Saturday, January 11, 2014

Instagram Direct: What Does It Mean for PR?

Whether you like it or not, social media is one of the fastest growing platforms for public relations students and professionals alike. With a community of over 150 million users from around the globe, Instagram is one of those social media platforms that has grown to monumental heights over the past three years. Instagram can be great for PR students and professionals because it allows them reach out to an audience creatively through picture and video sharing. However, avid Instagram users have most likely noticed the small change on the top-right side of their Instagram screen.

Recently, Instagram introduced a new feature: Instagram Direct. Instagram Direct allows you to send a picture or video to up to 15 Instagram users simultaneously. Within this direct message users can track who has seen the message, start a conversation, and like the photo or video. But what is the use of this feature for PR professionals?

Instagram Direct may not be great for getting your message out to a large audience, but it will show your followers that you care. If there is something that you feel as though may be more relevant to a smaller group of people, this feature allows you to send that image or video to a smaller number of avid or important followers, and allows for marketing strategies such as contests or prizes that become exclusive to certain followers. 

Another approach to Instagram Direct is to use the feature to pitch to journalists and bloggers. Though it may be difficult to pitch with the brevity of just a photo or a 15 second video, if done right, you can really be able to pitch a great product or story to these users.

Though Instagram has a very “user-first” mentality, PR students and professionals can use this to their advantage. By connecting to more personally to certain followers, and pitching to journalists and bloggers, Instagram Direct can open a brand new portal of opportunity.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Rute Barkai.

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