Nov. 26 2018 08:00 AM

It’s easy to use, and Instagram is the best social network for giving daily virtual dairy farm tours.

Do you want to reach younger audiences and show them how amazing life is on the farm surrounded by dairy cows? I get jealous just saying that.

Instagram is an easy-to-use, mobile social media network that allows you to post videos and photos of the farm for everyone on the network to see.

Unlike Facebook, where you might run into opinions and negativity, most Instagrammers focus on the positive, posting beautiful pictures of where they are, what they are doing, and how amazing it is. Dairy farming is perfect for Instagram.

The farm is a beautiful place that most people don't experience. By posting daily photos and videos, you can engage them directly and share your life and thoughts in a healthy, positive manner.

So, how do you get on Instagram? Is it as tough as Twitter?

It's super easy and it doesn't have the character limits, which caused a unique language to develop on Twitter. Essentially, if you like taking photos and videos, this channel is for you.

Let's get started.

1. Download the Instagram application from the App Store or Google Play.

2. Use your phone number or email to create an account. (You can link it directly to your Facebook if you want.)

3. Add your name - this can be you or your farm name. Instagram doesn't take exception to business names like Facebook does.

4. Create a password.

5. Then, you can create your account and change your username.

6. Let's look at the home screen to walk through what the buttons do.

a. Home - This lets you look through the Instagram feed to see the posts of the people you follow. You can slide up to see more photos.

b. Search - This is to help you find topics, people, tags, and places. A lot of this is based on hashtags.

c. Add - This allows you to take a photo or video or add from your phone's library of images or videos.

d. Heart - These are your notifications of people liking, commenting, or following you.

e. Profile - This is how you get to your profile.

f. Like the photo you see or you can double tap the photo/video to like it.

g. Comment - Comment on the image.

h. Send - You can send this image privately to someone on Instagram.

i. Save - Save this photo to view later in a collection.

j. This is the Instagrammer who posted the image.

k. More options to report, mute, or unfollow the image, share on Facebook, or get a link to it.

l. These are Instagram Stories the people you follow are posting. These are Snapchat-like features of instant messaging, allowing you to share fun photos and videos that will disappear in a day.

m. Camera icon allows you to take an Instagram photo or video.

n. Instagram TV is new, and it's a channel like YouTube for long-form videos.

o. Send message - You can send messages privately to other Instagrammers.

While it looks like a lot of options, you really only have to open it up and scroll through the images/videos to see what's going on with those that you follow.

PRO TIP: If you add at least two photos or videos a day from the farm and tag it with the appropriate hashtags, you will gain followers quickly. Consider using these hashtags: #undeniablydairy #dairygood #farm365 #instagood #instafarm #food #farming #dairy #cheese #cowsofinstagram

If you need help getting started, just reach out to me or your local dairy checkoff and we’ll help you start engaging consumers through Instagram.

Don Schindler

The author is a Senior Vice President of Digital Initiatives at Dairy Management Inc.