Central Washington University PBI Use of Instagram Discussion

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PBI Use of Instagram

           Social media has become a part of everyday life for the both individual and the corporation alike. This adaption means that there needs to be a policy in place to protect Padgett-Beale, INC. for both usage and marketing. Instagram is not only one of the most popular social media sites it also has more users than many other social media sites. “Instagram now boasts more than 500 million monthly active users and commands one of the highest audience engagement rates in social media, 58% higher than Facebook and 2000% higher than Twitter.” (Jolly, 2020) The popularity of Instagram could be used to the advantage of PBI if handled correctly. In order for it to be handled correctly there will needs to be in depth review of the platform’s privacy policy. There will also need to be a decision made on whether the employees of PBI can use this social media site when at work.

           Instagram’s privacy policy has been updated in the last few years to reflect their purchase by Facebook. “Our Privacy Policy explains how we and some of the companies we work with collect, use, share and protect information in relation to our mobile services, web site, and any software provided on or in connection with Instagram services (collectively, the “Service”), and your choices about the collection and use of your information.” (Instagram, 2017) This privacy policy is very transparent on what data they will collect, how they use it, how they store it, whether they will cooperate with a request for private client information, and what can be done by the user to control the amount of data they share with Instagram. The transparency that Instagram provides allows for an informed decision to be made by PBI on it will use the social media platform for advertising uses.

           While Instagram’s transparency in their privacy policy allows for an informed decision, there has been an incident with their enforcement of their privacy policy that should be reviewed. “According to a Business Insider investigation, Instagram has been allowing a San Francisco-based marketing agency, HYP3R, to flout its rules and collect information from millions of users. HYP3R is a “Facebook Marketing Partner,” meaning this isn’t some rogue firm acting outside the lines. It’s one of Instagram’s preferred partners, and though there are policies against this type of behavior, there were apparently no actual limitations on the access the marketing firm had to your private data via the API it created.” (Aten, 2019) Instagram did take action after this marketing firm’s actions came to light by removing the marketing firm from their platform and reassuring their clients that all information that the marketing firm had access to was public already. This incident does set a concerning pattern of preferred partners of the social media platform being excluded from the privacy policy rules until they get caught.

           A social media platform’s privacy policy should be taken into an account when a company is contemplating using the platform to market and advertise to their potential audience. Instagram’s privacy policy gives enough information that a PBI can make an informed decision to use Instagram. Instagram offers a wide variety of marketing and advertising tools that could be leveraged to the advantage of PBI. Several recommended tools are Crowdfire, Foursixty, and Iconosquare. Each of these tools provides a service that works with Instagram accounts to make that they are being used to their fullest potential in the marketing and advertising efforts. Crowdfire for example “This is one of the best tools out there and it provides you metrics on engagement and reach, post-performance analytics, and historical analysis for your Instagram profile. Through this method, you can figure out what your followers like and what they don’t.” (Barker, 2020)

           One of the many decisions that need to be made surrounding the use of Instagram is whether or not employees of PBI should be allowed to use Instagram during work hours and what policy PBI should adopt to govern the use of social media platforms. As Instagram is a photo based social media platform a photo posted by an employee during work hours could contain sensitive information including PBI trade secrets or client information. Instagram also records locations and other personal information that could put private information at risk. It is the official recommendation that employees should not be able to use Instagram during work hours for these privacy reasons. The policy PBI should adopt to govern the use of social media platforms should be restrictive and only allow official posts after they have been reviewed by a joint team that includes IT security, legal analyst, and marketing analyst. This policy should also apply to all external communications.

           “Brands and marketers have sensed the big opportunity and potential that Instagram provides, and are using the network in big numbers. According to data revealed by Instagram, over 80% of accounts on Instagram follow the businesses they love. More than 200 million Instagrammers visit business profiles every day.” (Barker, 2020) Instagram is a powerful tool for companies such as PBI if leveraged properly. With a careful, restrictive social media use policy in place PBI can leverage the use of Instagram to create a powerful marketing and advertising presence.


Aten, J. (2019, August 8). Instagram Allowed an Ad Partner to Track Millions of Users’ Data, and It’s a Major Privacy Problem. Retrieved April 23, 2020, from https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/instagram-just-ackn…

Barker, S. (2020, April 3). Top 25 Instagram Marketing Tools To Customize Your Online Promotions. Retrieved April 23, 2020, from https://shanebarker.com/blog/instagram-marketing-t…

Instagram. (2017, November). Instagram Privacy Policy. Retrieved April 23, 2020, from https://help.instagram.com/402411646841720

Jolly, W. (2020, February 19). The 6 Most Effective Types of Social Media Advertising in 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020, from https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/social-media-adve…

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