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Exploring strategies for social media in higher education

Awesome Article Alert: One Stat that Explains Why Instagram Is Adding Ads

Is your department on Instagram? If you’re not, you may want to consider joining because “nearly one in five adult cellphone owners uses the app”, according to One Stat that Explains Why Instagram Is Adding Ads, which came out yesterday.


A colleague shared this stat, which comes from the Pew Internet and American Life Project (if you don’t know about this already, bookmark the site now) and it got my attention for a few reasons:

1) That is a LOT of people on Instagram.  The author, Alex Fitzpatrick, captured just why this is a big deal: “Go ask five random people with cellphones (so pretty much anybody, considering 91% of American adults own a cellphone), and at least one of them is likely to say they use Instagram.” So yeah, I agree Alex, that does explain why Instagram is adding ads.  Everyone is on there!

2) I’m a member of the Instagram-ing club.  My department launched an Instagram account this fall to share pictures of our office activities and big events.  While we’re only at 41 followers, we’re excited about the possibilities. For example, we had students share their interview outfits and tag our account to grow followers.  We had 8 students participate.  That’s not a ton, but 8 students is a solid place to start, especially when their own friends liked their Instagram photos (read: viral marketing). Now that Instagram also offers videos, we hope to capture advice from students and alums, too.

3) It’s time to get visual. Instagram helps share your department’s identity in a visual manner (as I discussed a while back in my Pinterest post). Furthermore, if you tag your photos appropriately, you can join in the institution’s identity as a whole which is good for branding, plain and simple. At my institution, I see what the main university account uses as hashtags and I make sure to include those when I post.

What are your thoughts on the Time article? Is your department or school on Instagram? We’d love to hear about your experience and see how you’re using the platform!

by Shannon

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3 thoughts on “Awesome Article Alert: One Stat that Explains Why Instagram Is Adding Ads

  1. We are on Instagram as BucknellCareer ( I love it for many reasons 1) the stat you mention, 2) shows people actually come to our events and you can see what you are missing 3) Food :)

    We tried an Instagram contest for best career fair attire. I didn’t have as much time as I would have hoped so it wasn’t the result I was hoping for but I’m still trying! One thing I’ve been doing is asking if I can take their pic because they are dressed well which is nice because then they will look for it on Instagram, positive reinforcement of successful professional attire.

  2. And how timely – just saw this article: Teenagers Prove Fickle When Choosing Social Networks

    • Shannon Kelly on said:

      Great stuff all around, Megan! It’s interesting to see how our future students, and current students for that matter, choose social networks. Instagram is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and it will be interesting to watch how visual networks increase in popularity. We’re still figuring Instagram out, so I’m excited to connect with others and see how they use it – both in Career Services and in other areas of higher ed!

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