As a company owner in 2017, you’d be foolish not to utilize social media to reach a vast and varied target market. Kayla Itsines is an expert example of a businessperson who is using social media “right”. Itsines and her husband together founded the ‘Bikini Body Guide’; an exercise and nutrition programs aimed at improving the health and self-confidence of women across the world. Exclusively through social media branding, Itsines essentially built a global empire with 7.2Million Instagram followers, an array of books and products, with the recent addition of the interactive smartphone app, “Sweat”. Kayla also uses Instagram to notify followers of her travels and subsequently plan a group Bootcamp session across the globe.
As demonstrated below, Itsines’ Instagram frequently advertises ‘Transformation pictures’ of clients who have successfully used the product with pleasing results. Thus the companies branding is very clever as it’s essentially ‘click bait’… new followers see this promise of a ‘new/fit me’ and are therefore inclined to purchase the product. These progress pictures are essentially how Itsines targets her niche audience and reflects the pulse of the public – knowingly addressing a public need and providing a solution. By including these images of clients and herself she is advertising the experience promised by the brand and instances where they delivered.
Itsines’ use of social media, for instance, Twitter and Facebook empowers consumers to interact with the brand. Platforms from which she can motive, connect and directly interact with her target audience. It’s so effective you essentially forget she is constantly promoting her company and image.
During the ‘era of electronic exchange,’ Social Media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have become instrumental in the shaping of social interactions. Various platforms assume different affordances – the possibilities that they offer for action and usage. While a singular celebrity, Chrissy Teigen, may exist on a multitude of social networks her presence/voice can differ to the extent of presenting two different personas; essentially fragmentation of the self.
Instagram is commonly used as a window into the lives of its users. Captioned photos present a constructed reality that is often idealistic. Chrissy Teigen, like many other celebrities, uses her Instagram as a form of self-promotion… uploading photos of her family, travel or work related images. Thus, she offers her fans a glamorised and materialistic glimpse into her personal life.
Twitter, on the other hand, has a different and more functional affordance. Chrissy Teigen is a prototypical example. She frequently interacts with other users, ‘tweets’ existential/comedic thoughts and assumes a political stance. Teigan has recently been in the media for her publicised opinions on POTUS Donald Trump…. the significance of an individual ‘tweet’ is illustrated below where the President acknowledged her opinion and consequently blocked her…
The two aforementioned sites; each display the concept of technicism whereby they have features specific to themselves. Instagram is commonly utilised for self-promotion compared to Twitter, offering opinions and voicing a political standpoint… as is displayed by Chrissy Teigen’s usage, demonstrated above. Therefore, I believe these sites allow us to alter the way in which we present ourselves socially.
It’s 2017 and the world is a more open and accepting environment than ever before. Discrimination and hate do still exist but progress has been made in the direction of gender, sexuality and race equality. In the film industry, for example, there are more female protagonists, people of colour, and those whose gender is nonbinary nor their sexual orientation exclusively heterosexual. Moreover, it has become a social media trend (specifically in tweets and memes) to discuss issues of equality including the use of the phrase “Did you just assume my gender” as illustrated with this Wonder Woman meme.
The meme depicts Wonder Woman interacting with a man for the first time. When she acknowledges and questions that he is a man, he claps back with the iconic phrase “Did you just assume my gender?”. The phrase has become popular following societal education regarding whether gender is non-binary and/or a social construct. It also examines how sex is determined at birth but an individual should determine gender for themselves. Therefore, just because outwardly someone may appear female/male one shouldn’t assume as such; they could be transgender or their gender may be ambiguous. While this meme might be funny to some, it could potentially be offensive to others and raises the question; how much is too much? If anyone can respond this, to any comment regarding gender, will society still function the same? Bathrooms would be redesigned… and what would happen to languages that use gendered pronouns? This alternative meme of the Titanic comically examines exactly that…
CDs aka the compact disc are a digital storage format, co-developed by Philips and Sony in 1982. Similar to a record, CDs often contain a particular album whereby users could listen to music wherever a CD player was accessible. With the introduction of the well-known compilation album “Now! That’s what I call music!” CDs began to showcase a variety of songs and artists, typically the TOP 20 most popular songs at the time of release…
Regarding music consumption, streaming services are increasingly popular, including 17-year-old, American service ‘Pandora’. As a free smartphone or online app, users select an artist, album or song of their liking from which Pandora creates a corresponding ‘Radio’ station of a similar genre. User feedback: “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” alters song recommendations, further catering to an individuals taste. Pandora’s success is evident with over 250 million users and $652.8 million of revenue in [early] 2014. Thus, enabling users to build a portable library of music specifically focused on their interests.
While CDs remain as a prominent distribution method for the music industry, U.S. sales have dropped about 50% from their peak. In the digital age, streaming services, unlike CDs, are potentially more relevant going forward. Axel Bruns introduced the notion of “produsage” a collaboration of a “producer”, “consumer” and “user”. Pandora allows for this creative engagement of communities whereby users engage in the content, interact and alter it to meet personal specifications. Pandora contributes to a feature of produsage known as “unfinished artefacts” whereby users interaction modify’s the apps results and distributed output.