Session Details

Instagram: Make crowdsourced photos work for you!

#MCS4 Marketing, Content, and Social Strategy Track

Room 101C


7,000+ Instagram photos have been submitted by the Brown University community to the 'Scene by you at Brown' Instagram campaign in the past 10 months. Located in historic Providence, Rhode Island and founded in 1764, Brown is an independent, coeducational Ivy League institution and the seventh-oldest college in the United States; Instagram is now helping tell Brown’s story.

It is impossible to have a campus photographer be everywhere at once, at all times of day and night, to capture everything that happens at a University. But thanks to crowdsourced, user-generated, mobile photo sharing apps like Instagram, a single admin can now “employ” thousands of digital photo journalists to tell the University’s story through their own handheld perspectives.

Crowdsourcing campus photos offers local, national and international audiences an intimate glimpse into life at a University; big events, lectures, local landmarks, sporting events, weather phenomena, TEDx events and the changing of the seasons are all captured in realtime and redisplayed to the world. Alumni reminisce, prospective students get a behind-the-scenes look, current students are engage on a new level, and the global community is along for the ride.

Learn how to aggregate user-generated photos, navigate user permission, privacy concerns and connect local and global communities around mobile apps like Instagram!




John S. Murphy
Social Media Specialist, Brown University

John S. Murphy (@MurphyBrownU) is the social media specialist at Brown University where he focuses on leveraging social media and digital marketing strategies to optimize visibility, reach and engagement via early adoption, analytics and creativity. He recently received an Honorable Mention from PR News' Social Media Icon Awards for the "Scene by you at Brown" Instagram campaign. 

As an undergrad at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007, before Facebook 'Pages' were officially launched, he founded a social media consulting agency creating and managing Facebook presences for SMBs. He then began work as the Social Media Strategist at a large NGO where he coordinated social media strategy on a global scale.

Murphy holds a BA in Anthropology and English from CU Boulder and is currently studying Advertising Design at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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