Using Share Sites for Instagram Photos
When Facebook paid a billion dollars to acquire Instagram last spring, the message was clear: This photo-sharing app is going to be the next Big Thing for visual social media. How can you get in on the buzz?
For one thing, you'll get more mileage out of your Instagram images if you park them on a website that allows you to share your Instagram stream on other social media. Examples of these sites include:
To make sure you reach the widest audience possible, try to choose one favored by others you follow. A couple examples of how jewelry people with social-media savvy are using Instagram share sites:
Wendy Brandes uses INK361 to park and share her Instagram images. INK361 publishes galleries of the most popular Instagram images posted on their site, an urban-hip mix, heavy on street fashion – perfect for Brandes. INK361 also offers various tools to "share about your awesome Instagram photos at different places on the Net," such as Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
Webstagram is another popular share site for Instagram photos – less slick, less hipster – that emphasizes the comments and "likes" (a heart icon) pictures elicit, posted as Twitter-style conversations next to each image. Dan Gordon, owner of Samuel Gordon Jewelers in Oklahoma City, uses Webstagram to post his Instagram photos.
Most of Gordon's shots feature jewelry from his store. The rest are fun glimpses of his life – a bowl of brownie mix he's getting ready to cook, a digitally manipulated sunset, a Milky Way bar "as seen from Mars." Gordon has become well known in the jewelry industry for being on the cutting edge of social media, so his enthusiastic use of Instagram is significant.
According to his page on Webstagram, Gordon appears to be posting Instagram images every two to three hours. When he posts a photo of an amethyst ring, he adds hashtags in his caption description that appear below the image as #diamond, #gemstones, #purple, #lavender, #rosedefrance, #amethyst. Long after the tweet has come and gone, this image remains archived here and shows 35 hearts. An aquamarine ring posted earlier has 64.
Like INK361, Webstagram allows you to check out the most "popular" images shared on the site. When I last checked, the most popular Instagram shot on Webstagram was an ethereal backlit portrait of a woman, viewed from behind, half-submerged in the ocean. She wears jewelry, although it's not the primary appeal. This image had elicited 271 comments and the "popular photos" page itself had 203,000 Facebook likes and 9,000 G+1 shares.
Instagram is obviously inspiring competition among amateur photographers – no expensive equipment required, just a mobile device, the right app, and a good visual sense. Perfect for a jewelry artist, right?
CATHLEEN McCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories on design, travel and business have appeared in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, Washington Post, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe.
NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more about ways to take and use photos in "Instagram for Fun and Promo," January/February 2013.