5 Things Your Brand Should Start Doing With Instagram Right Now


Hopefully by now your brand has joined the 40+ million users in sharing photos with the widely popular mobile app Instagram and hopefully it has proven to heighten engagement, provide compelling content and afford your brand added depth.

If not, go do that right now.

I’ll wait.

I am sure you’re an all-star when it comes to applying the perfect filter or capturing the perfect angle, but there are a few features and tricks Instagram yields that are a little less obvious that will help attract and engage your awesome brand army!

Consistency Wins in Instagram Hashtagging

 If you are reading this, I am going to assume you are the woman or man with your hands on the brand (say that five times fast! Just kidding. Don’t.). And since you are assigned that role, I’ll also assume you are a wildly enthusiastic creative solar flaring with the brightest ideas your company has ever seen. I’m like a mind reader, I know.

It’s not secret that hashtags are effective for organizing posts and helping content gain traction organically (meaning without being paid for) or at least that’s the ideal. As your company’s branding guru you’ve probably developed time and time again a creative hashtag for a specific campaign to help promote across Twitter, Tumblr, G+, etc…

Where you will win with hashtags on Instagram is by designing a unique hashtag with longevity. A hashtag that will accompany every Instagram photo you share. The reason for this is being that your hashtag is tied to a compelling piece of visual content that can then be in turn displayed on your website, Facebook, G+, or micro-blog by way of RSS or a third-party aggregator such asStatigram or SnapWidget.

You now have created a visually stimulating driver for your social platforms, website and blogs; a place where your fans can check out what you’ve been up to and easily share giving your profiles and content a little more muscle.

Additionally, by remaining consistent with your hashtags on Instagram, you are setting the record for how the hashtag should be used within the social space further fortifying visual branding within your social communities. 

Location, location, location

Using Instagram works like this: Take a photo, make it awesome with filters, write a clever little caption and share it. Right?  100% right, just not 110% right.

Instagram allows user to tag the location of photos by using Foursquare’s geo-location technology. Geo-tagging a location is an easy way of authenticating your brand’s photo and simply saying, “Hey, check out this awesome photo from the awesome place we actually just visited.”

I know it may not sound astonishing, but you’d be surprised how your community responds when they know your brand is out and about interacting in an interesting place or just places in the neighborhood.  Really send it all the way home with the location tag.

Instagram Tagged


Social Media: Penn State’s Office of Social Media’s Geoff Rushton


I recently caught up with Penn State Office of Social Media’s social media manager Geoff Rushton to talk social strategy, trends and how social media has aided Penn State University in crisis over the past year. Geoff is a Penn State Class of 2001 College of Communications graduate with a strong background in journalism, public relations and new media management.

Established in the fall of 2011, the Office of Social Media is keeping a pulse of what is going on in the social sphere on and off campus as well as providing guidance and collaboration for individuals or organizations who want to fine tune their social efforts.

“The great thing for us at Penn State is that there are a lot of people here to learn from.” said Geoff of the benefits of exploring social media on Penn State’s diverse campus.

Dear Old State’s social media following boasts nearly 350,000 members. It’s the responsibility of the Office of Social Media to keep up with, what Geoff referred to as, a “wealth of content” ranging from the College of Agricultural Science to the Clown Nose Club. He also noted the challenges that the surplus of content brings.

When crisis emerged in the past year at the University, millions all over the world weighed in over the social media airwaves to publicize their thoughts. Geoff explains the approach the Office of Social Media took to facilitating conversations, disseminating news,  and responding to questions surrounding the “white hot” issues via Penn State’s social channels.

To wrap my conversation with Geoff I asked him a couple questions about emerging trends he anticipates in the coming year and his thoughts on the current state of the social media workspace. Geoff explains how anyone can make social media part of their career.

A very big thank you to Geoff Rushton for his time and  insight.

Be Someone – September 9, 2012


Be Someone - September 9, 2012

I inadvertently stumbled across this concrete block tagged with “Be Someone” in white spray paint while running on top of the Green Lane Bridge in Manayunk. I quickly snapped a photo with my iPhone and posted it to Instagram with the caption “You find it in the strangest places.” #inspiration. Despite being a proponent of the mantra “Be yourself”, I found the graffiti that lives nearly 100 feet over the Schuylkill River rather neat.

6 Great Firework Instagram Photos From Users In My Feed


In a year when Instagram’s user base and popularity skyrocketed, there was no doubt in my mind that July 4th, 2012 was going to yield really great photos. My feed included many great shots from friends across the country, so I though I would share a few here on my site. Check them out!

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Build Deeper Brands With Instagram by Jerry Rizzo


You’re posting quality content, timing your posts and monitoring your  post frequency, but your fans are still not engaging your brand as much as you would like.  Popular instant mobile photo app Instagram may be just what your brand needs to achieve more transparency, depth and overall fan engagement.

#Hashtag Campaigns

Challenge your fans to upload relevant Instagram photos with your brand’s hashtag or popular hashtags that are related to your brand.  This keeps your brand on your fans’ mind while they’re on the go and spurs them to post and comment on creative Instagram photos on your brand’s fanpage or site.

Let’m Inside

Allow your brand to be more transparent by sharing exclusive Instagram photos of early product development, event planning or strange encounters from around the office.  Your brand’s fans want to know what goes into your brand and the people behind it.

Boost the Buzz

Are you experiencing social media success with a current campaign? Why not keep it going?  By promoting the existing campaign’s title as it’s own hashtag or encouraging promotional fan Instagram photos you can keep your buzz buzzin’.

Brands Without Borders

Find out where your fans are by prompting them to post Instagram photos with your branded products at interesting locations.  This not only provides engaging content for your fans, it also allows you to learn more about your brand’s reach.  Who knew teens in Sao Paulo love your hand knitted caps?

Drive Your Fans to Drive Your Brand

What you intend for your brand and what your consumers do with it can waver.  Let your fans show you how they like to experience your brand with Instagram photos.  Ask your fans or followers how your brand fits into their everyday lives.  You may be surprised to find  that your fashionable knitted hats are actually very functional outerwear granting your branding strategy a rugged new angle.