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Instagram_App_Large_May2016_200.pngInstagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing application that has over 400 million monthly users. Instagram enables users to take pictures and videos and share them publicly or privately.  Instagram is a logical marketing tool for Faculty Directors promoting their programs through posting strategic pictures while abroad to their Instagram account.

Additionally, faculty should consider making a hashtag for their program to use through Instagram and Facebook. This can be done for the overall program or for each year the program runs. In either case, creating a hashtag allows student participants to use the hashtag to share their pictures and videos as well. For example, a good hashtag for the Coffee and Climate Change in Costa Rica program would be #coffee&climate2017.  Hashtags compile all content into a video album of sorts, so whoever searches #coffee&climate2017 will see all content connected to that specific hashtag.

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Marketing with Instagram:

Step 1: Get followers.

Ask students in your classes, at in-person marketing efforts, and students participating in your program to follow your Instagram.  Students can then “like” and comment on your photo/video, and it will appear on their profile as content that they have interacted with, which will reach other people as well.

Step 2: Create a hashtag.

Through the use of hashtags, Instagram is an ideal marketing tool for study abroad programs. Creating a hashtag for your program will allow participating students to share their pictures and videos with other participants while abroad.  This will also allow prospective students to view the hashtag album when exploring your program.  Make sure to include your hashtag in other marketing efforts such as your Facebook pages.

Step 3: Share videos and pictures.

While abroad, use Instagram to share photos and videos of your program – the more pictures you upload, the better! Instagram will hold all of your pictures within your account and by using your hashtag, potential participants can search your program.

When to use Instagram:

Like all social media platforms, marketing with Instagram will only be effective if it is used consistently.  Though you do not need to use Instagram daily, using it multiple times a week to interact with prospective students will have the greatest return on your efforts.

As a social media platform that focuses on images and videos, Instagram is ideal for marketing when your program is abroad to next year’s potential participants. However, once you have a following on Instagram, it can be used before your program departs to announce info sessions and other information for prospective students before important deadlines.


Use Instagram to show highlights of your program, such as students participating in cultural activities, beautiful landscapes, famous monuments, art, etc.  You should also consider adding short, intriguing captions to your pictures to connect the images and videos you are showing to your program.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag feature every time you post!

How to use Instagram:

New to Instagram? instagram-20 to view the Instagram user’s guide.