Have you ever seen a picture that needed no explanation? Throughout history, iconic photos—like from the World War II D-Day invasion, the 1969 moon landing, and more—have helped tell the story of events in a way that words could not. And now, with the emergence of Instagram, anyone in the world can capture the emotion, beauty, and importance of a moment in a single picture.
While Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have been mainstays in alumni relations and annual giving strategies for the last few years, many departments are just now starting to invest resources into Instagram. The photo-sharing app has become a powerhouse in the social media world, with more than 400 million users and over 80 million photos uploaded every day. Instagram is particularly popular with the younger demographic, as over half of millennials use the app daily.
Though you may think that individuals and companies are the only ones doing Instagram well, several educational institutions have taken advantage of Instagram to engage students, alumni, and constituents.
Below is a sampling of five great higher-ed Instagram feeds, plus tips on how to spice up your school’s Instagram presence.
1. Penn State (Over 73,000 followers)
2. Skidmore College (Over 1,400 followers)
3. Juniata College (Over 2,700 followers)
4. University of San Francisco (Over 8,800 followers)
5. Rutgers University Alumni Association (Over 2,370 followers)
Ready to get started with Instagram? Here are three points to remember:
- Find unique angles to take your pictures from. Don’t just point and shoot; find a different way of looking at buildings and activities.
- Put the camera in the hands of your students. While we all think we know the minds of our students, you will find that students have a completely different perspective on campus life.
- Bring local flavor into your feed. Alumni want to be reminded not just about campus, but also about the restaurants, stores, and traditions from where they went to school. Broaden your horizons beyond the campus footprint.
If your school isn’t using Instagram, it’s worthwhile to talk to your marketing communications team about the importance of getting on the platform. If you’re already on Instagram, take that next step and think about how your alumni relations and annual giving teams can leverage the app/site to deepen your connection with alumni.