Creating an Instagram Showcase
So, What is Instagram?
Instagram is a social media platform that typically focuses on media and videos and has a square image format. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, on Instagram you have something called a ‘feed’ where you can follow, like, and comment on content and media that you find engaging. Much like on twitter, you can follow people that you don’t know, as well as celebrities and influencers.
Instagram is one of the most popular platforms that is used today, especially amongst Millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996). It is also a platform where you can showcase photography, art, music and even try your hand at food blogging. As part of our social media strategy at ‘Interactive Schools’, we encourage our clients and schools to use this platform to their advantage by uploading pictures and #SchoolStories in a creative and effective way - the purpose is to use Instagram as more of a highlight reel and best bits. Art and photography can be showcased here, anything that is visually appealing, highlighting creativity and inspiration will work well here.
There are so many ways to utilise Instagram stories to promote your school, these ‘stories’ only last 24 hours max. However, if there is something that you would like to highlight, you can still save these stories onto your profile.
You can tag your post with a #hashtag (much like on Twitter), you'll be able to tap the hashtag to see a page that shows all photos and videos people have uploaded with that hashtag. Keep in mind that when people with private profiles tag posts, they won't appear publicly on hashtag pages.
Why instagram? What can this platform do that others perhaps can’t?
Well, for starters we wanted to create an ongoing piece of art. Where someone could scroll through our feed and it would become a more immersive experience. We have some fantastic designs from all of the work we have done for our clients and what better way than to showcase this on a platform that has over 1 billion users world-wide?
We decided to run this showcase because we had rebranded as a company and we wanted to showcase this in a fun and different way, we thought about using different social media streams but decided that it would be best received on Instagram. If you go and have a look you will see just how the design unfolded.
When we were creating our November showcase we wanted to make sure that we had planned everything carefully and efficiently. We wanted to use this platform differently, creating one large portfolio with the purpose of seeing this grid all together as one and not individual photos. We were so excited to try something a little different and challenge the conventional norms! This was also a fantastic opportunity for the design team and the social team to work on our internal designs together. Both departments had the opportunity to really experience what it takes to create and implement this project.
If you are also thinking about setting up an Instagram showcase, you need to keep in mind who you would like to target.
How can we use instagram in a new innovative way? How can we link this with other platforms? Will Instagram integrate with the other networks in your social media strategy?
Plan, plan and plan again.
This was pivotal! In order for us to make sure that we knew exactly what we were posting and when we had to have a plan and divide the days accordingly. We already had a finished design - we had saved every image into separate squares as well, and we had to make sure we were posting from the bottom up! So, once the showcase was completed it would flow and look just like the initial design! It was so important that we didn’t miss a day or post the wrong photo as this would ruin the whole design!
When posting we would have to adhere to Instagram’s grid layout so we had to either divide the content and post at the same time in groups of 3, 6, or 9. We created the initial design and then cut them into sections, it can be interpreted as art, using Instagram as a portfolio makes it more appealing and visually enticing.
When creating a showcase there needs to be an understanding that this is a showcase and individual images may not gain likes or comments in the same way they would if they were individual photos. However, the overall profile and the final image will look stunning. 👌
Even though this type of promotion and marketing is not the norm there have been famous brands such as @lululemon who have also used this concept.
We’d love to see some of your favourite Instagram posts or showcases! Let us know how your school makes use of Instagram
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Good luck in 2019! 👨💻