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Got smartphone. Got INSTAGRAM?

Instagram_Icon_MediumInstagram has become a key tool for photo-sharing—28% of online adults Exit Disclaimer in the United States are now using it. If you haven’t yet joined that group, this visually driven platform could be a strong contender for a spot in your social media toolkit.

The AIDS.gov team previously shared “how to” Instagram. Now we offer 5 engagement tips:

Remember it’s an app:

While you can view profiles on your desktop, you must download the app Exit Disclaimer to post a picture and get started.

Says Deborah Levine, Executive Director, LoveHealsNYC: “I was comfortable using Facebook and Twitter, but I had never used Instagram. When I had to temporarily assume my agency’s social media responsibilities, I kept trying to figure out how to post photos to Instagram from my desktop–but it wasn’t until I enrolled in an AIDS.gov Virtual Office Hours session that I realized you could only post from your phone! Now LoveHealsNYC Exit Disclaimer actively uses Instagram to share our messages with youth and their allies.”

Instagram feed - AIDSgov - for new media blog Oct 6More pics, fewer graphics:

Instagram was built for your smartphone camera. While followers may appreciate an occasional infographic or inspirational quote, what makes them want to follow your feed are mostly real time, vibrant images of real people and events Exit Disclaimer.

Get behind the scenes:

Let your followers live vicariously through you! Show them an event they couldn’t attend, or a moment they shouldn’t miss. Watch how President Obama’s photographer takes you into the room Exit Disclaimer with him.

Micro-videos:

Fine-tune your message to Instagram’s video limit—15 seconds. Think ‘trailer,” not the feature film. Pull together clips from larger videos or record “sound-byte” style footage. (For an example, check out the video Exit Disclaimer we created to showcase the launch of the updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy)

Tell a story — short and sweet:

Unlike Twitter, Instagram doesn’t impose a character limit. But remember, the unwritten rule is “More image, less text.” Post an image that represents the moment and build a story around it— as we did with meeting HIV community influencers Exit Disclaimer or getting the first look Exit Disclaimer at our nation’s most important HIV/AIDS policy document.

Check out more HIV outreach on Instagram: Act Against AIDS Exit Disclaimer, Whitman Walker Health Exit Disclaimer.

Stay tuned for tools to make you a smarter “Instagrammer”!