Using Instagram’s InstaMeet Feature for Community Connections
In social media’s earliest days, it was often assumed that eventually online interactions would simply replace face-to-face meetings entirely. As it is turning out, precisely the opposite is unfolding today. Today’s social media users and organizers are turning to their favorite social media platforms to make new connections they can then take offline.
Within the Instagram community, these organized meet-ups are being called “InstaMeets.” Instagrammers are joining InstaMeets organized by others and also organizing their own InstaMeets to reinforce and expand their community connections. This exciting new trend is up-ending how companies and organizations use Instagram as well, leading to more face-time in the name of brand-building and marketshare.
In this post, learn how to use InstaMeet for your own community-building goals.
A Step-by-Step to Organizing an InstaMeet
Instagram itself is perhaps the biggest proponent and user of the InstaMeet feature, with 10 annual World Wide InstaMeets under its belt.
Whether your goals are big or small in scope, these steps will help you put your InstaMeet vision into action:
– Create your concept. InstaMeets focus on bringing together Instagrammers to connect and take photos together (and often result in photos of the InstaMeet itself being distributed widely online post-event).
– Choose your location and map out the route. Since everyone will be taking photos at your InstaMeet, you want to be sure you choose a photogenic location with lots of local interest. Also, whether you plan to walk, hike, skate, jog, kayak or swim the route, you want to be sure to plan it out so well you could navigate it in your sleep (nothing ruins an InstaMeet – or any meet! – faster than getting lost in the middle of it).
– Choose your time and date. Your optimal meet-up time will depend on your audience. Business and networking InstaMeets might best occur during the week and around the lunch or happy hour time. Purely social meet-ups might be better reserved for weekends, with Saturday being the first choice day.
– Create your InstaMeet images. With your location, route, time and day covered, it is time to create the image(s) you will use to marketing your InstaMeet on Instagram. Popularly called “infograms,” you can use the app Over (for iOS or Android) to create your image(s) for free. Be sure your infogram contains everything Instagrammers will need to know to find and attend your InstaMeet.
– Use Instagram itself to help with publicity. By posting your infogram on Instagram and tagging relevant others (such as the local town or city account, the state account, any event calendar accounts and fellow event organizer accounts) you can help spread the word quickly.
– Scout out a place for a group photo in advance. You will definitely want to document your InstaMeet by taking a group photo, so have a place picked out in advance (and an alternate in case anything changes). It is best to take your group shot at the beginning of the event so people don’t trickle off and miss out on being a part.
– Take an event video. Instagram is increasingly about sharing videos as well as photographs, so find a willing attendee or fellow co-host and pop a video cam into their hands!
– Host and debrief. During your InstaMeet, of course, you will be “on” performing your host duties. But after the event concludes, it can be a great idea to get the co-organizers together to debrief and plan the next steps for sharing the content you captured during your InstaMeet.
Creative Ways to Use InstaMeets
If you are planning an InstaMeet as a way to network, promote products or services, increase brand awareness or support a favorite cause, here are some great creative organizing ideas you can use.
– Set attendance at a limited number. Then create a contest to decide who gets to attend.
– Create an event series. If your first InstaMeet is successful, create an ongoing series so attendees can begin to build relationships offline.
– Bring in a celebrity guest. Whether it is a local pro photographer who can share photo taking and editing tips or the company CEO, celebrity guests always boost attendance and PR.
– Make it hands-on. Whether it is trying out a new product, enjoying free samples of services (like massage or a makeover), building something together or another activity, hands-on events offer many great photo moments as well as opportunities to laugh, bond and create memories.
Now that you know how to plan your first InstaMeet, you can begin to harness the full power of Instagram to meet your personal and business goals.