Instagram as a Public Relations tool
With the popularity of the social media app, Instagram, businesses can now upload a visual press release to their target publics around the world in a fast and effective manner.
On Instagram, one can follow an organization, or individual, which allows one to see every post as well as submit feedback. According to a Forbes article from last September, Instagram has over 150 million followers and 60% of them live outside of the United States. This number has only continued to grow in the past few months. With its immense audience, Instagram has become a great public relations tool to submit new ideas, events, and products.
Before Instagram, companies would create press releases for news media regarding their new product, event, or idea. With the growth of social media, especially with Instagram, companies are now able to decide what information to post for their audience to see. Essentially, Instagram has become the new visual press release. A company no longer needs to submit a press release to a news media and hope for it to be picked up and published. A company can now control its content and followers for better marketing and public relations. It also allows the audience to provide feedback directly to the company. These visual press releases can be used for any person, organization, or event.
This week, the White House has used its official Instagram account to show Obama and his staff members preparing for the State of the Union Address. According to a recent article, “Critics Charge White House Not Nearly as Transparent as Its Instagrams,” critics are upset “because the administration’s openness on social media contrasts with the restrictions it places on the news media.” Whether or not critics are upset, the Instagram account was a great marketing and public relations tool to promote the Presidents State of the Union Address to its target audience and beyond.
Instagram also has the explore section of the app that shows some of the most popular photos of the day. This allows companies to be creative and aspire to appear on the explore section. The explore section allows the audience to see the top photos from accounts that they do not necessarily follow. By doing this, a company could expand its idea, product, or event beyond their target public. When used in the right way, Instagram can become the new visual press release for any company or organization.