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Influence like you are on Instagram

Updated: May 3, 2020

A game of word association in 2019 would likely pair ‘influence’ with ‘Instagram’. If the idea of an Instagram influencer is a mystery to you, check this definition.

Savvy companies and organisations create social media feeds full of beautiful images and a few well-chosen words.

Zebras following each other on the savannah

Zebras on the savannah. ID 78915868 © Andrey Gudkov |

Your working life under the fluorescent tubes in the open-plan office may feel remote from this carefully curated world, but you can take some tips.

Apply these principles in the work place to increase your influence.

Show your values

Nike says ‘if you have a body, you are an athlete’. This is supported with images of all sorts of people, not just elite athletes. The stories are about connection, growth, and community. The words and images associate the brand with these values. How are your values evident in your behavior in the workplace?

Be generous with what you have

NASA has the gear to take photos no one else can, and it shares them freely on its Instagram feed. People all over the world can enjoy the results of NASA’s work. Do your colleagues know what you are capable of?

Keep in touch

therock (Dwayne Johnson) posts several times a week and several times a day if something big is happening in his life. His followers share his experiences on set, in the gym, in exotic locations. Who do you meet with regularly? Who hasn’t heard from you in a while?

Build community

National Geographic shares images from its global network of photographers. The brief stories they tell prompt responses. Who do you share experiences with? What forums do you create for sharing and feedback?

Use humour

Instagram lends itself to subversion: comedian Celeste Barber hilariously undercuts the pressure to be living the best life. Who do you laugh with at work? And how many others are drawn to that laughter?

Next time someone catches you scrolling, draw them in to a conversation on influence.


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