The simplicity of Instagram: the impact of a #hashtag.

If there’s one social network (besides Facebook) that I’m an avid fan of, it would be Instagram.  Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking site where people can publish their photos and videos to share with the world.  From selfies to professional shots, you can find anything and everything.

And it all starts with a simple #.  A single hashtag.

Search for anything you want on Instagram by slapping on a # and boom!  Thousands of photos for your enjoyment.

To add a photo on Instagram, select a photo from your phone, pick a stunning filter that complements the photo (if you so desire), attach a few hashtags, and all of a sudden you have people all around the world looking at your photo.  You can even link it to all your other social networking profiles.  Easy access. That’s the best part.

sample shot

(Instagram, anybody?  Follow me @serenakyp)

So simple anyone can do it.  Even large corporations.

This simplicity has not only been recognized by users, but by also large corporations.  On the Explore tab (AKA Popular Page) of Instagram, I find myself encountering photos and videos from various brands.  From Whole Foods to Nike, they create trending hashtags, encouraging customers to post their own purchases and coordinates using their hashtags.

brands_optF21_opt

#justdoit.  #F21xMe.  #Starbucks.  #UrbanOutfitters.  Wear or use their product, snap a photo, add an attractive filter and their hashtag.  There you go—you’re advertising their product for them.  How ingenious! You’re making a push for their brand and the company didn’t have to do too much.  Essentially… Free advertising?

A fuller picture (literally).

Admittedly at first I got really annoyed at all this ‘spam’ (that’s what I call it) from big corporations.  Where did all the novice and professional shots that I love so much go?  My email is already filled with junk mail from stores, I didn’t want my beloved Instagram to be like my abandoned inbox.

But it’s more than just ‘spam’. Taking a closer look at these brands’ accounts, I found so much more.  The pictures are not only about their products, but about the company as a whole—painting a more vivid picture, creating a broader story of who they are.

making a difference_optWe get an inside peek to see how much dedication goes into their products and how they plan to change the world. They want to carry a message, a message that they are more thanjust a brand.  They are a lifestyle.  They are inspirational.  They are a part of us and we are a part of them.  And we come together through a hashtag, a “like”, a comment, a repost.  That’s all it takes.  And it’s actually kind of nice.

This has brought much success to not only to brands but to also Instagram.  It is amazing how social media is able to bring such an impact onto our society.  And all it takes is one simple upload and a hashtag to produce an emotional connection between consumer and brand.  Simply genius.

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