Use Instagram Like A… Journalist
May 23, 2019
The number of followers you have ultimately depends on your Instagram social media marketing strategy. In order to get more followers on Instagram, carefully consider what the best strategy for you is.
A good way to decide on this is to look at how other users are managing their accounts, even in different niches, because they might be employing a tactic that could be beneficial to you and your audience. Here are five ways to use Instagram like a journalist.
Journalist Hack #1
Live streams. Traditional journalism was basically like being an unofficial detective or rushing over to a location in order to ‘break a story’ live on TV. The times have changed and often investigative journalism can take a backseat to quick online articles being written as the story unfolds, not when the story is complete.
Breaking news live remains in the journalistic world but often in a different way. Journalists can now use Instagram and other social media outlets to break a story, by broadcasting a live video. Whether on their feed or in their Stories, it’s a great way to keep followers engaged.
Journalist Hack #2
Use it to create a portfolio. This is perhaps something most people don’t think of when they use Instagram, but it is basically a portfolio of your work, and should be treated as such. It could lead to new job opportunities, as journalism is all about content creation and your feed should show your best work in the same way a hardcopy portfolio would. This is good to remember for all users, as Instagram should only represent the best of what you have to offer, treat it like it’s a portfolio for new career opportunities.
Journalist Hack #3
They use it to compliment but not copy their publication. It is, of course, a good idea to post to Instagram with links to the latest story your newspaper, magazine or website has published.
However, the most successful journalists on Instagram (such as The New York Times) won’t only use it for this purpose but they will use it as a mini content distributor in its own right. The links may or may not link back to an article, but they also work as a standalone story, and the Stories feature includes visual narratives often in the form of photos and videos. This is something to consider for all types of accounts, because posting original content not appearing anywhere else, or summarizing a lengthy article, etc., gives people a reason to follow the account rather than just going to the original source.
Journalist Hack #4
They use it to widen their audience. Newspapers often have a specific audience, not many people read multiple newspapers, and people who read actual newspapers tend to be of the older generation.
Many media outlets are turning to Instagram in a bid to get more traffic to their online articles from a new audience, i.e. the ones who aren’t picking a newspaper on the daily.
The Guardian, for example, has been steadily growing its Instagram presence and now the newspaper says that 60% of the people following Instagram links to the website are new to the Guardian. Its goal is to encourage these people to become regular readers of the website and apps and eventually paid members.
Building brand awareness and loyalty through Instagram in the hopes it’ll lead to more new and engaged followers of your brand is a win for any Instagram user or business, not just a news outlet.
Journalist Hack #5
They focus on engaging readers, not driving traffic to their site. While it’s a bonus to have them head on over to your site, whether it be a national newspaper or a personal blog, journalists tend to use Instagram to connect with potential readers. This is great for building brand awareness and showing what you have to offer, without making potential followers click through to another page to find out more. It gives them enough to take notice and want to follow the account, without the hassle of having to do anything.
These five strategies that journalists employ when using Instagram are definitely an interesting perspective to consider. They focus more on the quality of the content than anything else and use Instagram as a complementary tool to what they are already doing.
It’s a less pressured way of using the photo-sharing website and focuses on engaging people to become followers of their stories and their brand, which is likely to build up long-lasting relationships with new followers. This will pay off in the long term, and perhaps is something all brands and Influencers should consider in their posts when thinking about ways to get new followers on Instagram.