Rock formation in Monutment Valley USA

guide to using instagram

What is Instagram?

Instagram lets you take photos with your smartphone, edit them with a variety of easy-to-use filters and share them with followers using hashtags, in a manner similar to that of Twitter. Hashtags are what allow you to tag and direct your posts to other users looking for that content. Photo-based social media has become increasingly popular, and much of science can lend itself to a medium that makes use of beautiful and striking images. And be mindful of your purpose and direction: Make sure there’s a theme for your images. Think about who you are trying to reach with your images.

Instagram moves quicker than other platforms like Facebook or Tumblr but slower than Twitter and is entirely picture or video-based.

Abstract illustration space and stars

Other considerations for using Instagram

Use Instagram if you want to invest between five to 10 minutes per day and share images of daily life in the field, classroom or laboratory with an audience that appreciates photography.

Consider using a different social media channel if you want to react to events more immediately with or without photos, such as Twitter. If you want a slower-paced platform, try Tumblr. Or, if you want to share longer content at a slower pace, check out Facebook.

Night view of Earth from above with city lights
  • Make a plan. You can share all sorts of different images, but make sure that they have a purpose: Do they illustrate a blog post, website, or study of yours? Do they connect to your teaching? Are they evidence of citizen science?
  • Use hashtags. As with Twitter, people may search for topics by relevant hashtag, for example, #AGU18 for AGU’s Fall Meeting 2018 or #SciComm for science communications. Using hashtags will help your posts be seen. Follow us at americangeophysicalunion.
  • Post often. Images are riveting, often more so than words, but people will look at the same old photo only so many times.
Vertical image of waves crashing on a sandy beach
How to use Instagram

Be a guest 'grammer!

We regularly have AGU members take over our account to showcase their science! If you are interested, email us for more information!
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