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5 ways to use Instagram: more than just cool filters

The following post is from Lauren Rothlisberger of Get Me Geeky:

If you are not on Instagram you are missing out. For starters, your missing out on following me and Mandi. While we both have a lot of cute kids to show off, there is a whole lot to discover on Instagram. It’s hands down my favorite social media platform right now. It’s like Facebook without all the talking. To me it is walking around a museum looking at pretty art, instead of reading the newspaper. (For the record I think reading the newspaper is a good thing, just a little more mentally exhausting.) Here are five different ways to use Instagram, beyond the normal point, shoot, and edit. If you don’t know how to do that, experiment, it is a lot of fun to use.

Follow Your Favorite People

Everyone has their favorite bloggers or celebrity they love. Follow them! It is refreshing and often a glimpse into people’s personal lives in a much different way. With the exception of the people who seem to stage all their photos, generally I find these photos a relief. I want to see that others struggle to keep their house clean like I do.

Understand Hashtags

While everyone knows how to create a hashtag, I am not sure everyone really gets what they are about. First off they are a great way to express an underlying emotion, or funny side note. But they were originally intended as a way to “tag” something, making it easy to search. My point here is hashtags can be useful. For example, #homeschool will bring up any public image with that hashtag. It is a great insight into what others are doing in that category.

Do Research

Speaking of hashtags, they are good for random research or exploration. Recently I have really gotten into sewing. If I see a pattern I am considering buying I stick the name of the pattern in with hashtags and see what images pop up. It is so fun to see the variety of ideas people come up with using the same pattern. It also gives me a much better idea as to whether I would like to buy it or not. The reverse of this is being able to tag the person who created the pattern to show of your work with their concept.

Find Inspiration

I really love looking through magazines for ideas on house decorating and trying to keep up with fashion trends. (That last one is a real struggle for me). The problem, of course, is I have very little time to flip through magazines. Instead, I follow some of my favorite brands (West Elm) on Instagram. I get little mini magazine clippings dropped in my feed everyday. Just enough to feel inspired.


There are a lot of third party apps out there for Instagram. But my favorite to see people use is FlipGram. It allows you to load several pictures into a video. It is a fun way to show before/after or time progression. Think first and last days of school, or the first 12 months montage. How about you? What is your favorite way to use Instagram?

Lauren Rothlisberger blogs and consults over at Get Me Geeky. As a military wife and mom of three girls five years old and under, she loves focusing on technology and productivity and finding new ways to simplify her life. She recently started putting together MacMinis, which are easy to follow videos for Mac users, and also wrote an ebook, Evernote for Moms.