For well over a decade now, social media has been on a non-stop freight train of growth. First we had MySpace then came Facebook and Twitter and we then saw the historic rise of Instagram and Snapchat, with billions of people using the platforms every single day. Although it is hard to imagine our ever-changing world without these platforms, we still have to look at how these platforms affect the growth of both small and large business, even multinational companies. For this project, I will be narrowing down this topic to the focus of Instagram and how people and business use it as a platform to grow their brand. This report will be focusing on the Week 2 topic, self-branding as well as placing emphasis on how influencers such as Gary Vaynerchuk and Stephen A. Smith use Instagram to power their business in different ways using strategies to attract a larger, more unique audience.
In 2009, Ford bought 100 brand new 2011 Ford Fiesta’s into the United States of America and started The Fiesta Movement. This social media campaign did a fantastic job at showcasing the vehicles potential to do wonderful things for the company and it all came from the use of social media. The movement gained 6.2 million YouTube views, 750,000 Flickr views and 40 million Twitter impressions. This also impacted the sales of the new economy car, the Fiesta had over 6,000 preorders and more than 130,000 drivers signing up for updated versions of their previous Fiestas (Vinjamuri, 2013). So it has been well-proven that social media can play a pivotal role in not only the growth of a business but the potential rebirth of a brand as seen in the above mentioned. We have also seen few the years that simple PR campaigns and digital marketing regimes have boosted the affect of social media as it has helped brands expose themselves to a broader market.
Looking at E-Business as a tool will be an essential part of the research I will be conducting and it is important to realise the impact that E-Business has on the market as well as in the grand scheme of Instagram. This business model has risen significantly over the last few years and we have seen people literally starting these business Instagram accounts in order to just sell products (Ahmadinejad, 2017). But it isn’t all about the product. E-Business takes affect on different aspects of Instagram including money, knowledge, equipment, skills and even in the COVID-19 era, selling and delivering food and essential products. Along with this, there are a few benefits when it comes to E-Business:
- Increases in sales volume;
- Brand awareness;
- Updated information.
We have seen multiple online brands switch from focusing on a computer-based marketing scheme to a social media based marketing scheme and it has crazily changed their entire business outlook and dynamic. Now that I have introduced the business side of Instagram, let me switch to the self-branding side of Instagram.
Self-Branding was introduced in Week Two and the lecture showcased how we as humans have broken down certain aspects of our personalities and tried to sell these different aspects as a part of our self. The process of self-branding was introduced in the early to mid-1930s and it became a movement for the improvement of one’s self. We still see it now with major best-selling books ‘The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck” and “Models”, both written by best-selling and well respected author, Mark Manson. These books were written to give the reader a few ways that they can change their approach to certain situations such as social media, talking to a girl they have a crush or even just motivating the reader to change certain aspects about their life in order to better themselves. For some, the switch to social media and being heavily induced in that was the answer but for some, even becoming more motivated and simply changing a few approaches here and there would help them in improving parts of their lives.
The self is clearly reflected on Instagram with many users trying to make that step into the ‘influencer’ door and beginning to use a more professional sense when creating and posting content for their audiences. Some wannabes even reference the books from Mark Manson on their profiles as a catalyst for their ‘rise’ in the social media world. There are also lower tier models who I have attended school with that use Instagram as a business tool and are quite successful with it helping them gain over 10-20 thousand followers on their profile, therefore giving them more exposure to the world of Instagram.
With all these points raised above, I have come to the conclusion that the research and investigation that I will be conducting will be based on answering the question:
Is Instagram the perfect tool for promoting the self?
Thank you for reading!
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David Vinjamuri. 2020. Ford Remixes The Fiesta Movement For 2014. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidvinjamuri/2013/02/19/ford-revives-the-fiesta-movement-to-launch-the-2014-fiesta/#6cebdb1d6422. [Accessed 14 April 2020].