Yesterday was my son’s first birthday party. In March, I experienced SXSW for the first time. And later this month, I’m going camping. No matter if the event is personal or professional, I use Instagram to document it. Here are some examples and takeaways for making it work for you, whether you’ve got your brand or your birthday on your mind.

A major family milestone. The photo was taken by my friend, Jessica Blaha, while my son ate cake on his firth birthday. After she shared it, I shared it too. You can use apps like PicFrame to make collage-style images.


A Company Conference. One of my favorite parts of the Salesforce Customer Company Tour in San Francisco was seeing my coworker, Jeff Cohen, speaking with Ron Vinson, Director of Media of the City and County of San Francisco. They talked social media and I snapped this picture for Instagram. I also live blogged, using this image in the post.

Vacation. Traveling to Vegas with my family was a blast and we found this vintage horse-racing game. I mentioned my brother in the Instagram post since he’s a huge fan of games like these. It made for great conversation online and off.


A Business Trip. Attending SXSW was amazing and one of the great finds was the Samsung Blogger Lounge, where I could charge up, talk to other bloggers and watch short interviews with celebs like Shaq. I included “#bloggerlounge,” “@shaq” and “#sxsw” to make the photo more sharable.


Instagram Takeaways

Here are some ways to effectively use Instagram no matter where you are in your career or life.

  • Make your photos sharable. Connect your Instagram account with Facebook, Twitter and Flickr to spread it to other channels as well. Use hashtags and mention other users in your posts. It starts conversation, adds to sharing and makes for a more social experience.
  • Be creative. There are many ways to get creative with your photo after you’ve snapped it. Try the Instagram filters, collage apps, and photo editing apps such as Laminar,
  • Have a mix of work and personal photos. Your Instagram profile is a window into your world. It displays all your recent photos and your followers can get a sense of who you are. By mixing work pictures and personal ones, you’re giving a well-rounded view of yourself. Plus, oftentimes your followers are a blend of friends and colleagues. This mix will appeal to everyone.
  • Get to know the culture. There is an Instagram culture where hashtags like #dogsofinstagram and #nofilter rule and your Instagram filter choice says more about you than you think. As you use the platform, you’ll get a sense of who to follow and how to use it, but be open and aware of the Instagram trends. It will help you gain followers, make your photos more sharable and create conversation.

How do you use Instagram? Share your thoughts here and I’ll add them to the takeaways.


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