A Bit About Britain is on Instagram. Just thought I’d mention it. If anyone reading this is also on Instagram, plugging stuff about Britain like wot I do, let’s follow one another, shall we? Every little helps.
I am currently at the very early learning Instagram stage. The target audience is of course anyone interested in places to visit in Britain, Britain’s heritage, landscape, promoting the attractions they own or manage – and so on. It is well known that Instagram is primarily a visual medium. The quality of the photography in ABAB’s field, and the presentation of some of the material, is jaw-droppingly impressive. In fact, to a rank amateur photographer barely out of his Box Brownie, it is daunting. There are some seriously talented people out there.
Initial impressions are that, just as on Facebook and Twitter, some accounts seem to thrive by mostly posting other people’s wonderful work under their own brand. This can be somewhat misleading, if not dishonest, particularly if they are using someone else’s creativity to promote a product, or themselves. Sharing on social media is part of the game, of course; you must do that. One hand washes the other and all that jazz. However, some accounts have nothing much of their own to say and simply spout vacuous drivel, or pose facile questions. Another peculiarity appears to be individuals that predominantly post pictures of themselves against beautiful or inspiring backdrops, such as castles, hills, lakes and mountains. They are mostly female, sometimes – but not always – promoting their photography, or fashion items. Fair enough, and it is often elegantly and tastefully done. Figures can enhance photographs, perhaps framed in a doorway; they can provide perspective, or help to convey emotion. At the other extreme, there is also a fair amount of gratuitous bosom and bum thrusting, often coupled with a little gentle pouting and skirt-twirling. I have nothing against a thrusting bosom or bum (as it were), or even a subtle pout and twirl, but a proportion of this looks purely narcissistic, and rather sad. Not only that, but how can an aging, overweight, bloke hope to compete? Should I wear a shorter skirt? It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Unlike Twitter and Facebook (and Pinterest, come to that), you cannot link directly to another site from an Instagram post. So its value in terms of driving website traffic remains to be seen. It is too soon to make definitive comparisons between Instagram and other social media. Each one has its attributes. I enjoy Twitter: it is quick, often witty, and informative. There are some clever, and kind, people using Twitter. I haven’t found too much humour on Instagram yet. Of course, it is well known that Twitter also has its share of lunatics, flat-earthers and bigots of left and right. I cannot stand intolerance, can you? It is pointless trying to engage with these people, because they are always right: life is simpler for them that way. If you do not agree, you must be a Socialist or a Fascist (delete as applicable). There is a whole debate to be had about how worryingly widespread this polarisation and shutting down of rational debate seems to be – you see it every day with politicians, of course. That said, Twitter makes it easy to block anyone too offensive and I am pleased and proud that A Bit About Britain attracts idiots of all persuasions.
I do not understand Facebook. I just get used to doing something and they mischievously change the way the damn thing looks and acts. Currently, I seem to have lost the ability to see anyone else’s material in A Bit About Britain’s newsfeed. So I cannot comment on or share anything other than my own stuff. Next week, I’m sure it will be fine – but it is a little tiresome and makes it hard to interact. One good thing about Instagram, which is currently owned by Facebook anyway, is that when you post something you can simultaneously share it to your Facebook page (as well as Twitter, if you want).
People use social media for different reasons. You may use it to stay in touch with family and friends. If you are trying to promote a business or a brand, using social media is essential. It has to be right for you, though; and I would recommend tackling one channel at a time.
I would be interested in other people’s (polite) thoughts on the subject and their own experience.
PS – If you click on a logo, above, you should end up on the relevant ABAB page.