Posts tagged with "Instagram"

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Picture Perfect: Instagram’s latest update to capture businesses’ attention

Instagram has primarily been known for its powerful visuals, beautiful galleries and, let’s face it, funny memes. However, with its latest investment in business tools, small businesses are set to see real results from using the app.


According to Instagram around half of its 500 million monthly active users now follow a business on the platform and 60 percent say they have learned about new products this way.


Last week, the photo sharing app launched Business Profiles for its 200,000 advertisers, with this group primarily made up of small businesses.


So, how will this latest update help businesses target audiences more effectively? One of the main benefits is the insights tool, which takes away the perplexity brands sometimes experience when it comes to measuring the return on investment of uploading an image or video clip.  


This insights tool will, much like Facebook, provide reports on user engagement, the demographic of followers and will also allow brands to turn popular posts into adverts with the click of a button. The latter is particularly beneficial for businesses with smaller budgets, enabling them to effectively try before they buy. This ability to see if content is actually working well offers small businesses the opportunity to be more agile in making changes to capture their audience’s attention.


As well as this insight led change, Business Profiles will be categorised by industry and a new contact button has been introduced to bring users and businesses closer together. This will also allow users to make a quick decision as to how relevant the profile is to them, meaning that analytics will be much more reliable and accurate.


This categorisation by industry signals that Instagram isn’t just for fashion brands showcasing their latest collections; trade and B2B organisations can also benefit. The implementation of Business Profiles could work particularly well in the construction industry. For example, a short video tutorial on how to build or install a product could click through to the product page on the company’s website, providing insights into which content works best and helping to drive sales.


American Express is one business taking Instagram by storm. Although it is a financial services company, it has shown that there are still ways to bring brand personality to life. The company’s 130,000 followers get an exclusive insight into the events that Amex has sponsored and can see user-generated content of experiences that have been made easier by using an American Express card.


This is a landmark moment for any businesses that have historically been tentative about the platform. I think Instagram is for everyone, whether it is a beauty brand, a food and drink business or in the built environment sector. We all have stories to tell, and images and videos are just another way to do it.


No matter what industry you are in, keeping up-to-date with social media developments is crucial and can open new avenues to market. So, what will your profile say about you?





Tagged with: American Express, Business, Instagram, Manchester, North West , PR, PR agencies Manchester, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations, Public Relations North West, Social Media

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New Instagram logo – love it or loathe it?

Instagram this week revealed a new logo and look. Gone is the retro brown icon which has become recognisable by Instagrammers all over the world since it launched in 2010, replaced by a simpler outline of a Polaroid camera with a pink, purple and orange coloured background.

Commenting on its blog about the change, Instagram said: “The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.”

While the new look may be intended to reflect a new era of Instagram, the reaction from the public has been mixed. From GIFs mocking how simple it looked to create to some, um, interesting descriptions of what the new logo looks like (“As if the camera was murdered, and chalk was drawn around its body. Murdered at sundown”), social media users, journalists and marketing professionals alike have all been quick to voice their opinions online.

On an online poll on The Telegraph, recent stats show 82 per cent of voters prefer the old logo while only 18 per cent prefer the new one. And how did I vote? I voted that I prefer the new one. “WHY?” I hear you cry. “It looks like it’s been designed by an eight-year-old on Microsoft Paint!! #Facepalm”

Listen up people. For brands to be successful and remain relevant to their customers and users, they have to evolve and adapt. And often that means updating its branding to mark this change and new chapter in its development.

Instagram has come a long way since it was first launched. It’s not just used to document photos of dinners and dogs anymore, it’s a powerful tool for individuals, businesses and organisations to communicate their ideas, thoughts, beliefs and creativity. From politicians and celebrities to bloggers and people like you and me, 400 million people all around the world now use the platform.

So let’s not get caught up in how the logo looks – let’s explore new ways of using the platform to communicate, engage and inspire – and of course, post pictures of our meals and cute baby animals.



Tagged with: Instagram, Logo, Manchester, North West , PR, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations, Public Relations North West, Social Media

Posted in: Refresh PR 1 Comments

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“How will you cope?”

That was the main question I was asked when I announced to the rest of the Refresh PR team that I wouldn’t be taking my mobile phone on holiday. In fact, that was the question most of my friends asked me too.

Despite the fact that I am always found within millimetres of my iPhone when I’m at home, for the past five years I have left my phone turned off and in the UK when travelling abroad.

I do this for a number of reasons:

1.       Surprisingly, it is nice to have a break from: texting, whatsapping, imessaging, tweeting, facebooking and instagramming – after all I do this all day every day, so why would I want to do it on holiday?

2.       I find that I actually enjoy myself more by not having my phone glued to my hand and I’m not worried about losing it, damaging it or having it stolen

3.       As an aside, I think  people will like me more for it, as it saves me from boring my contacts to death with holiday photos and updates

4.       Crucially, it means that I don’t run up extremely high phone bills and roaming charges too

However, this year for the first time, I realised how much we really have come to depend on the smartphone.

To begin, it didn’t occur to me to take a watch on holiday in order to be able to tell the time as I always rely on my laptop or mobile to do that for me. As a result, I spent most of the week living life in the dark ages, trying to use the position of the sun as some kind of guide.

I also realised how much I rely on social media and apps to provide me with the latest news. It wasn’t until Monday lunchtime that I found out that Andy Murray had become the first British man to win Wimbledon in over 77 years. How did I find out? By reading the front page of The Sun of course!

Now, as you can imagine the friends that I went on holiday with most definitely did not leave their phones at home and were glued to them throughout the week. Rachel phoned home on a number of occasions in order to speak to her dog! Meanwhile Natalie and Nikki were busy uploading photos to Facebook and Twitter.

In fact, such was their need to go on Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp, we could only eat at restaurants that had free Wi-Fi! Their desperate need to connect to the internet meant that they asked for the Wi-Fi code before even looking at the menu.

All I can say is that I am quite relieved that Kate Middleton didn’t go into labour during the past seven days, as I would have been a bit disappointed if I had missed that.

Tagged with: Andy Murray, Facebook, Holiday, Instagram, iPhone, Kate Middleton, Leisure, Manchester, PR, PR Agency Manchester, Public Relations, Refresh PR, Smartphone, Social Media, The Sun, Twitter, Whatsapp, Wimbledon

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Instagram's New Work-Around Makes It More Twitter-Friendly

Remember when Instagram used to let its users easily find their Twitter friends and mention their handles in their photos?


That was until Twitter began cracking down on which third-party apps and clients it would allow to use its application programming interface (API). Of course it wasn’t long before photo-sharing giant Instagram, owned by Facebook (Twitter’s social media rival) was left out in the cold.


These changes meant that new Instagram users could no longer add all their Twitter followers with one button. It also made sharing a photo to Twitter and "@mentioning" someone whose Twitter username was different from their Instagram username cumbersome.


However on October 19, Instagram announced that it had made changes that ‘will make sharing to Twitter more seamless’ on its blog.


But how will this work? Well:

If the @mentioned user has connected Instagram to Twitter:


  • The user’s Instagram username will appear in the photo caption.
  • The user’s Twitter username will appear in the tweet.

If the @mentioned user has not connected Instagram to Twitter:


  • The user’s Instagram username will appear in the photo caption.
  • The @ sign will be removed from the username when shared to Twitter.

What does this mean for those of us who work in PR? Well, for one, it shows that Instagram isn't content being an insular, photo-network smartphone app—it wants its users to integrate with Twitter as much as possible. This is also good news for brands and users that want to spread their Instagram photos far and wide.

Moving forward, it's safe to assume that Facebook's integration with Instagram will be more seamless, considering Facebook is its owner.


However, there will probably be a few more scuffles between Instagram and Twitter, as the photo network tries to further tap into Twitter's user-base.



Tagged with: , API, Facebook, Instagram, PR, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations, Public Relations North West, Refresh PR, Social Media, Twitter