LCIA’s longtime friend StayLocal hosted a social media mini-series on September 8th and 9th, with two classes focused on Instagram. I enjoyed attending, introducing LCI and LCIA as a sponsor, meeting new business owners, and learning about Instagram. As always, I am happy to share some of the pointers that I picked up in hopes that you may find them helpful.
Both classes were led by FSC Interactive, a New Orleans-based online marketing agency. FSC works with a variety of Louisiana businesses to increase their online presence through websites, online ads, and social media—including Instagram.
Before I discuss what I learned at the workshop, I want to first point out that I am always on the lookout for new online channels to promote LCIA. In evaluating Instagram, I have determined it is not the right fit for LCIA. Reasons for this include:
- The age of Instagram users, who tend to be younger than the businesses we serve.
- LCIA’s lack of a visual product and workspace—think retailers and restaurants.
- We want to reach businesses, and Instagram users tend to be consumers.
This is not to say LCIA will never use Instagram, but for now, it is not the place to spend our time and resources. However, it might be the right fit for some of you reading this, so here are a few of my takeaways from the workshops:
- Social Media is officially "pay to play.” Angela Trumbaturi from FSC explained that the free posting options do not reach the same number of users as they did in the past, and that effective social media campaigns should include paid ads or boosted posts. However, she also explained that paid social media is still cheaper than traditional media, and that small budgets can be effective.
- Instagram is introducing new business profiles. At the time of the workshop, Instagram was in the process of rolling the profiles out, with some business users having access to the new profile, and others still waiting. All business users will soon have access to the new profiles, which provide a variety of insights and statistics. With the new business profiles, users can see the number of impressions and clicks, and find out what days and times are the best to post.
- "Stories” are Snapchat’s competition. In late August, Instagram introduced "Stories,” which allow users to post a picture or video that will disappear after 24 hours. This disappearing feature is similar to Snapchat, but Angela from FSC recommends sticking with Instagram unless your audience is young: under 25 years old. Another interesting feature of "Stories” is that users cannot comment on these. Users also do not need to follow you on Instagram to see "Stories,” so this opens these up to a wider audience.
I enjoyed attending another informative StayLocal event, and I found the Instagram workshops to be useful. The slides from the two Instagram classes are available on StayLocal’s website.
"What I Learned at” is a series in LCIA’s Orange Blog. We use this series to provide recaps of LCI and LCIA events. Additionally, our staff will occasionally attend professional development and educational classes. We utilize the "What I Learned at” blog series to report what we learned to you.