Contextual Essay @foodsfordayss

Social media is referred to as a newly revised communication platform, universally used as a convenient form of global interaction. Instagram is recognised as a successful social media platform holding millions of registered users, making it an ideal way for companies to market products, and content creators/regular individuals to express themselves.  Moore, Barbour, & Lee propose that Instagram relationships are built through the actions of the producer’s persona, as well as, the members of those networks who equally contribute to that persona through their choices, and actions (2017). Therefore, a great deal of my digital artifact outlines the way users communicate on Instagram to alter their follower’s perceptions of their online persona. Through the implementation of my Instagram account @foodsfordayss I have experimented with concepts proposed by academics which alter the way your followers perceive your online persona.

Instagram is a platform used to exchange communal photographs implying why online persona is heavily influenced by behaviour and self-beliefs of others (Halpern, D Katz, J Carril, C 2017, p.117). This has been researched as a major component of my digital artifact, ‘How to become a successful Instagram influencer’ through the analysis of how users perceive an online identity through ‘self presentation’. Goffman labels self presentation as a way individuals present themselves in a theatrical and idealized self-manner (Zavattaro, S 2013, p. 515). The concept of self presentation links to online persona through the emphasis of one’s identity being swayed by the way one communicates with others, shaping how others view an online personality.

Through appropriate experimentation I have investigated strategies which alter online persona in a way to attract the most followers. These strategies have been developed through reference of Manovich. Manovich proposes that users must develop a style/theme to their Instagram feed, and secondly to structure their posts, intending the need for alternation between the aesthetics of your account in a systematic way (Manovich, L 2016, p.13). These strategies influence self presentation on social media and are a major influence on how your followers perceive your profile.

When presenting yourself on Instagram a user is classified as a ‘content creator’ or a ‘content curator’. This entitles either posting self crafted content (content creator), or sharing posts that are reposted/inspired by others (content curator). These two expressions impact your online persona as they influence the degree of personality being exposed through your account. Creating your own content generates leads on Instagram, building relationships with users through an individual’s unique work, cultivating deeper relationships with their followers (Day, C 2016). Whereas curating content builds new relationships on Instagram by providing your followers with an alternative view of an idea/topic (Wynn, M 2016).

Studies of Online Persona, Self Presentation, and Content Creation/Curation all profoundly impact the engagement between a community and an individual through the initial impression of a user “based upon information they provide in their profiles, blogs and other forms of communication” (Jiang, Bruijn,, De Angeli 2009, p.673). This suggests that online self presentation strategies are critical when users decide to pursue a relationship and continue viewing a profile (Derlega, et al. 1987). Consequently, this research shows the importance of experimentation within your online profile to achieve the ideal user engagement status.


Reference List:

Day, C 2016, Let’s be clear on Content Creation vs. Content Curation, Agora Pulse, weblog post, 25 May, viewed 25 May, <>

Derlega, V, Winstead, B, Wong, P, & Greenspan, M 1987, Self-disclosure and relationship development: An attributional analysis, Interpersonal Processes: New Directions in Communication Research, pp. 172–187

Halpern, D, Katz, J, Carril, C 2017, The online ideal persona vs. the jealousy effect: Two explanations of why selfies are associated with lower-quality romantic relationships, Telematics and Informatics, 34:1, pp.114-123, <>

Jiang, Y, Bruijn,, O, De Angeli, A 2009, The Perception of Cultural Differences in Online Self-presentation, Manchester Business School, pp.672-685

Manovich, L 2016, Instagram and Contemporary Image, Creative Commons License, November 2016, viewed 25 March

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

Wynn, M 2016, Created vs. Curated Content: Which one is better?, The Search Agency, weblog post, 21 June, viewed 25 May, <>

Zavattaro, S 2013, Expanding Goffman’s theater metaphor to an identity-based view of place branding, Administrative Theory & Praxis, 35:4, pp.510–528





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