‘Pics Or It Didn’t Happen’ – How Instagram Has Changed the Immediacy of Social Media

Feb 2016

Ten years ago, social media was born out of the need for people to stay digitally connected in real time. Little did many of the early software developers realize that the “real time” factor would change the way we consume our media. With the advent of Instagram, the immediacy level of social media has now been switched to full throttle. Even the name implies that the photos coming across your feed are documenting events as they occur. It’s no longer sufficient to deliver perfectly manicured content- a window into what’s actually going on in the world of your favorite influencers and brands makes a far more compelling story. Therefore, it’s time to decipher the who, what, where and when of your Instagram posts to help you deliver better content that will actively engage your audience and deliver the authenticity that your followers relate to.

Photo: @cmart444


The Who

Unless you operate in a vacuum, you’re likely communicating with other members of the community, vendors, and affiliates of your business on a regular basis. Highlight these people in your posts as a way to show your status within your business community. If you’re an online business without much community interaction, try spotlighting your customers instead! About to ship out a huge order to one of your best clients? Post a picture and tag them- they will likely return the favor down the road, providing you with great user-generated content.

The What

Perhaps the most important aspect of Instagram, or any social media channel for that matter, is the content you’re actually posting. It’s never a good idea to post just for the sake of posting, however, there are tried and true ways to keep up with your content, even if you encounter obstacles. For example, if your photography skills aren’t the greatest, regramming from your fellow conference attendees is a viable option.

The Where

If it’s an event or company-wide meeting that’s dominating your current calendar, use Instagram as a means of boosting attendance! Turn on the location settings of your smartphone to tag the address of your soiree and watch your audience grow. The Egyptian revolution in 2013 grew to a crowd of millions in the town square from grassroots sharing on social media.

The When

The importance of live posting can’t be stressed enough. While your followers will be happy to see what you’ve been up to at your biggest industry conference, it’s a little deflating if it happened last week. Emphasizing that your company has its finger on the pulse of the latest events, activities and trends is all part of the bigger picture that contributes to social proof.

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