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 is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 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. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.6 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.6 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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