Gathered from my interest in food blogging, I have established a gap on the social media platform ’Instagram’ for an active Sutherland Shire based foodie account. To fill this gap, I have shaped the account ‘@foodsfordayss’. @foodsfordayss endorses a variety of mod cafes and restaurants as well as, products, and personal recipes. The project underpins the value of persona through the communication and maintenance of relationships created on social media platforms. The growth and development of my Digital Artefact has been upheld through the subjects BCM112 ‘Convergent Media Practices’, and BCM325 ‘Future Cultures’, alongside my love of food blogging. Recognition of the FIST design principles is acknowledged through the reputation that I must sustain throughout the continuation of this project. Rapid prototyping and experimentation with @foodsfordayss continually question what it takes to become a successful Instagram influencer. Therefore, prompting my interest to discover practical ways to increase an Instagram following, and successfully strategize new engagement methods.
Social media is a newly revised communication platform which is universally expended as a convenient form of global interaction. Instagram is recognised as an ideal way for companies to market products, and content creators to express themselves. @foodsfordayss experiments with concepts proposed by academics which alter the way your followers perceive your online persona. Goffman labels online self-presentation as the theatrical and idealized way people present themselves (Zavattaro, S 2013, p. 515). Goffman’s idea links to online persona through a user’s content being the main stimulus which shapes their online personality.
Ideally, I wish to engage with ordinary users who wish to invest in a convenient way to locate eateries in the Sutherland Shire. In turn, following my accounts growth, the analytical data shows that the following base is primarily located within Sydney and Melbourne.
The main aim of the continuance of this project in BCM206 ‘Future Networks’ includes:
- Grow @foodsfordayss Instagram following
- Discover new accounts to collaborate with
- Construct a new profile picture
- Discover new eateries in the Sutherland Shire
- Increase activity with followers
- Implement creative hashtags within my posts
- Experiment with the way I edit pictures
- Lengthen and make captions more informative
Rapid prototyping with the editing process of my pictures has recollected a brighter, and a pink undertone to my Instagram feed. Applying my personality in the editing outcome of my images sanction the account to lean away from habitual food pages on Instagram and instead, give it a unique and individualised appeal. Manovich articulates the importance of structure within Instagram feeds, intending no two photos next to each other have similar aesthetics, instead alternate between a few aesthetics in a systematic way (Manovich, L 2016, p.15). With reference to these guidelines, I have retained more impressions in my posts as I have attempted to create a “formal temporal rhythm, alternating between compositions” (Manovich, L 2016, p.15) on my Instagram feed. Evaluation of my most recent posts presented through comments such as “Your Instagram feed is looking great”, and “Your account is so pretty” indicates this editing method is benefiting the aesthetic of the @foodsfordayss feed.
An important component of the online persona of @foodsfordayss is the profile picture. I have experimented using the app ‘Canva’ to formulate an aesthetically attractive, and simple profile picture which complements the @foodsfordayss feed. Through the application of a profile picture, my online persona is accentuated in a similar way that Manovich recognises the necessity to have a style/theme on an Instagram feed e.g. colour theme (Manovich, L 2016, p.13). An attractive profile picture is the main identification tool that followers detect my account with. A profile picture inclusive of a logo constructs a sophisticated and business appeal for @foodsfordays.
Engagement with followers is an essential component of my Digital Artefact, recognised through analytical data as something that had been lacking prior to the commencement of BCM206. Confidence using direct messaging has been increased by taking the initial step and messaging companies and cafes/restaurants first. Taking this risk was successful as it opened the door to many more opportunities. A majority of these businesses were open to hosting a friend and I for a complementary meal, in return for Instagram posts.
The experimentation process uncovers a thorough depiction of the network society paradigm through the implementation of a node’s control on social networks (Instagram). As a node my ability to create, and curate content adds to my own unique online persona.
Frequent iteration based on the feedback loop within the target user-base of @foodsfordayss profoundly highlights the engagement between a community and an individual. This suggests that online self-presentation strategies are critical when users decide to pursue an online profile (Derlega, et al. 1987). Consequently, this research shows the importance of experimentation with an online profile to achieve the ideal user engagement status.
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
Manovich, L 2016, Instagram and Contemporary Image, Creative Commons License, November 2016, pp.1-148
Zavattaro, S 2013, Expanding Goffman’s theater metaphor to an identity-based view of place branding, Administrative Theory & Praxis, 35:4, pp.510–528