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Category Archives: Social Media

Tag Archives: Social Media

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How (and Why) Brands Should Jump on the Snapchat Bandwagon

Snapchat claims to be “the best way to reach 13-34 year-olds.” A bold statement, but if this stands true, this means Snapchat could be one of the most impactful avenues for brands to reach the coveted teen and Millennial audiences. Especially as more Millennial-oriented platforms come onto the scene, like YouNow and CNN’s Great Big Story, the question arises: how can brands best benefit from these different apps? I recently attended PR News’ webinar How to Use Snapchat to Enhance Your Brand’s Messaging and thought I’d share the key insights I took away on how brands can use Snapchat to their advantage.

When considering using Snapchat for your brand, it is important to keep in mind the audience and the platform’s unique capabilities. According to Snapchat, more than 60 percent of 13-34 year olds with a smartphone use the app, with 37 percent of users being 18-24 years old (and only 2 percent being 55+). Also, just FYI, posts in Snapchat cannot be pre-loaded, they must be live which calls for time and resources. So if your brand is targeting an older generation, it may not be worth the effort to invest in Snapchat.

Aside from being one of “the best” ways to reach Millennials and teens, why is Snapchat worth it for brands?

  • Constant content: You can push content out constantly to your Story without worrying about overloading feeds. Users select when to view your content, so they aren’t involuntarily inundated. And all of your content is found when someone clicks on your cover image (until they disappear 24 hours later!).
  • Live feeds: Since it is a purely live-based platform, Snapchat is especially effective for events, news and anything else your brand wants to communicate at that moment. For example, multiple publishers like Mashable and Buzzfeed used Snapchat to “live blog” this fall’s Apple event – immediately breaking news and creating a full feed in one spot that covered highlights from the whole event.
  • Creativity: Snapchat has a lot of unique features like doodling and geofilters (overlays that are only available in certain locations) that make it fun to show the personality and behind-the-scenes of a brand. And if you really want to, you can even take a selfie that shows you barfing rainbows (if, you know, that aligns with your brand’s messaging and all).

So maybe I’ve convinced you why your brand should consider jumping on the Snapchat bandwagon, but it’s also important to know that engagement is a whole different beast on Snapchat, especially since it is completely app-based. Here are some tactics to help drive engagement:

  • Cross promotion: To add users on Snapchat, you have to search directly in the app. This means you can’t link directly to your name in the way we are familiar with for other social media. By making your Twitter or Facebook avatars your Snapchat QR code (aka your name on Snapchat), this tells your followers how to find you.
  • Follow back: Adding some of your key followers back can make them more inclined to view your Stories and stay loyal to your brand.
  • Post close together, but not too often: Posting to your Story a couple times of week, rather than every day, can actually drive more opens. However, when you are creating a Story, try to post all your snaps in the same hour so your followers are able to watch the story unfold at once.
  • Storytelling: Snapchat may be a whole new world, but it still calls for a beginning, middle and end to your Story. A strong Story will drive followers to continue to engage with your brand.

Snapchat is a young platform, literally and audience-wise, and is still new territory for many brands. It has a lot to offer, ranging from its live Stories to its news section Discover. If you have a youthful audience, Snapchat is worth the effort and can be a fun way to present your brand.

Read more from Linnea DiPillo
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It’s not a GIF or a Photo. It’s Instagram’s New Boomerang Feature

Boomerang, not to be confused with the hunting stick used by Australian Aboriginals, is a new video app from Instagram. The standalone app that rolled out on iOS and Android devices last Thursday lets you shoot one-second videos made from a burst of five photos. The video loop plays backwards and forwards for a “Boomerang” effect (Get it??) Boomerang joins in on the moving photo craze with other apps like Vine, Apple “Live Photos” and Phhhoto.

As explained on the Instagram blog, “Capture a friend jumping off a diving board, defying physics as she flies back and forth through the air. Transform an ordinary selfie with your friends into a funny video. Get that exact moment your friend blows out his birthday candles, then watch them come back to life again and again.”

How does it work?

Boomerang is fast and incredibly simple to use. The app takes a burst of five photos and stitches them together into a mini video that plays forward and backward. Shooting in normal or selfie mode, all you have to do is tap the shutter button and Boomerang captures five quick shots over the span of a second. Although the app doesn’t have its own feed, each video is automatically saved to your camera roll and can be easily shared on Facebook, Instagram, or elsewhere. As an added bonus the app doesn’t require users to have an Instagram account or a login.

So what?

Boomerang joins Instagram’s growing list of standalone apps that complement the main Instagram app. In March, Instagram rolled out Layout, an app that lets you create photo collages and last August it released Hyperlapse, an app for making time lapse videos. Like with Layout and Hyperlapse, the idea is to bring something new to Instagram and add variety to the existing platform. By allowing users to create and share their own instant GIF-videos, Boomerang not only diversifies the Instagram platform, but also provides an alternative to other GIF and video sharing apps, like Snapchat and Vine.

In the hyper-competitive social media landscape, Boomerang is another example of the shift in messaging and explosion of visual communication taking place through videos and GIFs. The app provides another opportunity for brands to liven up and create unique content to drive brand awareness. While it only launched just last week, some brands are already using it. It will be interesting to see if other brands will integrate GIF-video apps like Boomerang into their existing social media plans and how they will use it to create content and tell their story. In the meantime, don’t forget about these unwritten rules for using Instagram.

Read more from Ashley Genest
3D white people. Latest news concept. Paperboy

Distributed Content: The Evolution of the Paper Route

As a PR person, it’s really important to keep up with the news of the day. In fact, being in the know is equally as important as all other facets of the role, almost on an as-it-happens basis. The truth is, with the frenetic pace of the day, keeping current with speed of breaking news while also being productive is a constant juggling act. As a news junkie, I was thrilled when news outlets took to Facebook and Twitter and began posting links to stories in the places I visit a few times a day anyhow.

This is the new era of news consumption. Gone are the days of the paper boy delivering the news to our door in the wee hours of the morning; instead, mobile has changed the way we consume news, a cycle that is 24/7 – no breaks. There is no such thing as the morning news or the evening news – news follows us via different mediums all day and all night. Twitter and Facebook have led the charge in recent years – according to recent Pew Research, news hounds are getting their fix on either Twitter or Facebook (63 percent respectively) up significantly from 2013 (52 percent/Twitter; 47 percent/Facebook).

Recently news consumption has evolved so it’s delivered to where readers already are, versus having readers come to get the news. It’s a huge shift known as “distributed content” that PR people need to understand.

How are social platforms adapting?

Everyone is getting in on the game, figuring out how best to entice publishers and content producers to get their news “into the stream” and in front of the huge mobile audiences. It all started with Facebook Instant Articles. Then came Apple News, an aggregation of the day’s top stories designed to bring news stories to you; eliminating the need to have to go to a blog or the New York Times or BuzzFeed to get your news. Twitter has taken it to a new level with its launch of Moments, a new feature that allows users to flip through trending news, all nicely edited and aggregated by humans who provide users with a simple way to engage with current events. It’s quick and dirty, not in-depth, and is great for steering readers toward the news they’d like to explore further. Similarly, Facebook’s “Trending” feature gives users a look at what’s happening now – serving up full-length news stories from major sources (think WSJ, NYT, etc.). The best part about Trending is that it’s smart – showing news relative to popularity, geography, and interest. Then came Google AMP, designed to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile Web to deliver rich content instantly regardless of device.

For Millennials who think Facebook and Twitter are for their parents (I beg to differ…), super popular Snapchat has been in on this action for some time now, too. Snapchat’s Discover offers Stories, just like our personal Snaps – but sponsored by major news outlets and delivered in brief editorial packages. Short and sweet. Just like our attention spans.

As the “on-demand” generation, this is about as on-demand as it gets.

Publishers get on board

The major shift taking place is that many major media outlets are no longer publishing exclusively to their own properties (which is crazy if you think about it). The Washington Post, Business Insider and The Huffington Post all publish to Facebook Instant Articles. CNN, Vox Media, TIME and Wired were among the first wave of publishers on Apple News, while U.S. News, New York Times and Buzzfeed got on board with Google AMP.

The proverbial paperboy is still delivering to your doorstep – only the doorstep is your computer or mobile device or tablet. And even then, the news is following you, not the other way around. Clearly this means media outlets have had to adapt the way they publish (and monetize) news if they want to remain competitive and relevant.

So what does this mean for PR? Smart PR people understand that securing media coverage with publications who are distributing their content into this new stream is the way to get vast amounts of more eyeballs on their stories. In parallel, there are also clever ways to feed our owned content into the stream via Apple News and LinkedIn Pulse.

Is this the end of conventional media output as we know it? Not quite. Publishers still have to maintain their sites both for readers and advertisers, but the pressure to dive into the evolved media stream is on, and publishers who stay on dry land will definitely be left behind.

And yes, you’ll be able to see this blog post in your LinkedIn feed.

Read more from Jill Rosenthal

Staying Sharp: 3 Tips for Getting Ahead (and Staying Ahead) in PR

How many times have you been buried in work, only to find that a crucial tweet from a targeted reporter went unnoticed? While it may seem obvious to any communications professional, staying up-to-date in various industries is paramount to conducting a productive PR program. No matter what field you’re focusing on, trends are changing rapidly and PR people need to keep their finger on the pulse  — which is a challenge when the news cycle is 24/7, reporters change beats frequently and what’s new on social media is old just minutes later.

So, how can you stay up-to-date on everything — from media changes and new social channels to industry trends — when you’re also balancing your regular workload? It all comes down to taking advantage of the right tools and resources. By keeping tabs on the need-to-know topics and building relationships with the well-informed, you’ll walk away with some fresh ideas to bring to the table.

If you’re new to PR or just looking for fresh ideas on staying in the loop, consider these tips:

1. Read everything. Obvious, right? But it happens all too often that an article or a reporter’s tweet slips through the cracks during a busy day. To hone in on the topics you’re most interested in, consider checking out Apple News for your daily article intake if you have an iPhone. The new app allows for easy topic and publication filtering, meaning you’ll be recommended stories on specific industries and topics you’re interested in without having to scroll through unrelated news. Alternatively, or if you don’t have an iPhone, you can head over to Twitter’s ‘Moments’ page to get the quick recap of the day’s top headlines. It gathers a handful of trending stories with a brief summary, saving you time from your usual scrolling through hundreds of tweets. And, for those reporter conversations you don’t want to miss on Twitter, check out social media monitoring tools like Brandwatch to keep an eye on your feed while you’re working.

2. Talk with the pros. Don’t knock in-person meetings — they’re still incredibly valuable. It’s always a good idea to reach out to the people within your network who know more about the industry and pick their brains. For example, sales and customer service teams are on the front lines of business, interacting with the audiences you want to influence every day. Take advantage of your connections — touch base with those teams and listen to what they experience and see as important trends in the industry. Also leverage your friendly reporter and analyst relationships. Grab coffee with the reporter and ask him or her questions. Or hop on the phone with the analyst that just covered a competitor to gain some insight on which topics interest them most. If you need some inspiration, our Journalist Corner has some great examples of interviews with leading reporters.

3. Make it all a habit. If you’re like me (or just human in general), forming a habit is never easy, but taking it step by step can help. It all starts with the right mindset — you can’t assume you always have it all figured out, because things are always changing. The way readers consume news changes all the time (podcasts are hot), and new social media apps are popping up like crazy. You can’t be everywhere at once, so make a habit of setting aside time to ensure you keep caught up. Set reminders on your phone if you have to. Skim through your news app while you wait in line for coffee, keep a recurring meeting with a reporter on your calendar every quarter, or set aside 30 minutes one Friday afternoon to touch base with an analyst or catch up on your research. Heard about a new social media app that everyone’s raving about? Check it out for yourself.

You don’t have to stretch yourself thin to stay up to date or spend all day scrolling through Twitter. You just have to learn how to make the tools and resources you have work for you – and then make them second nature.

Read more from Kelsey Miller

‘Moments’ Aim to Turn Twitter into Storytelling News Discovery Platform

Moments 1

The Twitter project known as “Project Lightning” has finally been revealed and is already rolling out in the U.S. on mobile and desktop before going global. Just 24 hours after Jack Dorsey was named the permanent CEO – after serving as interim chief executive for four months – Twitter announced “Moments.” And it’s big. This new curation feature is described by Twitter as, “The best of what’s happening on Twitter in an instant.”

The new lightning bolt icon on mobile and desktop opens Moments where people can browse different categories of popular content on Twitter including: “Today,” “News,” “Sports,” “Entertainment” and “Fun” – all of which have different Moments consisting of a title and description. Unlike Twitter’s standard feed, which is most often read in reverse chronological order, Moments have a beginning, middle and end. They are made up of tweets often containing multimedia such as videos, photos, GIFs and Vines, where users simply have to swipe to go through the full Moment. In fact, it feels similar to Snapchat Stories, but you can share the Moment with your followers. Plus, when an event or story ends, so does that Moment.

It’s interesting to note that the majority of moments are created by Twitter’s curation and editing team – but that these curators are not reporters. They do not create original content; instead, they organize and present compelling and popular content that already exists on Twitter. Twitter also has contributing publishing partners on Moments including: Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue and the Washington Post with plans to expand to more soon.

So what does this mean for public relations and news? Twitter, like Facebook and Snapchat and other social media channels, are vying to become a news discovery platform, telling and sharing stories, news and events in a compelling way. In this way, Twitter is becoming more than just a sharing, social platform. There’s now an incentive for people and brands to tweet more about top news stories and events with a goal of hopefully appearing in a Moments feed, and reach a whole new audience. But a few of the top questions that came out of this announcement are: will Moments actually drive new users to Twitter and how will Twitter measure success of Moments? Only time will tell.

Read more from Danielle Laurion
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Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Posts

LinkedIn has a tendency to be overshadowed by social media giants Facebook and Twitter however, for B2B marketers, LinkedIn’s long-form publishing platform is a powerful tool. When it comes to thought leadership, LinkedIn is second to none – there are now more than one million posts published on the platform. Publishing articles on LinkedIn is easy, but getting your content read and driving traffic to your website is another thing. To find out what words or topics perform best on LinkedIn, Percolate, a web and mobile marketing software company, recently published a analysis of some of the top performing LinkedIn content. So, before you sit down and write your first post, take a look at what has been successful in the past.


Tips for content:

  • Career management is one of the most popular LinkedIn post categories – nearly 20 percent of the top posts focus on career tips and paths – with articles such as “When it is the Best Time to Change Careers.”
  • Workplace psychology articles focused on empathy, personal productivity and conflict resolution in the office, on average, see close to 240,000 views.
  • Talent management and leadership were also top performing categories garnering 16 percent and 14 percent respectively.


Tips for your headlines:

  • Articles with headlines containing the words, “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” “Why,” or “How” made up 28 percent of the top long-form posts.
  • Not surprising, listicle-style headlines and content, made popular by BuzzFeed, continue to draw readers as 20 percent of the top posts explained “8 Ways to__________” [be creative and fill in the blank!]
  • Personalized headline with either “You” or “Your” get more eyeballs.


(For more headlines tips, you can read one of my previous blog posts)

One other tip from InkHouse: before you hit publish, you need to select three tags for your post. To increase the odds of your post being pulled into LinkedIn Pulse, its news curation site/app, select the highest-level tags that apply to your content, rather than niche ones. These should automatically pop up as you type. Also, once your post is live, be sure to link to it from your company’s LinkedIn page.
Wondering if you are influential enough to get read? Note that, though LinkedIn runs a program of elite “Influencers” (roughly 500 thought leader participants), over half of the top posts analyzed in Percolate’s report were written by “non-influencers”. So it is possible to get eyeballs on your content without the “official” influencer status.

You can download the entire report here.

Read more from Lindsay Sydness
Snapchat Discover

Can Discover transform Snapchat into a news source?

Snapchat is undeniably one of the cool kids in social media. Boasting 100 million daily active users in developed countries and with 41 percent of teens using the app on a regular basis, it is clear that Snapchat has an impressive pull. But Snapchat, which is most commonly known for its ability to send disappearing photos, wants to be more than just cool – they want to be a news source.

Since January, Snapchat has been trying its hand at bringing news to its people with Snapchat Discover (not to be confused with Snapchat’s Live Stories), which the company reports has 60 million monthly users. Discover currently features 14 outlets, including BuzzFeed, Cosmo, CNN and VICE. Initially they had limited it to an elite 12, replacing outlets rather than adding on new ones, truly making Discover the popular kids table. These selected media sources share “stories” that refresh every 24 hours. To paraphrase Snapchat, it puts storytelling and narrative first, not clicks and shares. Cool, right? News driven by what editors and artists think matter.

Depending on the outlet, the type of content varies. Just the other week, Mashable dedicated its page to the Apple’s event unveiling the latest iPhone. On the other hand, as I write this, Mashable is featuring a hand-drawn ditty about how Grumpy Cat’s first picture was posted on Reddit today in 2012. Meanwhile, today on National Geographic I learned five facts about rhinos (like white and black rhinos are both gray, despite their misleading names).

If this is the first time you are hearing of Discover, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I conducted an informal survey with my colleagues, most of whom who are media-hungry PR professionals, to see how Discover is penetrating the news market on a small scale. As a point of reference, of the people I surveyed, 77 percent had a Snapchat account, 40 percent of whom use their account on a daily basis. So my colleagues are among the Snapchat-loving crowd. However, it turns out most of them are not regularly using Discover:

Here’s what I discovered about Discover:

  • 56 percent of people knew what Snapchat Discover is
  • Just 2 percent used Snapchat Discover on daily basis, suggesting this is not a primary news source for my colleagues
  • 29 percent had ever used Discover, with the majority referencing it on a monthly basis
  • Cosmo and BuzzFeed were the most frequented outlets on Discover

And the biggest kicker:

  • 90 percent did not view Snapchat as a news source

Based on this (albeit non-scientific) survey, and the fact the Discover traffic had slipped only months after launching, it feels as if Snapchat hasn’t yet established itself as a top news destination. Nevertheless, Discover has a lot going for it – a wide range of sources that include some of the hottest media brands, interactive updates and, perhaps most importantly, news that’s easy to find all in one spot. Discover is still the new kid on the block, and with its line-up of publishers and unique way of sharing news, it has the potential to change how people access their news.

Read more from Linnea DiPillo
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Three Ways Facebook’s New Signal Will Help Journalists

Facebook has taken bigger strides to become even more of a content platform and tool to source content. Yesterday, Facebook announced Signal its newest effort to embrace media and journalists by providing them with the means to find and curate news across the social network. Andy Mitchell, director of media partnerships at Facebook said in a blog post, Signal allows journalists the opportunity “to make Facebook a more vital part of their news gathering with access to relevant trends, photos, videos, and posts on Facebook and Instagram for use in their storytelling and reporting.”

Image from:
Image from:


Under the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has always been interested in the 24-hour news cycle. And Signal isn’t Facebook’s first move to better intertwine journalists and content on the site. Last week, Facebook opened up its Mentions app to all verified profiles, allowing more journalists and celebrities to see where and how they have been mentioned. Facebook Stories and Instant Articles also show Facebook’s new wave of providing content and keeping full articles on the site – without ever having to leave the mothership (Facebook’s news feed).

While Facebook isn’t the only social platform looking to deepen its relationship with the media – take Snapchat Discover or Twitter’s Project Lightning – Signal is a big move to better connect with journalists. Further as of the second quarter of 2015, Facebook had 1.49 billion monthly active users. It’s definitely the platform with the largest audience.

In a format similar to the likes of TweetDeck, here are the functionalities of Signal and how it will better help journalists find and use content:

1) Discover what’s trending: Journalists can monitor which topics are trending on Facebook and display related content that has been shared publicly. Previously, trending topics were influenced by what people say they already like on Facebook. Signal gives journalists a more universal summary of what’s trending based on content from both people and Pages, unranked and in chronological order. There’s also a search function to find exactly what you’re looking for.

What it means: Similar to when news breaks on Twitter, journalists will be able to see what’s happening, in real-time across the world – no longer only based on categories and interests they’ve previously liked on Facebook. They will be able to react quickly, and stay in Signal to build out their article with the help of these additional functionalities below.

2) Data on who is driving the most conversation: Lists will show who is being talked about most on Facebook – from public figures, politicians, musicians, sports teams and more.

What it means: This clearly summarizes who or what is the most popular figure in the moment based on the different search categories. In a presidential debate, maybe Donald Trump is being mentioned the most, but the runner up might be harder to distinguish – Signal will tell you in real-time.

3) Search, gather, save and embed Instagram and Facebook content: Can’t forget about Instagram, right? By using location-tag and topic-related search functionality, journalists can search Instagram for photos related to the trending news. Further, to make it nice and easy, every Facebook post, Instagram image or video, and metric in Signal can be saved into custom collections for use in a CMS or with broadcast graphic packages. Posts and photos can then be embedded into an article by grabbing the embed code. Newsrooms can also integrate Signal APIs to add curated content onto their websites and into their broadcasts.

What it means: Facebook has been trying to better integrate with Instagram since they bought it in 2012. With Signal, journalists can easily search, save and add a photo of the trending topic right into their article. In theory, and if Signal really is successful, journalists might not need to leave Signal to write an article. Everything they need could be right there.

Even if it’s not a sole-hub for journalists, Signal lays a good foundation to help them get the news, data and even the images they need. This is a major step for Facebook’s quest to become a news discovery platform – not just a sharing platform.

Read more from Danielle Laurion
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Skimm’d from InkHouse: Why Email Newsletters Matter

This blog post follows the format of theSkimm daily newsletter, copyright 2015 theSkimm. ‘Skimm’d’ at InkHouse after a morning run.


“The inbox is the executive’s news homepage.”

Newsletters may seem old school. For most PR people, landing media coverage is what really gets us excited. But when your coverage is included in a newsletter – it’s like a double whammy. Here’s why.



A recent report by Quartz Insights highlights a fundamental shift in the way we’re consuming news. From a study of nearly 1,000 global executives, 60 percent said they read an email newsletter as one of their first three news sources checked daily– more than twice as high as news apps.

Furthermore, executives are highly likely to share content that they find useful to their professions, according to the study, on a variety of platforms and devices. A whopping 91 percent said they would share work-related content via email if they found it to be valuable.

The bottom line: newsletters are a big deal. Not only are executives using email newsletters as their primary news source, they are highly likely to share the content they’ve discovered through them – even more than social media in fact, according to research we did in partnership with GMI Lightspeed. Email is a direct path to the channel in which people consume and share information.



What’s the reason behind this trend? Because news round-ups, like the one this blog post emulates (The Daily Skimm) – or BriefingOZY Daily Brief, Thrillist and Fortune Term Sheet – are finite. Readers opt-in to topics they care about and are more likely to read, engage and share as a result. The important news items are summarized, with links to dig deeper if merited.

Email provides a personalized, curated digest for the day that’s easily accessible on any device which is the stark opposite of the Web, where readers are faced with infinite options.



How audiences consume content is shifting and, for PR people, this matters enormously, especially in this age of [In]attention. Everyone is competing for awareness and has ubiquitous access to publishing platforms like Medium or LinkedIn.

Despite this, one truth remains. That breaking through the noise means creating compelling stories. That good content is thoughtful, relevant and unique. That people desire emotional connections, authenticity and transparency: when what you see is what you get. (PS: Check out Sasaki’s newsletter ‘Inside the Studio: News and Ideas to Transform and Inspire’ which is a great example.)

So, whether it’s in the form of newsletters, podcasts, videos or listicles – in some respects, old may become new again – when it comes to the best way to reach your audience.

Read more from Rachel Nelson
Instagram application on Apple iPhone 5S

Why you should avoid the “Kelvin” filter & more unwritten rules of Instagram

Since launching in 2010, Instagram has evolved into a platform where 300 million active users post an average of 70 million photos per day. Brands are hopping on board too – and they should, because at 4.21 percent, brand engagement rates the highest on Instagram. Keep in mind, that’s 58 times more engagement per follower than the average brand on Facebook and a whopping 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

Companies understand the value of engagement on Instagram and many have already wholeheartedly joined the community. But before jumping into the ‘gram action and posting a #TBT companies should take note of some of the unwritten rules, or risk being called out on a list of Instagram “fails” (or my personal favorite, The Worst of Instagram Tumblr account).

InkHouse’s “PR Guide to Instagram” covers the basics for brands and businesses: Be active, keep your posts short, engage with other users and utilize location-tagging are all good places to start. But the platform has plenty of nuances, and being attune to the unique, unspoken rules of Instagram can make a good account great.

What should you share on Instagram?

This one is simple. Post interesting images! It may sound easy, but posts that are visually interesting will drive users to follow your account and double-tap away. The platform lets companies go “behind the scenes,” like how Skanska USA gives followers a chance to see construction from a new perspective. Also consider using methods proven to optimize your posts for engagement, like posting unfiltered photos containing green.

Filter with caution.

With so many options it’s tempting to get a little artsy, but it turns out that filters can be divisive. Photos can show off a product by capturing clean lines and a crisp aesthetic, which end up looking better without that Valencia filter anyway. GE is one company that does this particularly well. Even if you do use a filter, most people agree: “The Kelvin filter is to be avoided at all costs.”

Be judicious with hashtags.

We all have that friend who reminds us every day how #blessed she is. Don’t be that friend. For brands, hashtags are a great way to build a community and help users find relevant content. Social Fresh suggests using a theme or hosting a content competition. Remember that Instagram is a platform where you can offer a glimpse of your company culture, so tag posts of your wine and cheese night or recent win as one of BostInno’s Coolest Companies with #careers and #hiring.

Instagram continues to change and unveil new features – like the recent announcement that users can now upload portrait and landscape photos – and these unwritten rules will evolve as the platform attracts even more businesses and brands to the community. In fact, Instagram announced just this week it will soon be even easier for brands to advertise to users. What are some unwritten rules you’ve noticed? Let us know!

Read more from Molly Kalan

Remember Digg? It’s up to something new

Digg started in 2004 as a website for users to discover, share and recommend web content. Members could submit a webpage for consideration and other members could vote that page up (“digg”) or down (“bury”). Voting for sites took place on, but many websites had “digg” buttons on their pages, allowing users to vote as they browse the web. The end product was a series of popular and trending content from around the Internet, aggregated by a social network.

After acquisition talks with Google in 2008 fell through and a controversial 2010 redesign led to the departure of the co-founders of the site, Digg was sold and relaunched in 2012.

Digg now features an editorially-driven front page, more images, and top, popular and upcoming stories (separating it from competitors like Reddit). Users can now access a new scoring system and there is more support for sharing content to other social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Now joining Facebook, Twitter and Reddit as places where users can talk to one another, Digg is also looking to become a site for conversations.  Digg wants to now become “a place for discovering great content and a great place for conversation.”  The new iteration of the site will launch this fall but Digg has outlined some of the features of the new service including:

  • Conversations based around a story
  • Author(s) of the story are encouraged to participate
  • It’ll be open and high-quality
  • Clear community guidelines will be in place
  • Digg will moderate comments
  • Users will be able to “digg” comments

It sounds like Digg will become another tool in the toolkit for content creators to engage with their audiences around their pieces and drive even more eyeballs to their content with a new user base. We will be on the lookout for the launch and share more details soon.

Read more from Alison Morra