By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia
The most engaging posts on social media are the ones that include images. That isn’t a statement, it’s a fact!
Out of all of the social media networks, I have to say Instagram is my favorite. Why? Because photos equal fun!
Although Facebook is currently the most popular social network, other platforms have been gaining ground, especially visual platforms like Instagram, which allows users to share photos after applying edits and digital filters. After uploading your photo, you can share it on your club’s social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Instagram is awesome when it comes to showing your creativity and it has 300 million active users.
So why should your club be on Instagram? Because “a picture is worth a thousand words.” There are so many things you can do with photos to showcase your vibrant club and promote Rotary.
Before your jump in:
- Make sure you own a smartphone with a camera: An Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy will suffice.
- Download the Instagram app: You can’t get started unless you start using it. Download the app from Google Play for Android or Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad.
- Use hashtags: They are how you reach new audiences and gain more followers. Mix them up. Use some that are general (#barbecue), some that are trending, and some that are Rotary specific (#Rotary, #RotaryStory, #ricon16). But make sure they are relevant to what you are posting about.
- Engage with your audience: Respond to comments you get on your photos. Follow others who are passionate about Rotary or about helping the community. Like and comment on their photos.
- Use captions: Keep text to a minimum, because it is a visual platform. But make sure you have some kind of caption for every post to give viewers context. Don’t just leave the caption field blank.
- Plan your photos. Just like the old days of film photography, capturing good photos for Instagram with your smartphone requires planning. Occasionally there are happy accidents, but it’s about putting yourself in a position to get a good photo. Experiment with different angles and plan around your source of light. Keep your eye out for that key moment or winning facial expression.
- Take a lot of photos: Professional photographers shoot hundreds of images to get that one good shot. The same is true for Instagram. And in the days of digital photography, this is easier than ever, and you don’t have to blow a fortune on film. Take 10, 20, or more photos of the same subject and use the one that turns out best. Remember, Ansel Adams said, “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”
About the author: Evan Burrell is a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia, and a former member of Rotaract. He has been involved with Rotary since he was 18. He currently manages social media for Rotary Down Under, the Rotary regional magazine of Australia. Follow Evan on Facebook.