Instagram Power Notes


Book: Instagram Power by Jason G. Miles

Overall point: 

  • Highlights instagram as a marketing tool for companies and shows how to incorporate instagram into social media strategy
  • How to build your brand through a strictly mobile, visual social media application
  • Teach users the basics of Instagram and how to use them strategically

Common Themes:

  • Importance of the “backstage” → helps users see what is really going on in the company and helps viewers form a “personal” relationship with company or brand
  • Obeying social norms → while it is important to “like,” follow, and comment, do not do too much or else you could be seen as a spammer and shunned by potential followers and even banned by Instagram
  • Hashtag communities
    • People using the same hashtags are more likely to follow you
    • Hashtags start a community based off of interests/similar photos
    • Make sure you hashtag appropriately or else there could be context collapse (i.e.: #McDStories)
  • The concept of the attention economy
    • Attention is a rare and valuable resource
    • Competition for attention
    • We use attention as a measure of value
    • Can use attention as leverage for other resources
    • you can trade attention for attention
    • can spend other resources to get attention
  • Immaterial labor → companies use activity that produces the cultural content of the commodity
  • Media-centric or social media lite (as Miles puts it) → focuses on content and visuals rather than profile-centric sites like Facebook


  • Small business owners, startups and new Instagram users
  • Generation older than the millennials

How is Instagram different than other platforms?

  • Less effort than Facebook
    • do not need to engage in conversation with followers, instead just “like,” follow and comment occasionally
  • Has the same immediacy as Twitter but the half-life quality of YouTube
    • content is posted in a timely manner but photos can stay around and be circulated/commented on for a long time
  • Emphasis on the visual
    • quality vs quantity
    • do not let captions overpower the picture (keep it simple)

Things to be considered:

  • Video feature
    • Does this make Instagram more similar to YouTube
    • How could this be used to market products/brands?
    • Could video be good in giving a “backstage” view or will followers find it annoying/time consuming?
  • Personal brands/companies that do not have physical products to sell
    • how do aspiring online writers/singers/actors build their own brand when they have no physical product to sell?
    • would they market themselves differently?
    • How is marketing a personal brand different than marketing a company?
  • Time
    • How long does it take to build such a large following?

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