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A Lack of Confidence in Instagram
By: Tom Roarty
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An old freelance client recently approached me for help with some of their social networking needs. Although this client had not done social marketing in the past, we had talked about it and this year, they were finally ready to take the leap. The thing about this particular client is that it would be a prime candidate for an Instagram account. A year ago, I would have done all I could to talk them into one, but in our most recent meeting, I spent the majority of time talking them out of it.
To give you a little background on the client, they are a major annual festival. Having always been a fan of Instagram, it was the absolute first service I thought of when brainstorming ideas; however, about eight weeks ago while working on my 365-Day photo project, Instagram stopped working for me. I could not upload photos or like or comment on my friends' photos. I immediately contacted the app’s technical support team through its online form, and although I was told I would be contacted soon, I wasn’t. I understand the service is huge — and free — so I sent in another help ticket, followed by another and another, never receiving a response. I even followed all of their online suggestions, and still no luck, so I continued the 365-Day Project on Twitter. Although it serves its purpose, I was really hoping to use the service that was created for the media I was using, but I submitted.
When the initial client meeting took place last week, we talked about new ways to promote the festival on social media. One of the board members asked, “Is Instagram something we should consider?” I wanted to say yes immediately, because I had so many ideas for the use of the app, but instead had to say it needed to be looked into. Over the next few days, I wrote to Instagram asking for its help. If I am unable to get my account working, why would I trust a client’s business with the app? Every day since, I sent Instagram a list of what the app was doing, what I tried to do to fix it, and even reached out to them via Twitter and still had got no response, which leads me to the question, “If you don’t care enough to support your business, why should other businesses want to use it?”
As great as it would have been to use the functionality of Instagram, I could not go back in good conscience and recommend the service. The unfortunate thing? Even though Instagram is currently a free service, this client would have paid for a commercial account if one ever became available in the future, and the project would have been a success. In the end, it all comes down to customer service. If your business cannot properly support your product, clients will take their ideas elsewhere.

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