The Building of a Successful Instagram Persona

Over the past 5 years Instagram has advanced into a mediasharing platform which involves a “mixture of features including social structure, social tagging and media sharing” (Roberto Interdonato & Andrea Tagarelli 2014).

Findings suggest that Instagram can “demonstrate an unparalleled scope of skills and degree of comfortability with public mediatisation, and express unprecedented levels of actual and potential public exposure” (Moore, Barbour, & Lee 2017 p.3). Moore, Barbour, & Lee propose that Instagram relationships are built through the actions of the producer’s persona, and the members of these relationships equally contribute to a persona through choices and actions. In their article ‘Five Dimensions of Online Persona’ they refer to para-textual actions such as ‘liking’, or ‘commenting’ as an active contribution to a public identity which demonstrate the importance of the choices we make when engaging online (Moore, Barbour, & Lee 2017 p.7). These conclusions advocate the importance of equally connecting to your following on Instagram through images, and direct communication, to increase and strengthen the success of a platform.

 

*Short video explaining the evolution of Instagram, and its original intent of being an advertising and marketing platform 

 

My project will underpin the value of persona through the communication and maintenance of relationships which I create on an Instagram profile.

Congregated from my interest in food blogging I have produced an Instagram account ‘@foodsfordayss’ that promotes a variety of mod cafes and restaurants in the Sutherland Shire. I originally formed this account in 2016 and it is still growing and active till this day.

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My Instagram profile @foodsfordayss

 

The aim of my project will be to assess the characteristics which form a successful Instagram post. This project will not only allow me to develop an understanding on the features of a successful Instagram post, but will also escalate my Instagram’s following and benefit individuals who are searching for unique places to eat within the Sutherland Shire.

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Popular Sydney based food Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eatingupwiththehannashians/

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https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/parramatta/sisters-on-the-road-to-success-one-food-photo-at-a-time/news-story/824a7e2616ee39cd0982a3d705b8a6b2

*Article on @eatingupwiththehannashians, how they rose to fame on Instagram

 

With currently 1848 followers I will experiment using different communication techniques to engage with my audience. I will be focussing on ‘Presentation Self’ by creating a so called ‘performance’ that represents the food locations I post about online.

Instagram empowers users to project their ideal self through building a public reputation that represents your online persona. As I cultivate my following on Instagram I believe it is important to maintain an attractive presentation self to sustain a following.

I will be using ‘social currency’, “when individuals share a brand or information about a brand” (Zinnbauer, Markus, and Honer 2011) as well as ‘social capital’ cited as “the relationship built amongst the user and their followers” (Zinnbauer, Markus, and Honer 2011) to hinder the digital age’s ability to connect to others through visuals and online discussion.

As my following on Instagram is increasing I am receiving PR products to review and eventually write a post about. Through posting images on these products, as well as your general café food lay posts I will familiarise myself with the features that make up exactly what my followers prefer to see.

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PR Instagram post

 

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Cafe Instagram Post

 

The digital shift in social media, and particularly Instagram has thoroughly influenced marketing tools and techniques. Tuten (2008) classifies advertising on Instagram as the integration of promotional techniques which grab the attention of the target audience whether they are business to consumer, or business to business products. Tuten’s research proposes Instagram is an effective marketing strategy in which small businesses and entrepreneurs can use to track consumer behaviour and identify new marketing strategies (2008).

As I experiment with my content on @foodsfordayss I will comprehend exactly what my followers want to see. Using techniques such as Diamond’s technique of combining text and graphics together to create an effective tool for communication called “infographics”, (Diamond 2013, p149) this will assist in the growth of the account. By considering the area of ‘Instagram Marketing’ and ‘Presentation Self’ I wish to provide an insight of the characteristics which make up the perfect foodie Instagram post and the features which attract the most views.

 

Reference List:

Diamond , S, 2013,“The Visual Marketing Revolution: 26 Rules To Help Social Media Marketers Connect The Dots”, Que Publishing, viewed 17 March 2018, <http://adage.com/article/digital/instagram-publishing-a-ad-day/245427/>

Interdonato, R & Tagarelli A 2014, ‘Online Popularity and Topical Interests through the Lens of Instagram’, University of Calabria Italy, viewed 15 March 2018, < https://arxiv.org/pdf/1406.7751.pdf>

Moore, C Barbour, K Lee, K 2017, ‘Five Dimensions of Online Persona’, Persona Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, pp.3-7

Tuten, T, 2008, “Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing In A Web 2.0 World”, Praeger, New York.

Zinnbauer, Markus, and Tobias Honer. 2011. “How Brands Can Create Social Currency- a Framework for Managing Brands in a New Era.”, Marketing Review, St. Gallen, pp. 50-55

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