Deep Fried Diaries

The insider's scoop on food, travel & southern culture

Instagram Insights

You know what they say: a picture’s worth a thousand words.
Well actually, when you add an Instagram filter, they may be worth a few more…

488271_512794305401810_1889205732_nIf you’re out-of-touch with social media technology, then you may have been a little puzzled by the recent onslaught of “professional” photography. And you also probably live under a rock.

On the other hand, if words like Amaro, Sutro or Kelvin mean anything to you, then I’m going to assume you’re an Instagramer. You and the 80 million other little shutterbugs.

The truth is, Instagram is changing the way we read news, tell stories and share memories. A quick glance at blogs like this one by Ben Malbon, or even the Washington Post’s Webstagram news feed, prove that the photo app is making an impact. It’s changing the way we interact with each other, businesses included.

I’ve seen a lot of neat Instagram action going on around Washington, DC — restaurants and hotels are tapping into customers’ artistic talents. Not only is Instagram promoting higher levels of engagement between businesses and their customers, but it’s also producing some pretty incredible photo content. And it’s all by the people.

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Bayou Bakery, a New Orleans-style restaurant in Arlington, just wrapped up a month-long Instagram competition called Bayou By You. The business asked its customers to share the spirit of Bayou Bakery through their camera lenses, from which the winners are being selected by both an esteemed panel of judges and people’s choice. (Judging is apparently still in progress, so go vote!) The result was a range of fantastic submissions, which Bayou Bakery promised to frame and feature on the restaurant’s wall.

Also in on the Instagram hype is the Dupont Circle Hotel, who has asked their customers to submit photos with the theme or focus of a circle. Again, the submissions have created an incredible pool of creative photo content for the hotel, not to mention an insightful glimpse through the eyes of their most loyal fans.

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To me, the most fascinating thing has been the consumer’s urge to share and engage on Instagram, even without a business prompting or creating competitions. The photo app has transformed customers into artists. Instagram has provided us with tools that inspire our photos, as well as the means to share them with the world. Smart businesses are harnessing that in a way that grows the meaningful connections they share with their customers.

With all these filters to make pictures looked old and aged, I’m thinking my children’s photo albums are going to turn out a lot like mine from 40 years ago… Just thinking out loud.

I’m Simone. And this is what simone sez….

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