Instagram: Simple Steps to Join the Mobile Photo Revolution


instagram powerWhile teaching elementary school, I once remarked, “I have a video camera but I don’t know how to make a movie.” One of my fifth grade students, Hannah, said, “Don’t worry Mrs. R, I will stay in at recess and teach you iMovie.” In case you don’t have a student around, I can highly recommend Instagram Power: Build Your Brand and Reach More Customers with the Power of Pictures by Jason Miles to quickly get started with this powerful tool.

This book shares success stories and easy steps to get started with the latest social media winner. My husband, George, is building our brand on Instagram and with Miles’ steps and coaching from a friend’s eleven year old, we are making progress. Recently, we were on the plane with students studying in London who gave us more assistance on the road to social media greatness.

Do you think you don’t need social media or a mobile site? Think again.

“According to analyst Mary Meeker, at the end of 2012 there were 5 billion cell phones in use globally. The planet has 7 billion people, but many of them are children.” And really many children are also on their phones!

When I consult for social media, many people ask me: “Oh no! Do I have to learn another platform?” The answer is yes. As Miles reports: “In August 2012, Instagram passed Twitter in terms of daily active users on mobile devices.” It is important to pick the social media platforms that match your audience but remember: “Recent statistics indicate that roughly 5 million Instagram images are shared every day.”

One of Miles’ top tips for Instagram is including captions. We took his advice and downloaded InstaCap but our friend, Dean, recommended InstaMag, which we are enjoying more. We heard early on from our 10-year-old consultant, Ashley, that we needed captions. At first we thought that meant what you write under the photo in the explanation part but it means words that are physically on the photo.

Using his examples and instructions, you can use Instagram well without it taking over your life. We have only just begun on this platform and as Miles remarks everyone starts with no followers but we are growing!

instagram WSGT
Our new Instagram Site for We Said Go Travel

It is worth the effort to make a plan to “Follow the people who liked your product images…and leave comments frequently on many people’s images.” It is important to follow Miles’ advice that comments “be focused, be intentional, and be sincere.” We appreciated his practical help on how to take a screenshot. “Simply navigate to your website, look at the image, and on an iPhone press the Home and Sleep buttons at the same time. The image you’re looking at will be saved as a picture in your photo album.” This is a great way to get photos of your website on Instagram.

Remember, “People like images that stir them emotionally: vacation destinations, sandy beaches, gourmet cuisine, sunsets, shoes, dresses, pretty places, and pretty faces.” Think about what you can share but 2-3 images a day is more than enough. We followed his advice and our Instagram images also go to our twitter and Facebook fan page. Our next step is to “set up the Instagram social sharing buttons to point to the web version of our Instagram profile” on our website. We want to make it easy for people to follow us on our new platform. We have shared the address in twitter; Facebook and it will be in our next newsletter.

“Frigyes Karinthy originally suggested the idea that everyone in the world is within six degrees of separation or less.” Using social media I have found I am now often only one or two degrees separated from anyone I want to connect with online. I can highly recommend this book and you are welcome to join us on any social media platform!

About this Review: Lisa Niver Rajna is a traveler, writer and social media ninja. She and her husband left the USA in July 2012 and have been on the road ever since. Follow their journey at We Said Go Travel or on their newest platform: Instagram!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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