Getting Started on Instagram

While I’ve had a personal Instagram account for quite a while now, I’m just starting to explore the possibilities for an Instagram account for my district. This smartphone-based photo-sharing app is popular with both students and adults, but it’s just starting to become a platform for brands and organizations.

So far, we’ve found this is a useful tool for

  • Spotlighting school activities
  • Recognizing student and staff achievements
  • Announcing positive news
  • Showing sneak peaks and behind-the-scenes looks at familiar subjects

Here are the top lessons we’ve learned as we explore this tool for engaging our community:

  • Unlike Facebook, which publishes stories about interactions in users’ feeds, it is more difficult for Instagrammers to stumble on your account. This means you need to promote your Instagram feed more actively. 
  • You can connect Instagram to your district’s Twitter feed and Facebook page. It’s a little tricky to connect it to the brand page instead of your personal profile, but the business page on the Instagram site has good tips about this.
  • We tag our photos with the schools and locations where we take them. While we’re doing this, we check out the other photos tagged at our schools and hit “like” on appropriate photos from students, parents and staff. This leads active users to discover us.
  • We are looking for more ways to make our feed interactive. This summer, we plan to  try a hashtag photo contest.

Have you used Instagram professionally yet? Any tips?

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About Nicole Kirby, APR

Nicole Kirby, APR is the director of communication services for the Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Mo. She is a past NSPRA vice president for the South Central region and a past MOSPRA president. She was named one of NSPRA's Learning and Liberty Legacy Leaders, and she received the NSPRA Frontrunner Award and the MOSPRA Professional of the Year Award.

10 thoughts on “Getting Started on Instagram

  1. Nicole,

    I have a question for you about getting started on Instagram with my school district. I’m an active Instagram user on my personal account and to my knowledge, and many colleague’s knowledge, it’s not possible to add another account to the same phone. Did you encounter this same dilemma? If so, how were you able to solve it?

    Thank you for your help! Great tips!

  2. Pingback: Calling All Instagram Lovers | Seventeen 20

  3. Pingback: Social Media Resolutions for 2016 | NSPRA: Social School Public Relations

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