who are struggling to select a trendy frame. Customers can upload pictures of themselves in the different frames, and by using the hashtag #pickapair, WP specialists will step into help! WP also features employees who are stuck deciding between frames and allows the customers to give their input.

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WP has even been praised by Business Insider and IMPACT Inbound Marketing Agency for its content on Instagram and other social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. The company has set the standards for brands on social media, and given them a model to aspire toward.

Follow WP on Instagram: @warbyparker 

Kathleen Marincic is a junior studying Strategic Communications. You can follow her on Twitter at @KathMarincic.

What’s Better – Vine vs. Instagram?

December 3, 2013 2 Comments

vineOne of the big questions in the social media world since Instagram video came out is, which better; Vine or Instagram? The answer to this question lies within the personal preference of the user. There are pros and cons to each platform and each of these pros and cons lead to the ultimate decision that the user will make. If this is a question that still bounces around in your mind, here’s a list of pros and cons to ease your mind a bit:

Why Vine Rocks:

  • A six second time limit forces a Vine user to think outside the box and be as innovative as possible.
  • Vine constantly loops the video, so if you miss something you can watch it again.
  • Twitter and Vine are linked together, so when you post something on Vine it automatically goes to your Twitter page, too.

Why Instagram Rocks:

  • Instagram has a longer recording time (15 seconds) which allows more time to film a typical TV spot.
  • The app also offers more creativity with filters and editing features that enhance the display of the video.
  • Instagram also allows to share on not just Facebook and Twitter, but also Tumblr, Flickr and Foursquare.

Not So Good About Vine:

  • Vine lacks editing tools and style filters.
  • You can’t pull prerecorded videos from camera roll.
  • Vine’s user numbers have decreased 2.9 million to 1.35 million, a 50 percent decrease.

Troubles With Instagram:

  • Instagram doesn’t have the looping option for videos.
  • Just like Vine, Instagram doesn’t support pulling prerecorded videos from camera roll.
  • Because of the 15 second time limit, there are complaints of the video taking too long to load.

With these pros and cons in mind, a user now has a better chance of making a decision that is in line with their personal preference. Whatever the choice, with practice and proper use, you’ll become a video pro in no time!

-Ali Cupelli is a senior majoring in strategic communication. Follow her at @ali__cup .

4 Ways to Make Instagram Meaningful for Your Brand

July 18, 2013 3 Comments

InstagramInstagram has pretty impressive statistics: over 130 million monthly active users, 16 billion total photos shared, 1 billion daily likes and 45 million photos per day. The numbers are only growing now that the owner, Facebook, has thrown video into the mix, crushing Vine in the process.

People with really interesting cups of coffee aren’t the only ones using Instagram; 54% of brands are on the site with 25% posting at least one photo a week. According to Simply Measured, the brands that have adopted Instagram as a platform in August 2011 have seen month-over-month growth, creating a huge gap between them and other brands that are not on the social site.

Here are a few tips on how to use Instagram for YOUR brand:

1. Get your followers involved

Put the social back into social media and interact with your fans. Ask them to share their own content and then #regram it or create contests to engage your audience. The brand Starbucks is a good example of a social brand. It says right in their Instagram bio to tag photos with #Starbucks, and over 3.5 million people have done so. Starbucks then shares the photos on their Instagram and Facebook pages to finish off the social loop.

2. Show how your product is made

This can apply to pretty much any brand. Show a t-shirt getting printed, someone roasting coffee beans or the creation of an engine. Take little snap shots of the product from start to finish and let the fans see just how much love goes into your product. Louisville Slugger does a good job of this. As you scroll through their Instagram photos you’ll see a block of wood, an unfinished baseball bat, a worker dipping the bat in color and then a major leaguer hitting a homerun with Louisville Slugger in hand. 

3. Give people a behind the scenes look

When people think they are getting an exclusive look at something, they will continue to come back for more. And if you put those exciting buzz words like “first look”, “exclusive” or “behind the scenes”; you’re doing even better. Burberry does a great job at giving fans an exclusive look. Their Instagram features images and videos from backstage at fashion shows, photo shoots and even the making of their collection.

4. Show the company culture

Give your fans a glimpse into your world and share your brand’s voice. Show them who your employees are, what your office looks like and even what snacks your team is having during break. If you let people in to your world they will better connect, engage and stay! Urban Outfitters does a great job of showing off their brand’s culture. The chill, down-to-earth vibe of their Instagram pictures has captured fans and gotten Urban Outfitters almost 850,000 followers.

As you can see, the social site can be used for more than filtered pictures of food and sunsets, it can be used as a platform for brands to engage with fans and show people what a company is all about. Images speak louder than words, so pick up your IPhone and start Instagram-ing some ‘like’ worthy images for your brand.

-Angela Martin is a senior studying strategic communication. Follow her on Twitter @_angelamartin.

 

Happiest 5k Takes on Social Media

June 10, 2013 8 Comments

Color RunMost of us have heard of The Happiest 5k on the Planet, known best as The Color Run. For those that haven’t, this is a run that has taken the world by storm with races in Australia, Brazil, Chile, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and all over the United States. Participants wear all white and are doused with 5 different colors as they pass each kilometer. The race has grown immensely from its start in 2012 and will have more than a million participants in 100 events in 2013.

One of The Color Run’s greatest strengths has been its use of social media to spread its message of healthiness, happiness, individuality and giving back to the community. When and where did you first see the pictures of people jumping in the air throwing paint powder?

Twitter

Leading the forefront of today’s social media, Twitter is a unique space for event-related content. It allows those not present to follow the event in real time and keep the atmosphere and impact of the race going far after it is over.

@TheColorRun has 46,497 followers currently for its U.S. account and uses separate accounts for each country. They receive great interaction utilizing #ColorRunner and #Happiest5k as well as responding to a great number of the people that tweet at them. One of the best parts of The Color Run is the phenomenal pictures taken there. Tweets with multimedia have been shown to increase engagement dramatically. These intensely interactive pictures lend themselves well to other forms of social media that not all companies have been able to effectively utilize.

Instagram

Instagram is all about sharing a visual experience that people can relate to; the perfect site for blasts of color and promoting health and happiness.

TheColorRun has 20,000 followers on Instagram. They not only share pictures that imply the run will be the best time of your life, but use the photos to spread engagement to their other social media platforms such as YouTube.  Even though they use different outlets, The Color Run does a great job of creating one cohesive brand image throughout their messaging. For example, they continue to use the hash tags #happiest5k and #colorrunner, making it easy for followers to connect on both Instagram and Twitter. The group also shares pictures of their sponsors’ stands in order to pull from their sponsors’ customer base.

Vine

One of the newest players in social media is the short video sharing application called Vine, and The Color Run is already taking advantage of this platform. Their first vine was on June 2, 2013 and they already have 1,938 followers and 244 likes for their first post.

To find out more about The Color Run and potential races in your area visit http://thecolorrun.com/

-Ann Watercutter is a junior studying strategic communications with a minor in business and a marketing specialization. Keep up with Ann at @AWatercutter.

Madonna Pushes Instagram Over the ‘Borderline’

March 1, 2013

By: Kiley Landusky

PR Daily recently posted an article on Instagram’s action toward Madonna’s racy pictures posted on its site. In an effort to tame her wild side it created more attention to the star’s account including her flagrant photographs. Madonna posted a screen shot of the email she received from Instagram on its own site. The email told Madonna that her account had violated Instagram’s community guidelines. This generated over 9,000 likes and unleashed over 2,000 comments criticizing how the site handled the situation. A few of the comments read: “Instagram people….really?” “Stupid @instagram,” and “and Rihanna’s photos are not violating?? Give me a break Instagram Team!”. It would appear that these comments were a negative for Instagram, but were actually only adding more attention to the already booming social media.

Was Instagram simply enforcing its community guidelines or just trying to spark attention? It seems to be the latter. The popular page of Instagram seldom lacks photos of girls posing with cleavage out and/or in minuscule bikinis. The fact that they chose to enforce their rules on a multi-decade sex symbol seems quite odd. The Instagram team may have successfully developed a way to build talk of the site and talk of its photos. 

We all know that public relations can get sleazy by use of questionable tactics, such as MTV’s decision to “hack” its own Twitter account. If Instagram is merely attempting to boost its popularity as MTV did, it is doing so in a much cleaner manner. No lies, no posing, no ridiculous scandal; simply enforcing its own rules. Sure, this causes a stir but not the kind of stir that ruins a reputation, just enough to get a few thousand more viewers and to prod its users to generate a lot of comments. With this success story, perhaps Instagram will crack down on celebrity icons breaking their rules more often.

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