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10 fashion and beauty Instagrammers you really should be following

Did you know that Instagram now has more than 400 million active users across the globe, collectively sharing, filtering and regramming more than 75 million times a day? Among this community are the fashion and beauty bloggers taking the platform by storm, sharing a wealth of reviews, ideas and inspiration. But with some many contributing to the Instagram ‘noise’, how do you know who to follow? We’re here to help! Here’s a selection of our favourite ladies, who are not only rocking the ‘blogosphere’ but Instagram too. We recommend that you press ‘follow’ immediately and this is why…

1. I Have This Thing For
This Instagram channel is hosted by Jessica Garland-Blake, an Irish girl living in London. Jessica is a fashion student and is therefore an expert when it comes to the subject. She says her blog is “a place of imagery for fashion, food and daily inspiration” – which certainly counts for her Instagram too. Rife with stylish, quirky and interesting photographs, the channel offers a glimpse into Jessica’s life and loves! We’d recommend you brighten up your Instagram feed by joining her 18.3k followers now (click here) and be sure to head on over to her blog too: www.ihavethisthingfor.com/!

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2. Victoria Jane 6
The owner and author of fashion, travel and lifestyle blog, Victoria’s Vintage, Victoria Jane brings a hint of vintage style to Instagram too. A lover of travelling, eating out and visiting new places – you get more than just fashion on Victoria’s channel. Followers can expect floral patterns galore and a whole host of ‘pretty’…plus cameo appearances from Victoria’s pet rabbit, Merlin. Follow her here and check out the Victoria’s Vintage blog too.

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3. Blog Me Beautiful
Initially started as a fashion and beauty blog, you can now expect a lot more from Blog Me Beautiful Instagram owner, Emily. A lover of frothy coffee, bubbles, afternoon tea and anything beautiful, she is proud to be totally honest about the products she reviews and won’t include anything she doesn’t like – so you can be certain that anything Emily does endorse genuinely has her seal of approval. Follow Blog Me Beautiful for fashion and beauty advice and much, much more. There’s even something for parents out there too, as Emily is a mum herself. Click here to follow or head to the Blog Me Beautiful blog for even more.

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4. Fashion Panic
Fashion Panic is an absolute must for any Instagrammer looking for a fashion fix. Lauren’s images are always interesting, inspiring and accessible to all. The owner of online boutique, Catwalk Killa, Lauren is also the Fashion Editor of Eight Magazine. Her passion shines through in every pic she uploads and you’ll struggle not to double tap on every single one – starring in many of her snaps, Lauren is absolutely gorgeous too! Find her here and at her blog here too: http://www.fashionpanic.co.uk/p/about-me.html

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5. Scarlett London
You won’t be able to help but be impressed by Scarlett’s Instagram feed. Expect pics packed with inspiration – from a simple shot of her breakfast (below) to her outfits on any particular day. A journalism student and all round ‘go getter’ Scarlett posts regularly and has an impressive following of over 13k! Beware though, you’ll definitely wish you had this lovely lady’s life! Find out exactly what we mean here and here: http://scarlettlondon.com/about/

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6. Cocomamastyle
We wholeheartedly disagree with stylist, Helen Canning’s claim that she isn’t “the most on-trend mum on the block, nor the coolest” – take one look at her Instagram feed and you’ll see what we mean! Helen uses her blog and Instagram to inspire other mums by sharing her “professional styling knowledge and personal experiences of pregnancy and motherhood”. Her following is growing by the day, make sure you are part of it here and read the Cocomamastyle blog here: www.cocomamastyle.com

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7.Style Petal
Primrose Bigwood started young, having established her first blog at the age of 14. Now an actress and qualified drama practitioner, Primrose is a style blogger with a wardrobe you’re certain to be envious of. Whether you’re looking for beauty tips or outfit advice, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for on Primrose’s Instagram. Follow her here or head over to www.stylepetal.blogspot.co.uk for more.

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8. Meg Says
As you’ll see from the bio below, Meg describes herself as a “happy human being who talks about life whilst loving living it”! She’s also a “self-conscious lipstick hoarder and Tom Hanks fanatic” whose take on things is wonderfully bright and refreshing. Positivity is the order of every single day on Meg’s Instagram and her fun personality shines through in each snap! You can also rely on Meg for travel, fashion and beauty inspiration too. What are you waiting for? Follow Meg here or here too: www.meg-says.com

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9. Catherine MW
The author of the Pretty Little Beauty Blog, Catherine MW confesses to having a little bit of an obsession with all things beauty and to being a ‘total Instagram nerd’ – this has proven to be the perfect combination. Catherine’s ‘unintentionally pink’ posts showcase the latest must-have make-up and beauty products which you really should be using. An Instagram pro, her snaps are expertly shot – and we’re not the only ones who love her feed, 18.6k followers agree! Check Catherine’s Instagram out for yourself here and if you still can’t get enough, head over to her blog too: prettylittle-beautyblog.blogspot.co.uk

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10. Frock Me I’m Famous

Another of our favourite Instagram feeds belongs to Hayley Rubery who has an impressive 19.7k followers! From fashion and beauty to life, food and travel, you’re sure to get addicted to her updates – and a word to the wise, you may waste hours scrolling through her pics. Hayley has also recently embarked on a life-changing project – she’ll be visiting 12 countries in 12 months; get ready for some international food and style inspiration. Become part of Hayley’s following here or read her blog here: www.frockmeimfamous.com

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Top Ten Instagram Tools

Top Ten Tools – Instagram

Instagram is one of the newer social media platforms on the block, when compared to digital veterans like Facebook and Twitter. However, it is rapidly becoming one of the most popular, with the site reaching the 10 million user landmark within 10 weeks of its launch. The photo-sharing site now has more than 150 million active users, with 55 million images being shared around the globe each and every day.

Increasingly, brands are beginning to recognise the benefits of being active on Instagram, and to aid marketers and PRs, there are a growing number of tools available to help ensure that your account is as engaging and appealing as possible. Here’s my roundup of the very best.

  1. Gram Feed

Gram Feed is Prohibition’s personal favourite; an incredibly handy tool providing the only aspect that Instagram’s creators seem to have overlooked, a fully-functioning website. The tool not only makes it much easier to browse your own feed, but also to share friends’ images on other social sites like Facebook and Twitter. The clever part, and undoubtedly the most useful for social marketers, is its’ location visualisation capability. You can identify exactly where an image was posted, and when. If you enter a specific location, you are able to see posts made within a specific distance and the people who’ve posted them – allowing you to identify your target audience and interact with them on a channel where they’re already active.

  1. Iconosquare

Iconosquare, formerly Statigram, is an extremely helpful programme which provides really detailed analytics of your account, demonstrating in-depth statistics such as follower growth, how engaging content is and the most popular types of content. This allows you to better tailor you future content to ensure it is as successful as possible and in turn, creates better results. Another interesting feature is its ability to promote posts across other platforms. For example, if you haven’t yet joined the Instagram hype, you can easily install the app which enables you to share Instagram content onto your Facebook page.

  1. Postso

Postso is an Instagram scheduling tool. If you’re managing an Instagram account on behalf of a client, and want your content to reach the maximum amount of people, you may want to wait to post something until your audience’s peak activity time. This may well be 2am, and in these cases, a scheduling tool is pivotal. It may not offer much else in the way of tricks, but you cannot beat its functionality and helpfulness!

  1. Twtrland

Twtrland may well have started out as an analytics tool for Twitter, but it has now branched out into the Instagram arena too. It is key for conducting online competitor analysis, as well as analysing your own data and audiences. Not only can you examine what kinds of content your competitor is using, but you can also access a competitor’s network – meaning that you can compare follower statistics and how much engagement they get on a standard basis.

  1. Simply Measured

Simply Measured is the ultimate tool when it comes to Instagram analytics. It allows you to analyse your brands not only on Instagram, but also on Facebook, Twitter and even new(ish) kid on the block, Google+. This tool allows you to extract data from your account and even run individual reports which can be downloaded into an Excel format, allowing you to analyse the data you choose more closely. It analyses most of the same statistics as the majority of other tools, but it also includes some more obscure information like your most engaging filter, location and engagement outside of Instagram – i.e Tweets and Facebook likes, comments and shares on your photos.

  1. Piqora

Piqora is a popular tool and it provides an extensive analysis of both Instagram and Pinterest accounts. For Instagram, it allows you to find and track your most popular hashtags and successful images – enabling you to share them on your other social media platforms. It also boasts another useful advantage: monitoring conversation. As all PRs and marketers will know, reliable tools for monitoring brand conversation are hard to come by, and when monitoring key influencers and competitors, with Piqora, you can also track brand images shared by particular users.

  1. SnapWidget

SnapWidget allows you to easily embed a photo gallery into your website or blog, and you can even customise its appearance. You can choose whether to display the gallery based on either a username or a hashtag, depending on what you want to track.

  1. Picdeck

Picdeck is an extremely useful tool that can be used to organise accounts. It is the Instagram equivalent of Tweetdeck, and it aims to organise Instagram in the same way that Tweetdeck organises Twitter feeds. When you log in, the app creates a column of the Instagram feed, and like Tweetdeck, you can set up other columns for individual users or specific hashtags that you want to monitor – be this competitors or key influencers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same functionality as Tweetdeck as of yet, as you can’t create new Instagram posts through the programme, or use it for multiple accounts.

  1. Totems

Totems describes itself as ‘the most complete marketing suite for brands on Instagram’, and is undoubtedly an extremely useful tool for marketers whose clients are active on Instagram. It offers an array of advanced social analytics for Instagram accounts – invaluable for reporting back to clients on progress of social accounts. This tool allows you to analyse your audience, track all campaigns, and monitor your competitors all in one easy and simple to use programme.

10. Pic Stitch

Pic Stitch is a really useful Instagram tool for when you want to try out different stylistic features on your images. It also allows you to combine a number of pictures into one portrait. There are also 32 varieties of layout and nine photo aspect ratios to choose from, enabling you to customise your image to exactly how you want it, and to have the correct format for each specific platform – creating a really premium image. Pic Stitch also allows you to apply artistic finishes to your photos, from rounded corners to shadows, numerous patterns and filters. This aspect is particularly useful when making a client’s product or venue look more appealing, and which can be tailored, depending on its audience.

 

Are you active on any of the tools above? Which ones do you use or swear by? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

The Prohibition Seven Days of Social

3256859352_cf35412c5f_zFast moving, always adapting and often controversial, social media is an area where many of us have divided opinions. We like to keep our ear to the ground in the social media world, and as the week comes to an end, we’ve put together a few of our favourite pieces of social media content from around the web that you might not have spotted.

 

  1. “Can we auto correct humanity?”
    by Prince Ea (@PrinceEa)
    By far the biggest hitting and most shared piece of social media content of this week (over three million YouTube views) saw musician and rapper Prince Ea take to the camera in a thought provoking video, assessing how social media and modern technologies are leaving us less connected with our ‘friends’ than ever before.
  1. “ I didn’t actually wake up like this (and other Instagram confessions)
    by Amelia Olson
    We’re dubbed the ‘selfie generation’, but are the self facing snaps just an expression of vanity? In this article, Amelia Olson argues that selfies are not a self-obsessed or narcissistic expression, but that Instagram and other social media platforms that allow us to adjust our appearance through brightening effects and filters only contribute to our appearance insecurities. As does the marketing of makeup brands to encourage the public to look ‘photo/TV ready’.
  1. Fortune’s 55 most influential women on Twitter”
    by Caroline Fairchild (@CFair1)
    Social media is a powerful tool, especially for influencers, and with Twitter being the network of choice for some of the most powerful leaders in government, business and industry throughout the world, maintaining a strong Twitter presence has never been more important. If you’re looking for key female influencers to follow on the network, this is Fortune’s definitive guide to the 55 most influential women on Twitter
  1. “23 Tools and Resources to Create Images for Social Media”
    by Kevan Lee (@kevanlee)
    Social Media is all about engagement, especially when it comes to managing a community for a brand or business. Sharing interesting and engaging graphics is proven, especially on Facebook, to drive reach and increase your audience. However, the success of a post often depends on the make-up and design of an image. This week, our fourth piece of social media content provides one of the most the definitive guides available when it comes to social media image resources.
  1. Teens are officially over Facebook
    by Caitlin Dewey (@caitlindewey)
    We all know the Facebook story, created in a university dorm room, coming from nowhere to take the social media mantel from MySpace and within ten years, it’s arguably the most renowned business in the world. We all love to forecast the future of the most prevalent social network, and in this article, the Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey looks into the trend for teenagers to stray from the site, in search of more engaging content, from the likes of (Facebook owned) Instagram.
  1. 5 Ways to Use Metrics to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
    by Debra Eckerling (@WriteOnOnline)
    Gone are the days when a brand’s social media absence could be glossed over. In the modern, online age, it’s expected that a reputable brand will possess an engaging online presence. With social media marketing being as important as ever, and most if not all brands now taking on newer and more innovative social accounts, it’s important to keep track of those important metrics that showcase just how effective your presence online is.
  1. YouAreWhatYouLike: Find out what algorithms can tell about you based on your Facebook account.
    by Jennifer Golbeck (@jengolbeck)
    Social media users now number more than 1.4 billion—more than half of the Earth’s Internet-using population. We share a lot of information on social media, but it turns out we are sharing far more than we think. Seemingly innocuous information, when analyzed against tens of thousands of other profiles, can reveal secrets you never intended to share.

 

Photocredit: CC image from Rosaura Ochoa via flickr.

How to be legally compliant on social media

Yesterday morning. the Prohibition team jointly organised a successful breakfast seminar exploring the important issue of legal compliance in social media.

Held in conjunction with leading Intellectual Property law firm, HGF, the central-Leeds seminar was attended by 50 marketing and legal professionals from across the region.

HGF 1Social media undoubtedly provides brands with fantastic opportunities to promote themselves and powerfully engage directly with their customers and stakeholders, as many well-publicised cases show. However, social media can also be a huge trap for those unaware of the potential legal consequences.

The increasingly blurred boundaries between professional and private social media use can pose challenges for organisations, as employees unwittingly go “off message” in their personal social media networks.

These issues were explored in two short, but lively sessions, from Anthony Gold, Partner at HGF, and Chris Norton, Managing Director of Prohibition, as both talked through the challenges, opportunities and risks for brands seeking to expand their use of social media, whilst also discussing some of the key tools for success in this area.

The event was the latest in a series of seminars from Prohibition, exploring all aspects of social media best-practice. Our next events cover online crisis management, and take place at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Ramside Hall in Durham.

Instagram Videos – Are they enough to rival Vine?

Facebook-owned mobile app, Instagram last week delivered an exciting new feature to its users with the option to record videos which can last up to fifteen seconds. And true to Instagram, 13 video-specific filters have been designed to choose from, along with the option of choosing a still from the recording to be used as the video’s cover.

Upon hearing about this latest feature, I instantly thought: copycats. The development seems to be a reaction to Vine – the video app from Twitter at the beginning of the year.  Vine allows its 13 million (not a huge amount) users to record a looping clip which lasts six seconds. Unusual and entertaining it can be used to showcase anything, from advertising a new product to making a marriage proposal.

So, will the ability to post video on Instagram be a threat to Vine? While Instagram has scale (100 million monthly users) I highly doubt it. After having a play with the new option to video, I do have to admit that it is useful and fun, but unlike Vine, it doesn’t amaze or delight me. The ability to add effects to your video recording does create a better finish – but this is nothing new, with vintage video apps being a around for a while.

Vine’s stop-motion feature means a video you record becomes looped and therefore a lot more interesting.  Your recording almost becomes a piece of art and a product of your individuality, while the six-second restriction demands a creative approach. Instagram on the other hand seems rushed and unfocused – is it about making videos appear prettier, or about telling a story, or both?

Of course, there is nothing wrong with Instagram’s video feature, but I expected a much more innovative development.  As a regular user of Instagram to edit photos, I would have liked to see features to make videos faster, slower or more distorted. Maybe that’s work in progress, but for now, I’m sticking with Vine.

Here’s a little Vine of the Prohibition PR‘s office by Chris.

 

 

Facebook Buying Instagram – What Could It Mean for Us?

imageIn the last month it was announced that Facebook will be buying Instagram for a total of $1 billion – this includes $300 million cash and 23 million Facebook market shares to the Photo sharing App. In the S-1 statement, Facebook stated that it has 901 million active users every month with 300 million photos uploaded per day.

This seems like a lot of photo activity already – so what benefit will they gain from buying a Photo Sharing App for such a high price when it doesn’t even gain any revenue?

While PRs and Marketers ride on the social media train with no idea of its destination, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds for us all.

From Facebook’s perspective

The day after Facebook announced its acquisition, Instagram’s downloads hit 5 million in 6 days. The acquisition was splashed all over Facebook, Twitter, newspapers, TV and through online commentators. The publicity gained from this drove Instagram to the #1 App on the iTunes App store for the first time in two years. Instagram is “a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family” – online commentator, Om Malik describes it as “a platform built on emotion. It created not a social network, but instead built a beautiful social platform of shared experiences. Facebook and Instagram are two distinct companies with two distinct personalities. Instagram has what Facebook craves – a passionate community.”

I don’t have Instagram myself (due to my incompetent Blackberry Curve!) but I know that the App allows you to take photos of everyday objects/ events, beautify them to your emotion and portray your interpretation of the photo. Following this addictive phenomenon, photo sharing has plunged to the top end of social activity.

While you may think that Facebook couldn’t get any larger, Mark Zuckerberg stated that he acquired Instagram in order to encourage more mobile engagement with the social media site. Instagram users can only share their photos through their mobile, whereas Facebook is much more accessible as a whole through the computer.

In addition to this, Facebook will gain 27 million users and acquire Instagram’s six talented employees. Kevin Systrom was once offered a job by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 before Facebook became such a big hit. Now he can revel in a hefty $400 million and still work for the world’s largest networking giant a few years later than planned. With these new 27 million users and 6 of the most technically talented employees, it could be an interest ride for Facebook. One thing that could be an obstacle is that fact that Facebook still hasn’t found any proven ways to successfully integrate mobile adverts for the site. So this substantial investment may seem risky if it doesn’t provide a return on investment through the increase in paying advertisements.

Did Facebook buy the App so that its competitors couldn’t do so? Who knows – Twitter were also secretly bidding for Instagram so it may have been inevitable that it was bought out. Did Instagram sell too soon? A lot of online commentators appreciate it’s differentiation to Facebook and Twitter and think it could have turned into a successful social networking site in its own right. However, in my opinion, it’s a model could be copied easily. The photo sharing boom may also slow down, with an increase on – for example – music sharing. This is how Facebook evolved from a mass in simple text statuses into a vast amount of photo shares.

Maybe DrawSomething could be next for Facebook?

What does it mean for us PRs and Marketers?

If Facebook is buying into soul then this can show true qualitative market data for businesses – it will help them learn how they can visually appeal to their audience and understand what effects/styles attract them best. By using instagram for uploading pictures of products, for example, its beautifications can add emotion and meaning to the photo – engaging with the audience and boosting that emotional appeal of a brand or product.

Instead of distributing press releases, or tweets with hyperlinks that barely get a look into, what could be more effective is the use of visual and photography. Remember the saying “a picture tells a thousand words?” – it would be effortless for the respondent to engage with, and if they like it because it represents their emotions then they’re likely to share this too, reaching out to a wider community.

Whatever happens on this train journey, marketers and PRs have expanded their online reach with no extra effort due to Mark Zuckerberg – this will only prove effective if they can maintain Instagram’s authenticity that its users love so much.

“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together” Mark Zuckerberg.