Great Social Media Idea: Monthly Instagram Gallery

My love of Instagram has been pretty well documented on this blog, and while I can't give my full-throated support to endless pictures of feet and food (though, oddly, I can fully get behind the "legs or hot dogs?" trend), I can definitely say that at the current moment - for me, anyway - no social network can match Instagram when it comes to connecting with current students.

But there are several challenges with Instagram, first and foremost being that it's difficult to promote your presence there. You can't advertise on Instagram, and because it's a mobile app it's sort of difficult to promote with other social media networks. You can do it, but people get tired of seeing endless promotions to follow you on other networks and unless someone is on their phone at that moment, they can't really click to it to follow you anyway. Also, it's against Instagram's terms of use to re-post photos other people have posted (full disclosure: I do this anyway sometimes) and you need a separate app to do it, so it's difficult to tap into the "social" part of Instagram as a social network in terms of people sharing the photos you post and help spread the word about your presence there.

I've found that the best way to promote your presence there is to just spend a lot of time liking and commenting on posts (that is, posts using your hashtags and campus location tags), but that can be pretty time consuming. Necessary, but time consuming.

So I'm always looking for ways to promote UP's Instagram presence on other social networks without beating people over the head with begging them to follow me, and thankfully UCLA just showed me a terrific way to do it, with a monthly Facebook gallery promoting both their Instagram account and a unique hashtag.

Los Angeles? Whatever. GO BLAZERS!!!

Los Angeles? Whatever. GO BLAZERS!!!

This idea pretty much speaks for itself. It's an awesome way to showcase some great photos of campus and "reward" fans by highlighting their photos, and it does a terrific job of letting people know that UCLA is active on Instagram and directing people to use a specific hashtag. 

Most of all, I feel like a monthly gallery is just right when it comes to how much Instagram cross-promotion you do on Facebook. I think it's important to remember that each social network has its own culture and vibe, and you never want to over-step the bounds too much. I still think people get turned off by Twitter posts and hashtags on Facebook. 

One quick tip on this - Webstagram is a great website that allows you to download larger-sized photos from Instagram. I use that site all the time and highly recommend it to you too. 

Thanks for the great idea, UCLA! 



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