Appendix

Search queries

 

Instagram Influencer Marketing

Instagram Marketing

Instagram Promotion

Instagram Ambassador

Instagram Sponsorship

Instagram influencer marketing

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[-] sirwatsonthedog

I’ve tried to partner with several ‘lifestyle’ instagram accounts with 100k+ followers. They are the accounts which post nice cars, houses, and luxury goods. We really didn’t see a good ROI on it. We noticed a lot of likes were from accounts that seemed like bots (20 accounts following them, while they follow 500 accounts). Also, the content you give them to post is very important.

 

[-] turnthismotherout

A lot of people are suggesting you use services to find influential instagram accounts like instabrand and revfluence, I advise against this unless you want to kill your ROI. The only service I would recommend is instamole.com.

I also recommend websta.me and searching by hashtags/keywords to find appropriate accounts to contact. A lot of your instagram success will depend on your product and brand.

Outreach, outreach, outreach. Find your own contacts and build your own relationships. If you have one or two people doing outreach to potential influencers you will have a shortlist of accounts by the end of the week.

My company has had huge success with Instagram shoutouts. An $80 shoutout on the right account usually has a ROI of 1500% to 2000% and our site isn’t mobile optimized yet.

When negotiating with accounts find out if the post is permanent or temporary and if you can provide both the caption and image. We’ve had the most success when we provide both the caption/image. I usually don’t do posts unless there up for at least 24 hours (most of the sales will come in the first 12 hours).

My company and I did our own outreach for Instagram and I am SO glad we avoided all of the middleman services. We used some of them for our YouTube sponsorships and it slowed down the whole process and we ended up paying a large markup for nothing. In the end our internal YouTube influencer outreach was far more successful.

 

[-] pianoyeah

I think that you might be getting better value just by finding good, relevant influencers and working with them to create a story around your product/brand rather than getting a shout out. I have tried shout outs and I have a strong suspicion they are powered by bots. There is absolutely no value in them. You get some likes a few spammy comments. That’s it!

 

Instagram marketing

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[-] mmmarce

Their business blog might be a good place to start – they have tons of great examples to learn from (or just straight up copy).

Also remember that Instagram isn’t meant to be a traffic driver, rather for engagement or top of mind awareness. You can’t have live links in photo captions or comments. You can get around it by putting the link in the “location” field or using other (paid) tools like like2buy or liketoknow.it.

 

[-] metropolis09

Instagram isn’t a good traffic driver because they don’t enable links in posts. That’s why everyone says “link in the bio”

 

[-] ickykarma

Do keyword research to see which keywords to use on your photos.

Also, you can use Instagram to drive leads unlike the other comment here. It would be in your profile description. And it does drive leads.

 

[-] deleted

A big part of instagram- which SME touches on is the audience. Instagram is growing, yes, but does it actually apply to your environmental consulting business target? Don’t spend time and money on something that will never reach your audience.

Instagram promotion

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[-] Andrian-TQM

To be honest, it totally depends on the type of business.

Instagram usually favors solopreneurs who share their personal life.

However, if you are a startup you can share pictures of your people and your products on a daily basis and that helps with the engagement. People love to get involved and have a peek at the personal life of the business they are buying from.

 

[-] SageJTN

Yes, this is done all the time. Here are a couple examples:

https://www.instagram.com/pnwonderland/ https://www.instagram.com/hawaiistagram/

I like to call this being a “curator” instead of a “creator” and it happens in almost every area I’ve been to in the landscape photography sector. I personally don’t think it’s beneficial for the photographers that get featured (as I have been a few times), but that’s not what this thread is about.

I’m not sure how you might get started, but I assume posting a couple great pictures and then using a bot targeting your niche would work well. Once you are rolling, continued growth is easy. Monetize by selling 1 in 10 posts to a fledgling outdoor company in your niche.

 

[-] soccerthrowawaying

One model that is really popular is advertising artist pages. Instagram is a huge way for artists to get their work out to fans and some pages charge artists to feature their work. People follow these artist feature pages because finding new art is something that instagrammers are interested in. It isn’t just art though, similar pages feature personal trainers or supermodels. Just don’t try to feature artists, personal trainers, and models all in one because people want a tailored feed.

 

[-] missperception

I believe I’m the perfect person to answer this question. A year ago, I had an Instagram account with near 100k followers. Content curating is very common among top accounts. I curated roughly 40% of my content; in fact, the trick is to form a group of friends with alot of followers and curate each others content and shout each other out. There are people with millions of followers that did just that.To give more perspective as to how powerful this is, my account was featured on an international ESPN commercial, I had a sponsorship, and I was paid VERY significantly for doing all of this. PM me if you have any question, I’m the man to ask. :p

 

Instagram Ambassador

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[-] Cheekysascha

My goal for my Instagram is to turn it into a job from advertising deals/brand partnerships.

I’ve got 237 followers at the moment and have put almost 20k euros in equipment and flights, at the moment it’s more of a hobby then a job and the only money I make from photography is selling prints of my pictures which has made me almost 5000 euros in the past 5 months so hopefully once I get more followers I’ll be able to sell more prints and make it a real job.

 

[-] Nick-Rad

At first it was a way to train my eye to see differently through the 1:1 ratio. But then I started seeing work others were doing with dslrs and then uploading to insta. I couldn’t compete with a phone given the subjects I shoot.

It pushed me to invest in better equipment for the thing I love most. I’d really like to use it to build a customer base and potentially get some publication/editorial work.

Still trying to figure out the best method to get followers without following a bunch of accounts. It’s almost become a brain teaser for me. I’m trying to navigate influencers to get featured and build an audience in addition to figuring out which hashtags get the most followers.

IG: @nickrad

 

[-] SmileyRedhead

I am an introvert.

Instagram gives me a way to get positive attention without me having to actually interact with anyone.

 

[-] TheUndeadTuna

I try and put thoughtfulness into my pictures and I’d like people to appreciate them. I’m only at 300 followers so I don’t feel like I’m getting recognition for my pictures, even though I’d argue my pictures are better than my friends but my pictures get so much less attention.

 

Instagram Sponsorship

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[-] TaiGlobal

He just contacts the owners directly and just looks for good deals. He really just buys accounts for the followers. So he looks at the engagement [likes/comments]. Then he makes an offer. I was interested in doing something similar but he adviced me not to so I’ll extend that same advice to others. The buying accounts and trying to sell it comes with all types of nefarious people that will try and scam you. They’ll sell you the account and then after you buy try and log back in and change the pw or contact ig and try and get it back. Threaten you all types of craziness. But imo that comes with the type of account you’re trying to buy. But this is also for large accounts, if you’re trying to get something with less than 50k followers you might be a little more safe.

 

[-] TaiGlobal

Promoted posts is like any other advertising method. You have test and try different things. Take FitTea for example, if you go to any attractive females IG with a lot of followers you’ll most likely run into a promoted post from them. I’ve heard they spent close to $30k on this an it seems to be paying off for them:

https://instagram.com/fittea/

Same thing with MateFit: https://instagram.com/matefitme/

But that works for them because the fitness industry is huge on instagram. But I won’t say these same results will be the case for everybody.

Twitter Netnography

Search queries:

 

Instagram Brand Ambassador

Instagram Ambassador

Instagram Role-Model

Instagram Sponsor

Instagram Sponsorship

Instagram Marketing

Instagram Advertise
Instagram Promotion

 

Entree:

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Hello Twitter,

My name is Lucky and together with my research team we are currently researching why people choose to buy products that have been advertized by instagram models and bloggers. We also want to investigate why regular marketing campaigns and strategies are not working anymore? Are we not gullible anymore? Do we individualize too much? Can brands not target us as a whole anymore, but have we gotten too specific dreams and wishes? Or is it distrust of large corporations and brands, and we would rather like to buy from local designers, innovators, builders, etc. ? Is earning money through brand ambassadorship and affiliate links a trend? or a fad? We are interested in what you think and hope to gather a more in-depth understanding of the e-commerce world. Your opinions will be gathered, analyzed and names will be anonymized.

 

Role: active/passive overt/covert

 

I have chosen an overt role as a researcher. The users of twitter may know who I am and what I am trying to find out. I’ve have done both active and passive research. My active research was following users on twitter, asking them questions, reacting on their tweets and sending them direct messages. The passive research I did was searching on keywords and saving the tweets by favouriting them.

 

The active research on twitter was not that succesfull, I tried to get information from people whose tweets I favourited when searching for the keywords but they barely reacted via direct messages or ‘mentions’ which are replies on twitter to someone.

 

One answer we got was from @OfficeDepot, they tweeted a link with how people should be marketing their business on Instagram. I replied to this tweet asking why regular marketing campaign and strategies don’t work anymore? Their answer was that they’ve never said they don’t work. According to them Instagram just provided another avenue to reach new audiences during these social times.

 

Another account, @sandeepskts tweeted “How to Use #Instagram for Business Promotion? #MarketingTips, Strategies & Promotion Ideas buff.ly/1RDelVj” we asked him the same question: “Why do regular marketing campaign and straggles not work anymore?” His answer was: “Because day by day there are anything new in the industries demanded by industry. that’s why regular marketing not work.”

 

When we asked people questions through direct messages we got no reply at all.

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Archive relevant data

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“all the data can be found at https://twitter.com/i/likes

Central categories and topics in the data we archived were Instagram Brand Ambassadors and Instagram Sponsorships, Instagram Marketing was also a central category. I got these categories by the keywords used, people talk a lot about these topics.

 

Instagram Brand Ambassador:

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There is a lot to find about this category, there are many people that have an opinion on brand ambassadors, they think brand ambassadors can be superficial. There are some people that mock them but also people that would like to be brand ambassadors themselves and ask for a sponsorship. There are various tweets like “5 ways to become a successful Instagram brand ambassador” with links talking about the fanbase one should have in order to be a brand ambassador. I also found a lot of business and brands promoting their own brand ambassadors or asking for brand ambassadors. People tweet they’ve become brand ambassadors for a brand and tell people to look them up on Instagram.

 

Instagram Sponsorships:

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A lot of twitter users tweet that they strive for a sponsorship, they tweet that they have this amount of followers and this many likes and ask when they are getting a sponsorship from a certain brand, sometimes mocking, some serious people. There are many complaints of people about Instagram-users which claim they have a sponsorship and get sponsored, for example a girl posted a selfie with a mac lipstick saying thank you for this amazing colour. A lot of people reacted negative on her saying she was acting like she got a sponsorship while she just bought the lipstick herself. Other people say sponsorship deals are down the path of instagram modelling. I also found a lot of people asking for a sponsorship and businesses asking who wants to be sponsored by them. There are also tweets from people that already get sponsored thanking their sponsor for products they’ve received or the sponsorship itself. People also brag about their sponsorships on twitter.

 

Instagram Marketing:

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This topic is very broad, when you enter the keyword in Search in twitter it gets results almost every 5 minutes. People tweet about Instagram marketing programs they use and advise it to others. There was also a lot on how to market your business on Instagram, a lot of articles. A lot of users say Instagram marketing provides effective results in a short time. But also other users that say Instagrams users will decline because Instagram started posting ads theirselves. @Emerce even stated that engagement on Instagram will decline with 40%.

 

The research I’ve done provides very little information to answer our research question “How does advertising through prominent Instagram users have a changing effect on marketing in the online environment?”. We can say that the advertising through prominent Instagram users has changed the marketing environment but with my data I can’t answer the research question. We give recommendations to businesses that are new in the field of marketing and we can only advise them that marketing through prominent Instagram users is a great tool, but you have to make sure these Instagrammers really are popular and didn’t buy their followers. Also their lifestyle has to match your product.

Reddit Netnography

Analysis data search Reddit

From this data we concluded that Reddit is an online research forum where people really help each other and give the others advice. We also noticed that the people on Reddit mostly ask how they become insta-famous themselves, how they can get more followers, more likes and how their Instagram feed gets more viewers.

Reddit is not a very active forum anymore so the data I gathered was quite “old”, nine months ago or six months ago for instance. Because of this, I wasn’t able to research for the full 10 days because the data didn’t change. I chose to be an observer because it would not be useful for me to really interact with the people responding on the questions, because there wasn’t really anyone still responding. As observer, I read what people asked and how others responded on this. That is how I concluded, as mentioned before, that people really want to help each other without immediately asking a favor in return. Respondents wanted to partner up with the people asking the questions. There was not really anyone “starting the discussion”, Reddit is really about people asking questions because they want to achieve something – in this case, becoming Insta-famous – and others responding on this question.

As already mentioned, I chose to be an observer since this data search engine is not very recent anymore. I didn’t ask any questions and I did not participate in answering any questions as well. I only read what people asked and read how others responded on those questions.

We made a table to make it clear what subjects were discussed regarding to our research question:

Marketing/Business Instagram Fashion
How much money do bloggers make Hashtags Inspiration
Sponsors/Selling out Followers Style

Archive relevant data:

Instagram Influencer Marketing

“Outreach, outreach, outreach. Find your own contacts and build your own relationships. If you have one or two people doing outreach to potential influencers you will have a shortlist of accounts by the end of the week,” is what respondent said. Build a network and locate your influencers. This increases the value because an Instagram account has more impact when its influencers help creating a story around a brand or product rather than just getting a ‘shout out’.

 

Instagram Marketing

Companies want to use Instagram as a marketing tool, they need to know how. People mostly responded with: “Instagram isn’t a good traffic driver because they don’t enable links in posts. That’s why everyone says “link in the bio.” This is a negative side for companies with this goal, using Instagram as a marketing tool. The general advice was to use keywords (hashtags).

 

Instagram Promotion

The question here was ‘how to use Instagram for business’ where people want to build their own business with Instagram without using their own content.

“To be honest, it totally depends on the type of business.

Instagram usually favors solopreneurs who share their personal life,” is what people responded. It is done all the time and it is definitely possible, it really depends on the type of business, the type of followers, and the type of images this person posts. The advice was to ask friends (with a lot of followers) to give you shoutouts so the profile gets noticed by a large group of people.

 

Instagram Ambassador

The question asked here was what someone’s goal on Instagram was. Of course, all the  answers varied because not everyone is on Instagram just to get ‘famous’. Someone responded she is only on instagram because she is an introvert and Instagram gives her a way to get positive attention without her having to actually interact with anyone. Other people just want their images to get appreciated or companies that want to get attention for their products or even for their own business, to become better known among the people. There is no general answer on this question.

 

Instagram Sponsorship

There are a lot of Instagram posts that are sponsored, people that post images where they use a certain product of a company, when the company requests them to do this, get paid.

“Promoted posts is like any other advertising method. You have test and try different things.” For instance, FitTea, a lot of girls drink this – for the company – and posts pictures with the tea and the product bag on Instagram to ‘advertise’ and get others to buy this product as well. Those girls that posts these pictures get paid by the FitTea company.

Trend Analysis

Trend analysis

There were give or take 400 million guests present at Instagram’s fifth birthday party. That is the amount of monthly active users the photo-sharing app has and believe it or not but almost half of them are under 25. It is considered the cool one in the triumvirate of social media (along with Twitter and Facebook.(CNN, 2015)

Developers have changed very little since its inception and that has to do with the fact that the platform’s appeal lies in its simplicity. However due to the introduction of sponsored posts, people tend to feel that Instagram is at something of a crossroads. Where will it go from here? Will it lose its creative spirit or simply push on to the next level with a whole of new features in addition to the already existing ones?

Fashion

The best Instagram accounts are both aspirational and storytelling. The fashion world have noticed this occurrence. There is a desire for storytelling and designers and brands are responding to that by inviting their Instagram followers into a previously closed world. Model’s careers are made due to the planning of show lighting and set design with Instagram in mind and it is now the place were trends become reality.

Olivier Rousteing has over 1.3 million followers. He has recently previewed Balmain’s SS16 ready-to-wear collection on his feed. Although the majority of his followers are unable to afford the clothes or lifestyle they are however able to be part of the conversation. (CNN, 2015)

Thanks to social media, the fashion is no longer catered to a crowd of cooler-than-thou insiders. The fashion world was once a multi-billion dollar industry focused on the interests of a selected few amongst the fashion buyers and press. However it has now evolved to become a lot more-open minded and inclusive. Hernandez says ‘’Shows were very closed off to the outside world’’ to a packed auditorium in Manhattan’s Civic Hall. ‘’It’s much more democratic now’’ (Fast Company, 2015)

Instagram has opened to fashion world to Instagram users from all over the world on a daily basis. Instagram has made everyone something of a fashion expect by allowing users to tag their favourite brands in posts and to let users engage in conversations.

Instagram’s apps such as Hyperlapse or Boomerang, encourage users to be creative about they are posting by pushing that dialogue along. The availability of different tools make Instagram the most perfect platform to showcase every aspect of a fashion show to the broader audience.

Is Instagram changing the world? (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/22/fashion/instagram-is-changing-the-world/
How Instagram is Democratizing Fashion. (2015). Retrieved March 28, 2016, from http://www.fastcompany.com/3053382/behind-the-brand/how-instagram-is-democratizing-fashion

Data Scraping

For our assignment we had to pick one of two scrapers to collect data from social media networks. Since our research revolves around the changing effect on marketing in the online environment through prominent Instagram users’ advertisements. We concluded that it would only be natural to use the ‘’Instagram Hashtag Explorer’’ as a tool to collect the necessary data. We came up with the location London because we thought London would be sufficient to use for our findings, which we will expand on later on.

Before we got started we had to read through the manual, watch a few tutorial videos and skim through various other manuals that were presented by former and current users of the program Instagram Hashtag Explorer. Once we properly finished our preparation in order to come up with the right results, we thoroughly thought about which location to use to collect the much needed data. We came up with London.

After we decided upon the location, we launched the tool ‘’Instagram Hashtag Explorer’’. It took us some time to figure it out but once that was done and dusted we put the tool to use.
#code
In the world of social media, code is quite a brought yet frequently used words. Why did we come up with the word code? Every now and then advertisements pop up where one has to submit a certain code to win prices. Instagram users have used the same concept where they post certain products that you can win by submitting a code. code is also a product. It’s a brand name, actually it is more than a brand name, it’s a lifestyle. Code focuses on men products e.g. clothing but also traveling and photography. Via Instagram code basically sells itself.

#blogging
People tend to use social media networks for several reasons. People use for whatever they find the most satisfactory. Blogging is a perfect way to enhance your creative writing. Blogging is also the perfect way to sell and to promote products. When it comes to blogging, the Instagram users do it via snaps rather than writing an actual blog. Jumpers, trousers, shoes, skirts, you name it they blog it. Hence we thought it would be both worthwhile and indispensable. Since it’s timesaving and ultimately very effective.

#instablogger
Blogging was more broad in the sense that it has many different platforms. Instablogger however is purely focused on the blogging that is happening in the Instagram world. Lots people use the hashtag instablogger to promote and/or to share new purchases and/or to share their goods. Blogging promotes more of a lifestyle of users. Instagram users can blog about their interior or their cats and dogs etc. but also brands. Photos of the newest collection for example.

#discount
Perhaps more straightforward than some of the other hashtags but that does not change the fact that a lot of data could be collected using this specific hashtag. Discounts, sales and offers are marketing tactics and therefore its terminology was part and parcel. Every consumer likes discounts hence the reason we threw it in there. Consumers don’t want to pay to full the price so the most obvious way would be to offer the consumers a discount. Whether it is an actual discount is not of relevance since it attracts Instagram users.

#fashionblogger
By using the hashtag fashionblogger, a lot of photos and pictures will pop up connected to these words. As already stated blogging does not only enhance your creative writing even though it is a total different thing when using the social media network Instagram but it also keeps people interested in what producers and/or users post about certain products. Fashion is quite self-explanatory. People follow the latest fashion and trends for not only clothing but all sorts of merchandise and equipment. Celebrities are the go-to bloggers on Instagram for everything fashion since many people believe that they are the trendsetters.

#sales
that 5 letter word that we would all like to see when we go shopping. Which products and brands are on sale. The amount of search results that one ought to get when searching for sales are enormous. It connects with our research question and for that reason we had to include the hashtag sales. It was also interesting the different hashtags that were connected with the hashtag sales.

#promotion
Promotion as in promoting products to create customer awareness. Promotion is everything that Instagram stands for. You snap a few photos you upload them and therefore creating your own personal profile via your uploaded pictures. That is the exact same with customers awareness. Brands, trendsetters, celebrities etc. they upload their photos wearing the latest brands or using the latest equipment in order to sell it on a shirt term basis. Instagram is the perfect platform to promote products and create a market for customers to come and see their well-liked brands. Once photos have been uploaded it will set things in motion. Promotion was a hashtag that couldn’t go amiss.

#offer
What do brands offer or to put simpler what is on offer? It kind of goes hand in hand with the hashtag discount and sales. But in order to get the most refined results you need to use hashtags that are connected with each other otherwise it would defeat its purpose. We used the market terminology ‘’offer’’ to actually see what was on offer before we decided to use it for data collection. What is actually on offer ? We asked ourselves before searching. Holidays, pyjamas, internships, job opportunities and more alike. Not only did it show us products and job offers but also applications for universities and sport subscriptions.

#voucher
voucher(s) would most likely show us products or services for sale at an affordable price, hence the word voucher. Hand in your voucher and you can get a discount or buy 2 and get 1 for free. We concluded that voucher was a hashtag we would need to connect certain other terms together. When we thought of the word voucher the words offer, sales, discount instantly made their way into our conversation.

The Instagram Hashtag Explorer wasn’t exactly the best of tools in terms of functioning. If ,for example, you waited for more than a minute to submit a hashtag, the tool would boot you out which meant that you had to do it all over again after you had logged on.

Before we submitted our search, we had decide on the amount of media we would like retrieve. When we got to 5000 data items we had to face a one hour time out. So in order to prevent that from happening the next time round we wanted, we thought it would be wise to search for limited items rather than the maximum amount available.

One literation gets 20 items, so it said. We started off with a subtle 60 and that apparently was too much to handle so we cut it down to a mere 25 in order to prevent another time out. We did that for all our hashtags and proceeded to use the collect data for the program Gephi.

Why London?

People come to London for lots of reasons – because of the great private schools, because of the booming back market economy, because they speak English in London and London property happens to be the reserve capital in the world. The greatest single expansion of the European Union happened when ten new nations, most of them Eastern Europeans, joined the EU on the 1st of May in 2004. But were these hard-grafting, ambitious Eastern Europeans interested in moving to Newcastle of Liverpool? They clearly weren’t. In the greatest wave of migration in the nation’s history, most of them came to London.

London, in terms of population, is widely reported to be the second biggest Hungarian city (200,000) and the sixth biggest French city (270,000). There are 150,000 Poles in London and many of them have grown up here. All of that started since the big EU bang. Nobody really knows the truth in terms of figures since they are endlessly disputed. The fact of the matters is that the numbers are too great to count, the immigration churn too epic and the magnetic lure of London overly too strong to be quantified. (gq-magazine, 2016)

You have to take on the world if you are going to live in London. It doesn’t matter if you are a van drive or a self-made millionaire, the bottom of the line is that you have to compete. Waves of newcomers are willing to work seven days a week as opposed to the hard working long-term Londoners. Londoners who fly first class are suddenly vying – for schools restaurant tables, for school places, for houses – with people who fly in private planes. In nowadays London, there is always someone way more richer than you, there is always someone who is willing to work twice as hard than you, there is always someone who wants it much more than you. At least that is the way London tends to feel today. It is without a shadow of a doubt the undisputed capital of the world

Piccadilly circus lies at the intersection of five main roads : Haymarket, Piccadilly Street, Regent Street, Shaftesbury avenue and Covent street. Piccadilly Circus was created by John Nash past of the future king George IV’s plan to connect Carlton House with Shaftesbury Avenue. As a result of the busy traffic junction, advertisers deemed Piccadilly Circus fit enough to install illuminated billboards in 1895. That got the ball rolling. For quite some times the plaza was surrounded by billboards, which was London’s answers to New York’s Times Square however as of today only one building carries a large electronic display. Due to the nearby shopping and entertainment areas, people find Piccadilly Circus a favourite place to congregate before going shopping. Which made it all the more natural for us to pick Piccadilly Circus to gather data from in regards to Instagram hashtags. Chinatown, Trafalgar Square and Soho are all within walking distance therefore making it the perfect location in London.
The Instagram Hashtag Explorer wasn’t exactly the best of tools in terms of functioning. If ,for example, you waited for more than a minute to submit a hashtag, the tool would boot you out which meant that you had to do it all over again after you had logged on.

Before we submitted our search, we had decide on the amount of media we would like retrieve. When we got to 5000 data items we had to face a one hour time out. So in order to prevent that from happening the next time round we wanted, we thought it would be wise to search for limited items rather than the maximum amount available.

One literation gets 20 items, so it said. We started off with a subtle 60 and that apparently was too much to handle so we cut it down to a mere 25 in order to prevent another time out. We did that for all our hashtags and proceeded to use the collect data for the program Gephi.

Gephi graph

For our assignment we had to pick one of two scrapers to collect data from social media networks. Since our research revolves around the changing effect on marketing in the online environment through prominent Instagram users’ advertisements. We concluded that it would only be natural to use the ‘’Instagram Hashtag Explorer’’ as a tool to collect the necessary data.

After we collected the necessary data we opened Gephi and made use of it by implementing the date in order to create a networking graph. Not till later did we discover that that was easier said than done. During the tutorial we practiced using Gephi with our lecturer and he pointed out that the program isn’t up to par. That was putting it mildly. Before we started working with Gephi we skimmed through some manuals to understand the program. After a few scares here and there due to program malfunctioning, we decided it would be best to thoroughly read the manuals and watch video tutorials. For our research we used multiple hashtags and that wasn’t properly explained during the tutorial nor was it in the manual and video tutorials therefore we decided to go with a location rather than hashtags. We stumbled upon some difficulties that we were certain we would be able to tackle to come up with the perfect result.

After so many errors we thought it would be best to delete Gephi and download it once more. After we downloaded Gephi one last time we were certain the problems wouldn’t emerge anymore. We were wrong. We couldn’t get it to work in the most satisfactory way so we sat together and discussed where to go from here. We all agreed that we would have to make do with whatever the graph will show and that it would be okay as long as we justify it.

We ended up with a graph containing clusters of nodes that represent the hashtags and the links that connect all the hashtags with each other. By adding colour to the graph one ought to get a clearer visualisation. As you can see the clusters showcase that specific hashtags are trending at certain places or even at certain times, depending on the collected data. The more hashtags, the bigger the data, the bigger the graph which is quite self-explanatory.

Gephi1

Our network looks like a collection of connected objects. The objects being nodes (hashtags) and edges (links) that connect with each other. fortunately we did get the wanted results when it came to the visualisation of the graph. Our graph differed at first as a result of the program not functioning properly.
Gephi2.png

Our hashtags are now labelled and they are linked. Despite all the troubles beforehand we did get the general idea about Gephi and graphs.

You could say that our former graph represents the earth and how we are all connected. Which was wat the actual graph was supposed to look like. The dots or the nodes are the hashtags. In our new graph They are linked and they are labelled and it does show a connection through the compactness of it. As you can see there are patches and there compact nodes that represent the strong connection between the hashtags.

The results to us were pretty obvious even if it wasn’t the initial expected result before we ended up with the correct result. We have learnt that all hashtags are connected one way or another and that some are more connected with each other than others. We expected the graph to show a network of hashtags on a global scale and global shaped. Where most hashtags would centre around the most influential cities in the world like: London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and so forth. That wasn’t the case when we tried hashtags rather than the location and as it turned out wasn’t going to happen anyway since it didn’t look like an global shaped network.

Gifts, Makeup, match day programme were some of the hashtags labelled in our graph. You can get a clear idea by looking at them hashtags what consumers and/or pedestrians were sharing with one another. Which makes it all the more useful for bloggers to present them with the products that they are so keen on.

Piccadilly Circus, London. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2016, from http://www.aviewoncities.com/london/piccadillycircus.htm

Why London is the men’s fashion capital of the world. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2016, from http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/london-fashion-capital-of-the-world-lcm

Netnography

 

Coding Netnography

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 11.49.50Select at least two communities. Justify your selection by analyzing the usefulness of the communities on the following aspects:

 

Twitter, Reddit, Warriorforum

a)Relevant: community relates to the research focus and questions.

Reddit has become one of the vastest information hubs in the world. Another reason why we choose Reddit.com is because people post very frequently and there is alot of information traffic at any given moment of the day, regardless of the timezone the person is in. Reddit is closely tied to the internet 2.0 movement, and therefore is relevant as instagram also is a product of this development.

Twitter is another platform that will come in handy, as we are looking at user generated content, and user-generated content driven marketing concepts. Twitter can function as a news platform too, in order to get the latest news and eyewitness accounts one must look no further than Tr, however we are more interested in what the people have to say about affiliate links, brand ambassadors and insta bloggers.

The warrior forum is a large online forum that discusses e-commerce, Social Media, and Social Media marketing. The forum is used by many people both in research and in the professional world and there is daily discussions going on about how we can change the way we sell products to people.

b)Active: the community has recent and regular communications

All three online communities and platforms are highly active and people post, tweet and write information on these platforms by the second.

c) Interactive: there is a flow of communications between participants

The flow of information is diverse in the three sources. Twitter may be alot easier to find and process the information, whereas reddit has are not so clear user interface. With warriorforum on the other hand, we might have to wait for responses a bit longer and the interaction is of asynchronous nature. There is no real-time response.

d) Heterogeneous: there is a number of different participants

The number of participants differs slightly from source to source, however reddit and twitter will have a much higher response rate as they are very popular and used more frequently than the warriorforum.

e) Data-rich: there is detailed and/or descriptively rich data available.

The information presented ranges from rather not serious answers to very detailed professional insight, depending on the platform and person answering.

Marketing/Business Instagram Fashion
Sponsorship Promotion codes/ Voucher/Coupons IT-Girls
Brand Ambassadors Followers Role-models
Affiliate Links/Product Placements “Shoutouts” Fashionista/Trend setter

 

2. Entrée:

  Decide on your roles as ethnographers (active/passive; overt/covert). Justify your choice.

We choose to be an overt researcher, as we are researching the effect of instagram marketing on people and want to be truthful and open about it. The way people have been targeted by marketing, was not always voluntarily and truthful in the past but that has changed. By following insta models and bloggers, the individual in question shares taste, ideology or any other product the blogger sells, with the blogger and personally chooses to do so.

How did you introduce yourselves (present screenshot)?

Hello ………….. (Online community),

My name is ……………….. and together with my research team we are currently researching why people choose to buy products that have been advertized by instagram models and bloggers. We also want to investigate why regular marketing campaigns and strategies are not working anymore? Are we not gullible anymore? Do we individualize too much? Can brands not target us as a whole anymore, but have we gotten too specific dreams and wishes? Or is it distrust of large corporations and brands, and we would rather like to buy from local designers, innovators, builders, etc. ? Is earning money through brand ambassadorship and affiliate links a trend? or a fad? We are interested in what you think and hope to gather a more in-depth understanding of the e-commerce world. Your opinions will be gathered, analyzed and names will be anonymized.

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Research Proposal

Instagram:  Changing the Marketing Perspective

How does advertising through prominent Instagram users have a changing effect on marketing in the online environment?

Research Proposal

  1. Initiation (prepare to select a topic / trend, start looking and discussing possible approaches. In this phase you are aware that you lack understanding and that there is a gap in your knowledge)

We were thinking about several trends such as Segways, insurance comparison websites, Air BnB, and Instabloggers earning money through advertising consumer products. We decided for the later, as the topic is rather new and we think there is still lots to discover. We definitely wanted to focus on a trend that evolves around the internet, as digital research is cost and time effective. Furthermore, we are convinced that most trends evolve through the internet.

After deciding on the topic, we agreed that monitoring famous or popular Instabloggers is the most effective to see how products are presented. We also want to search for patterns in the profiles to discover why the Individuals are so popular and have so many followers. Agreeing on these guidelines lead us to a more focused research.

 

  1. Selection (you select the general topic/trend and approach and you start searching for information; preliminary research)

We decided to choose the latest internet phenomenon of Instagram users advertising for consumer products such as shoes, beauty products, beverages and food and much more. We found that the trend is very contemporary and opened a whole new way, for the marketer, of approaching the target consumer and the adjacent marketing strategy. We understand however that it is a fairly new trend and not many people are actively participating and advertising products on Instagram yet. We want to find out how many people actually do this, are there more female than male Instabloggers, and what are the main brands that are being endorsed? We also want to see if this trend has any actual traction, and can affect other prominent social media platform users to advertise for companies.

 

  1. Exploration (you roughly search for information; you are still searching for your focus)

Vlogging, Viners, Youtube Pranksters and Stars, Instabloggers are all keywords that had emerged from our preliminary desk research. These are ordinary people that have decided to open a channel, blog or any other public space to share thoughts and ideas and have managed to attract thousands to millions of people around the globe. The question we have to ask ourselves is, why are these people so popular, are they mainly male or female, what brands are they advertising, and what kind of products are the most commonly advertised? Is it their journalistic voice that attracts the people, or is it their particular strong outfits and choice of appearance. Jamie Feldman of The Huffington Post writes that fashion bloggers are essentially “branding themselves.” Feldman writes that bloggers aren’t pretending to be journalists, but they’re adopting a certain persona or trait that makes them stand out, which is highly attractive for designers or brands to endorse their products on their blog.

Reading more articles and researching the background of the top fashion Instagramers in the world two keywords words emerge almost in every interview or article: Product placement and Affiliate Links. With these two new search terms we managed to find a company that helps bloggers to earn money. This is how affiliate links work: “When you click on an affiliate link (which, for the most part, looks just like a normal product link), the program drops a cookie on your computer. If you purchase anything from that site–even if it’s not the same product that the blogger was originally featuring–the referrer (aka the blogger) will make money off of it. And thanks to affiliate link companies like RewardStyle, which have partnered with nearly every major retailer (ShopBop, Nordstrom, Barneys, etc.,), bloggers can find pretty much any product they could possibly want to feature on the program. The idea is that they’d be featuring the products anyway”. So through this affiliate links Instabloggers manage to have a constant steady income without doing much besides keep their following happy and loyal. Another way of earning money is brand partnerships, however bloggers usually get a one-time payment of perhaps more substantial amounts of money.

 

  1. Formulation

How does advertising through prominent Instagram users have a changing effect on marketing in the online environment?

 

  1. Presentation

 

Review of research literature

Bergström, T., & Bäckman, L. (2013, June 3). Marketing and PR in Social Media : How the utilization of Instagram builds and maintains customer relationships. Retrieved February 17, 2016, from http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:625012

SuganthaLakshmi, T., Dr., & Saravanakumar, M., Dr. (2012). Social Media Marketing. Life Science Journal, 9(4), 4444-4451. Retrieved February 17, 2016, from http://www.lifesciencesite.com/lsj/life0904/670_13061life0904_4444_4451.pdf

 

Bergström and Bäckman have a very legitimate claim, saying that we as consumers are not as gullible anymore to respond to certain styles of advertisements and marketing. We are individuals, with individual needs and through the internet are able to “cherry pick” advertisements and brands we want to be exposed to. Instagram rides the wave of online user generated content and targets trend driven individuals that bring the product closer to the people. Also Dr. Saravanakumar claims that many people feel cheated by misleading advertisements and would rather accept a product suggestion by a fellow consumer. Through popular Instabloggers, with thousands of followers, companies and brands are able to bring the product closer to the people for them to identify themselves with.  This shows us that the marketing through social media platforms, such as Instagram, make the approach much more personalized and focused.

Goode, H. (2015, March 19). Bustle. Retrieved February 17, 2016, from http://www.bustle.com/articles/66713-how-do-fashion-bloggers-make-money-its-more-than-just-posting-photos-of-your-new-shoes

Phelan, H. (2013, August 20). HOW PERSONAL STYLE BLOGGERS ARE RAKING IN MILLIONS. Retrieved February 17, 2016, from http://fashionista.com/2013/08/how-personal-style-bloggers-are-raking-in-millions#1

These two online articles provide us with a simple yet understandable explanation of how exactly these Instabloggers earn money. Through Affiliate links, the blogger is able to earn money through single clicks on promotions, offerings and individual sales. With every product sold through the advertisement on the Instagram profile, the blogger/model cashes in a commission that has been previously negotiated with the company or a third party publishers such as RewardStyle. Another way is to be a “brand ambassador” and endorse one brand and focus only on the products of one particular brand. Also here the blogger/model makes a contract with the company at hand and earns a monthly set salary and is not dependent on the amount of products sold. What becomes evident however is in order to become a money earning Instablogger/model is that you already need a large and loyal group of followers and have some substantial amount of likes to show for.

 

Reference the most important contributions of other scientists.

Tips for Working With Blogger Advocates [Infographic]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2014/24287/tips-for-working-with-blogger-advocates-infographic

This article contains a very clear infographic for brands who want to work with blogger advocates to spread the word about their brand. The article says a blogger advocate should have a social reach of 2,500 to 25,000, a highly engaged audience and an interest in brands that reflect his or her’s audience interest.The infographic is about blogger advocacy, verticals and how to work with them. The most popular verticals are:

  1. Parenting(23,56%)
  2. Food(21.33%)
  3. Women’s lifestyle(20.66%)
  4. Entertainment(19.10%)
  5. Consumer Interest(9.68%)
  6. Fashion(8.25%)
  7. Beauty(6.07%)
  8. Healthy living(5.88%)
  9. Tech(4.80%)
  10. Design/DIY(3.77%)
  11. Men’s lifestyle(3.91%)
  12. Travel(3.17%)
  13. Sports(2.46%)
  14. Music(2.25%)
  15. Auto(1.03%)

*Percentage of bloggers focused on each topic area

The infographic contains more information about crossovers between blogging verticals and tips for working with different blogger verticals.

 

Jadhav, M. N., Kamble, M. R., & Patil, M. M. (n.d.). Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Trends. Retrieved from http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jce/papers/sicete-volume2/21.pdf

At page 48, figure 5 shows the business-customer relationship when the idea of a higher calling is introduced. The higher calling forms a common bonding point for the Company and the Customer. This creates a very powerful linkage which transcends the basic brand-consumer relationship.

 

Discuss the theoretical scope or the framework of ideas that will be used to back the research.

The theory is quite general because it is widely applicable.It is a theory that encompasses a wide range of communicative interactions. We discuss a theoretical framework to demonstrate an understanding of theories and concepts relevant to our topic which also relate to broader areas of knowledge being considered.

 

Demonstrate that you are fully conversant with the ideas you are dealing with and that you grasp their methodological implications.

We are looking for the reason why Instagram has this effect on marketing. What affect role models have, why people buy a certain product just because an Instagram account, that has a lot of followers, promotes that product. This may be seen as “manipulation” because “people want to be more like them”. We, as Instagrammers see this person as an example, an image of how we want to be. In order for us to become more like this famous instagram person, we buy the same products and copy their lifestyles (partly). These famous Instagrammers are asked to promote products from all sorts of brands. This can be seen as manipulation.

We are all well aware how this works because the ones that Instagram see this “process” on a daily basis.

 

Indicate the open problem which then will be the motive for your project. State clearly how your research will contribute to the existing research.

We want to change the marketing perspective by advertising. The question we ask ourselves is “How does advertising through prominent Instagram users have a changing effect on marketing in the online environment?”

Instagram changes the way companies target people and therefore a perspective that proves that we are no longer a big gullible group that can be attracted through old fashioned styles of marketing, but we want to feel involved and feel like it was entirely our choice to follow/buy/like etc. Through instagram models brands are able to market directly to the people who choose to like a certain style, clothes etc

 

Find more sources and summarize them.

Source 1:

Wharton, Stephanie. (September 21, 2015). 4 Ways Instagram Has Changed Fashion Marketing. Retrieved from: http://blog.curalate.com/2015/09/21/4-ways-instagram-has-changed-fashion-marketing/

The photo-sharing app’s impact on the fashion industry has been deemed so influential that it was bestowed an award. Indeed, Instagram has given fashion figures and fans alike the ability to share and consume content like never before. Fashion figures can easily provide their audiences with behind-the-scenes peeks of their shows and works in progress. Fans, on the other hand, can experience exclusive events without actually being in attendance and receive in-depth looks into the lives of their favorite designers.

Instagram changed fashion marketing because, firstly, offline and online events merge into 1. Secondly, imaged focused blogs make waves. Thirdly, repurposing fashion is now a must. Finally, fan images thrive on ecommerce sites.

 

Source 2:

Brunning, Robert. (June 9, 2015). Your Instagram Feed Is About To Change: Paid Advertising On The Way. Retrieved from: http://mktg-matters.blogspot.nl/2015/06/your-instagram-feed-is-about-to-change.html

“Advertisers also want to target their messages in more effective ways and reach people not just because of their age, location and gender, but because of the people, places and things they love.” This is why Instagram is starting with a new project where companies can advertise on Instagram without advertising through an Instagram “It-Girl”. Instagram needs to take into account that they do not place too many advertisements because The appeal of Instagram is viewing visually beautiful imagery, so the prospect of “ugly” ads could greatly dissatisfy the end user.

 

Think of two or more methodologies that could help us discover deeper information (ex. In-depth interview, focus groups, hashtag scraper etc.)

We want to find out about social trends, use large datasets and undertake quantitative data analysis. Our preferred philosophical approach is realist. Our analysis will be primarily quantitative but to discover deeper information In-depth interviews should be held. For example with the prominent Instagram Users, to question how they got where they are today, if they were approached by the brand or the brand approached them etc. These interviews can also be held with the Viners, Bloggers and Youtube stars. To gather data we will use desk research.

Instanalysis Meetings

Meeting week  1

Instanalysis is born with our first meeting. Ellemijn, Jessy, Nicolas, Lucky and Juul are a team now. We had to come up with a research question and starting brainstorming, social media hypes was the main topic of our brain storming session. Soon we started talking about Instagram and the popular accounts that use product placement. We thought it was interesting because these accounts are very popular and they are now provide full-time jobs for the owners.

After finding our trend we still had to formulate our research question and came up with; How does advertising through prominent Instagram users have a changing effect on marketing in the online environment?

We started some desk research as well to gain more insight about our subject and research question. Nicolas wrote our research question down. It was decided that I, Juul, would be responsible for our blog and summarising our meetings. This was our first meeting.

Meeting week 2

In week 2 we finished our research proposal and starting thinking about what kind of sources we wanted to use for our data scraping.

Meeting week 3

We learned how to use Gephi in class and started experimenting with the software. Jessy took the lead with making the Data Scraping assignment and finished it for the next class.

Meeting week 4 & 5

In week four we started with the netnography assignment, unfortunately not everyone could attend this class but we made it work. We decided what online platforms we would use and came to the conclusion that Ellemijn and I, Juul, will be using Reddit. Lucky and Jessy will use Twitter, and Nicolas will use Warrior forum. In the end Nicolas used Facebook instead because there were almost no responses on Warrior forum, the few people that did respond thought he was making some new kind of software and asked money for their opinions. In the end we didn’t use the Facebook responses because they were irrelevant regarding our research question.

It was quite difficult to find and start discussing regarding our research question, especially people on Twitter weren’t really responsive. In the end we made it work and everyone collected data.

Meeting week 6

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In week 6 we didn’t meet in class because in was inconvenient for certain group members. We still had to come together so we all went to cafe to meet. Here we compared our data and started to summarise and analyse our findings. We also  started working on our presentation we have to do in week 7. Nicolas took charge with making the slides for the presentation.

Week 7

This was the week of our presentation and it went quite well. We were satisfied with our feedback and felt like we were on the right trail. After this class we made some final decisions for the final documents.

Week 8

We didn’t meet in this week but had contact using our group WhatsApp and Facebook group. We just talked about some final touch ups and made sure that everyone uploaded their final documents so I could put them on the blog.