Association executives embrace Instagram as latest social media tool

Member engagement is crucial to helping your association grow and develop, and both social media and mobile technology are increasingly playing a role in this process. Adept use of popular websites like Facebook and Twitter can help spread an association's message rapidly, and as this blog has written previously, mobile apps are an excellent way to make events and conferences more interactive.

Why not combine mobile technology and social media? That's exactly what a number of association executives are doing, according to a recent article on Association Trends.

Instagram can bridge this gap. This popular photo sharing app made a name for itself when it was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, and now has a user base of more than 150 million active users. Using Instagram, people can take pictures, edit them, and share them with their friends and followers.

Several major associations are using this app for outreach purposes. For example, the American Public Health Association will post photos from events in its Instagram account, as well as informative health posters. The National Education Association, meanwhile, makes a stronger effort to reach out to those outside of the organization. It posts shareable "memes"—one mentioned by the news source is "Keep calm and thank a teacher"—that elicit a strong response from the community at large. It also posts photos that promote the profession of teaching, in addition to posting pictures of rallies.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and organizations that use Instagram for their outreach efforts are proving it. It's time for more associations to explore the options that social media provides.

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