2. Instagram is an online photo-sharing social media platform that enables users to take pictures, apply filters to the images, and share them with their friends and followers on other social media sites. Instagram is growing in popularity and is now used by multiple service branches and government agencies. This Social Media Roundup will break down the basic uses of Instagram and offer a few best practices. Instagram introduction The Army on Instagram Other service branches on Instagram Government agencies using Instagram Best practices Agenda 3. Instagram introduction Instagram launched in October 2010. On February 27, 2013, Instagram announced that they had 100 million active users. The defining features of Instagram include square-shaped photos and various digital filters that allow users to alter basic photos taken with their mobile device to create more compelling images to share. In 2012, Instagram created profiles on the Internet which allowed users to access their Instagram account like a social media site. Recently, after a federal-friendly Terms of Service agreement was negotiated by the General Services Administration, several government agencies began actively using Instagram. 4. The Army on Instagram The U.S. Army launched its own Instagram account in August 2013 joining other organizations like PEO Soldier and the United States Military Academy West Point. The official Army Instagram account encourages Soldiers and the Army Family at large to capture images that tell the Army story. Unlike many of the Armys other social media presences, the Army Instagram account will be largely audience driven, allowing other Instagram users to generate quality content that will then be distributed to the Armys expansive online audience. 5. Other service branches on Instagram Other service branches, to include the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, are also using Instagram as part of their social media strategies. Both the Marine Corps and the Navy use Instagram to provide more instant and accessible images of their branch. Instagram, unlike photosharing services like Flickr, is about the moment. Instagram provides an opportunity to share images live and bring audiences behind the scene. An exception in DoD Instruction 5040.05 states photographic and video post- production enhancement of DoD images including special effects is authorized as long as the enhancement does not misrepresent the subject of the original image. This is helpful if DoD agencies decide to upload official photos to Instagram. 6. Government agencies on Instagram Service branches and government agencies are not using Instagram like they would use traditional photo-sharing platforms. Instagram provides an opportunity to show a new perspective. In addition to providing their own imagery, some agencies are featuring Instagram images taken by their followers. Government agencies are asking users to use hashtags in their photo captions so the agency can quickly identify an image and then include it in their Instagram profile. 7. Best practices Think outside the box: Instagram is about showing your audience something new. Its about bringing them behind the curtain. Your organization will generate hundreds of photos from an event or a training exercise, but you should use Instagram to provide a unique perspective shared instantly rather than later in a news release. Crowd source: You organization cant be everywhere. Reward your followers by sharing their images on your Instagram profile. Just make sure they know to use the right hashtags so your organization can quickly find the right images to share. Be current: Instagram is about the moment. The photos you share through Instagram should make your audience part of the event. Dont wait until the event is over to share an Instagram image. Be creative: If youve spent any time looking at Instagram photos, youll notice that not only do the photos look different, but they communicate through alternate perspectives. Experiment with camera angles and lighting. Dont be afraid to try something new. 8. Contact information Have questions? Please feel free to reach out to us at the Online and Social Media Division OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS PENTAGON 8/28/2013 Email: [email protected] To review and download past editions of the Social Media Roundup, visit our Slideshare site at: http://www.slideshare.net/usarmysocialmedia. All Social Media Roundups are authorized to be distributed to a broader audience.
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