How to make the best use of Instagram to do promotion is an issue we concern a lot during the digital story project. As different social media platform has its own social media stagey. My group mates and I think that we can’t put the same content to all platforms because that will be so bored for audiences. We’re worried about ignoring the advantages of Instagram in brand promotion.
Instagram, a photo sharing platform which mainly focus on mobile, is conceptualized as an image machine nowadays (Wissinger 2007). Carah and Shaul (2016, p. 71) state that audiences ‘watch flows of images and modify them by scrolling, liking, and commenting. Both activities are valuable forms of engagement on the platform’. The front page of the Instagram account is as important as other individual posts.
In additions, photos are being posted with hashtags that group images together around particular tastes, interests, identities, cultural events, and practices (Carah & Shaul 2016). Hashtags can also be used for audiences to connect to one another on an emotional level (Black 2016).
But the power of Instagram in product promotion mainly depends on the content producer is active or not. Carah and Shaul (2016, p. 75) mention that content producers ‘spread engagement across a range of different accounts, making the brand hashtag more likely to be interjected into a greater range of users’ feeds’.
I agree with their opinions. As my group’s digital story project is in photo novel format, the whole page of comic can be displayed clearly on the front page of the project account. Seeing photos and short videos are the main purpose for those Instagram users. Our photos can reach more people through hashtagging, sharing, liking, commenting and tagging on Instagram. Connection is formed easily between people who have the same interest.
As most of the people access to Instagram on their mobile, the interface and operation of Instagram are clean and easy. Mobile-friendly and mobile-focus are the biggest advantage we have to make the best use of Instagram. I think those are the reasons of why we chose Instagram as our main promotion platform.
For next time, our group can raise some questions with the posts to encourage people to leave comments. People can engage in the story and have a deeper reflection. We can also post photos and short video more frequently to gain more attentions.
Besides the Instagram platform, I think that we can try to QR code (Quick Response code) to promote a different digital story project. I can print and put up the posters with QR code. People can access to our website by scanning the code easily. This method can promote the story to those who don’t use hashtag on social media platform.
Black, M 2016, The Power of the Hashtag on Social Media Platforms, research report, Vega School of Brand Leadership, viewed 22 May 2017, <http://iiespace.iie.ac.za/handle/11622/156>.
Carah, N & Shaul, M 2016, ‘Brands and Instagram: Point, tap, swipe, glance’, Mobile Media & Communication, vol. 4, pp. 69-84.
Wissinger, E 2007, ‘Always on display: Affective production in the modelling industry’, in Clough, P. T. & Halley, J (ed.), The affective turn: Theorizing the social, NC: Duke University Press, Durham, pp. 231–260.