How Local Governments Can Use Instameets to Promote Citizen Engagement

Chris Shattuck at Arc3Communications: “With more than 200 million active monthly users, Instagram reports that it shares more than 20 million photos every day with a combined average of 1.6 billion likes.
Instagram engagement is also more than 15 times that of Facebook with a user base that is predominately young, female and affluent, according to a recent report by L2, a think tank for digital innovation.
Therefore, it’s no wonder that 92 percent of prestige brands prominently incorporate Instagram into their social media strategies, according to the same report.
However, many local governments have been slow to adopt this rapidly maturing platform, even though many of their constituents are already actively using it.
So how can local governments utilize the power of Instagram to promote citizen engagement that is still organic and social?
Creating Instameets to promote local government events, parks, civic landmarks and institutional buildings may be part of that answer.
Once an Instagram meetup community is created for a city any user can suggest a “meet-up” where members get together at a set place, date and time to snap away at a landmark, festival, or other event of note – preferably with a unique hashtag so that photos can be easily shared.
For example, where other marketing efforts to brand the City of Atlanta failed, #weloveatl has become a popular, organic hashtag that crosses cultural and economic boundaries for photographers looking to share their favorite things about Atlanta and benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
And in May, users were able to combine that energy with a worldwide Instameet campaign to photograph Streets Alive Atlanta, a major initiative by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.
This organic collaboration provides a unique example for local governments seeking to promote their cities and use Instameets….”