Web 2.0 has become the main interactive medium for users all over the world within the past few years. Many different platforms exist through this medium for users and creators to be able to connect with each other and social network. These platforms include social media and social networking sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Through these platforms, individuals are able to converse and discuss many different topics. With the recent development of Social Networking Sites, Web 2.0 has become a powerful tool in societal changes. Other than this, these sites are also helping and transforming businesses in the way they advertise, and even recruit. This paper will focus on developments in Web 2.0, with Instagram as the main platform being used. It will discuss how this particular Social Networking/Media Site has become a key factor to recruiting in businesses, developing them, as well as how Instagram has now become an effective network growing medium.
The way in which we interact with and use the internet has changed, due to the recent developments in Web 2.0. With this, social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have become extremely popular amongst many individuals today. The gathering of individuals online helps create a feel of being a part of a community even though it is not physical. These communities include people from everywhere around the world with similar interests – and are all made through the design of Web 2.0 (Fuchs, 2010).Social media platforms are developing into a more important tool when it comes to business, e-commerce and economy in general. Porter (2015), mentions that social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Skype have become a necessity for individuals and their everyday life. Not only this, social networking sites such as Instagram are now helping individuals grow their business’ through enabling marketing options/strategies on the platform and also helping small business’ recruit ambassadors for their company. This could be done due to Instagram first starting out as a platform where individuals could connect with each other. The development of advertisements, endorsements and influencers has changed the way in which this social networking site is now being used, helping small businesses grow within the online community.
Most could agree that well-known and popular social networking sites include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Many will also say that social networking has become one of the main forms of communication amongst adults, young adults and even teenagers. This is because not only is social networking important for social interaction between individuals, but it has also become beneficial for businesses. Social networking has opened opportunities for business to grow and expand, through the ability of social interaction online. Websites such as these enable businesses to expand their connections through developing relationships with other companies within the same interests (Carey, 2013). Because the concept of social networking is extremely mobile and convenient, people are given the chance to connect from everywhere around the World. It also enables idea sharing, and feedback receiving. This means businesses could publish plans before making them come to life – without the risk of failure, due to the other people/companies’ feedback. For example, a company wanting to sell subscription boxes will first put out a survey for other people, potential customers, and companies to fill out – this will help them determine what products to include, and what will be profitable. In addition to this, social networking broadens the way in which companies could market their products. This paper will continue to explain how marketing on social networking sites could guarantee success for a business – following its online campaigns. Social networking continues to rapidly expand – due to the number of people and traffic that are constantly increasing on each of these sites mentioned (Bolotaeva & Cata, 2011). Businesses today are taking advantage of this fact. Some have even resulted to setting up their marketing purely through social networking, and nothing else.
Individuals are now able toconnect from anywhere, at any time, using almost any medium – due to the current and ongoing developments of Web 2.0. Participation and online collaboration have become more accessible and are commonly used in today’s era. The invention of new online mediums and social networking sites have made this the case. Internet users who share a common interest tend to interact with each other – building an online community consisting of people interested in that particular topic. This common interest and knowledge are what drives users to create the many online communities there are today (Porter, 2015). Internet and devices are also easily accessible due to the low costs that are available on the market today. Devices made in China, replicating expensive designs, are now more affordable than ever before. Not only this, but Wi-Fi and internet can also be easily accessed due to having more affordable options and being able to access it from almost anywhere now – for free. As a result of these changes, individuals and companies who run businesses take advantage of the low costs in marketing and production. “Instagram advertising costs depend on your bidding model, like cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impressions (CPM). On average, companies pay $0.20 to $2 per click and $6.70 per 1000 impressions for Instagram ads” (WebFX, 2020). Although many businesses see the ongoing development of Web 2.0 as a positive medium to help their business grow, there are also many that still see it as risky and more ‘unprofessional’ than when using traditional marketing strategies. Because Instagram was always built for people to connect and share photos personally, marketing still has people talking, even critically – especially when it is paid and coming from an Instagram ‘influencer’ – an Instagram user with a larger following. Although this is the case, Web 2.0 inarguably has made it easier for small businesses to sell and market. Through this, individuals are motivated to create professional/’influencer’ profiles in order to gain attention and sponsorships from brands from all over the world.
Instagram is one of the most powerful and influential social networking site there is on the market today. There are many individuals who have a following on this particular platform. This is what businesses are now actively seeking. Influencers list where they are based, how many likes they could accumulate for one post and where their target audiences are mainly located. This allows businesses to list their potential promoters, depending on their own target market. This promotes social networking between the business and their potential marketing ambassadors. “Social media has not only allowed the companies to interact with their customers, but also allowing the customer to interact with other customers. It is also used to convince customer that the company’s product or services are good” (Sook & Yazdanifard, 2014). Not only this, because Instagram is highly interactive and enables individuals to directly message one another, business owners and employees could also easily interact with each other, from anywhere, at any time. Because there are many different faces, aesthetics, and styles of influencers on the platform, businesses are able to pick and choose exactly who and what is right for their particular brand. An example for this is that if a company/brand sells clothing, they would want to choose a creative who shows their knowledge style in fashion. They may also go by how many people ask about their clothing options within each post. This will show the business an idea of interest coming from their target audience within the topic of the products they are selling. Influencers are also chosen according to their ‘followers’ to ‘likes’ ratio. An influencer who has a decent amount of following but many likes, has a bigger opportunity than ones who have a large following but no likes at all. Companies value engagement more than anything, because their goal is not for the influencer to gain followers, but for their product post to reach the most target audience. This is how companies could determine whether or not their candidate has enough engagement for their brand or not.
Instagram enables users to follow and interact with other people using the platform. This includes, friends, family, and even strangers. When an Instagram user decides to follow someone, they are enabled to see who that person is following (including their followers) and vice versa, this then continues on to every person being followed. Business owners would usually like to see the type of people that follow a certain influencer on the platform probably due to the company having target audiences and seeing whether or not the ambassador will cater to and reach those certain markets. “To conduct successful social network marketing, it is important to first determine who are the target customers for that business” (Sook & Yazdanifard, 2014), meaning everything chosen by the business will need to reflect their target market – this includes ambassadors and influencers. Brands are less likely to choose influencers who have a bad reputation online. Other than this, Instagram also suggest followers to every user according to who they follow and their connections. Although it may seem open and easy, Instagram does give account holders an option of becoming private. This means in order to follow them, a request must be sent and in turn, approved. Before the step of approval, this users’ posts will not be able to be seen by anyone but their followers. In most cases, businesses always look for profiles that are already public, as there is potential for their posts to reach more than just their followers. Instagram was always about connecting with one another and sharing special moments and photos, but now could be argued that marketing is taking over this particular platform.
Instagram allows users to be completely creative with their ‘feed’. This is what other people see first from that individual. The feed may attract brands to ambassadors and Instagram influencers. Portraying another character, or simply altering one’s identity is quite common and normalised in social media, individuals usually do this to fit their audience or what they want to be perceived as online (Pearson, 2009). This is also what helps creators reach a larger following and total amount of likes. Through this, businesses are able to see which influencers engage most with their target audiences. It also depends on what they post. For instance, a gym influencer posting workout videos and meal plans will attract a target market for businesses selling anything to do with fitness. Other than this, individuals also strive to look their best on their feed, it is a form of self-representation – although this representation may not be the case when it comes to their real life. If an Instagram user wants to attract beauty companies to then be sponsored or recruited, they will post anything to do with beauty constructing an online footprint, that might not necessarily be true – but sometimes is. The way in which individuals attempt to change the way they look on social media by controlling what they post, write, create and show is known as “impression management” (Boyd, 2007). Usersare all given the opportunity to present their best selves. The better the representation, the more brands will want to work with them.Instagram also has a ‘bio’ feature, short for biography. Here, users could write a short description of themselves and what they do, and also link any websites or pages businesses may be interested in seeing. Blogs have a potential of attracting more businesses as it shows more of the individual rather than just simple photos. A combination of more than one Web 2.0 platform or tools are seen to be more effective when it comes to businesses looking for potential ambassadors and influencers. If an Instagram user has this, there is better potential for them being noticed and becoming an ambassador for several brands. Through doing this, influencers hope that businesses could have a better impression of them and potentially recruit them.
Other than this, Instagram also gives people the option of turning their accounts into ‘business profile’s’. This automatically makes their profile open for the public to see and helps gain traction from brands who want to potentially work together with them. Through doing this, brands and businesses could be sure that the Instagram influencer is open to take paid opportunities and has classified themselves as a business. Although this is mainly the case, business profiles could also sometimes push brand deals away, as they, in some cases, tend to charge higher prices for every sponsored post. In addition to this, Instagram automatically owns anything an individual post on the site. This means brands/other people could easily save and share any image – all around the internet.
The recent developments of Web 2.0 and the changes within its platforms have changed the way in which individuals interact with each other, also within businesses. The internet now enables online communities to be formed and helps individuals with similar interests connect with one another. Social media platforms and networking sites such as Instagram has become an extremely powerful tool when bringing communities together, also within businesses. Web 2.0 has enabled access to these sites within any device, anywhere at any time. It has also created a world where online influencers could share their creativity – while also helping businesses during their recruiting processes. Influencers are able to do this through leaving a clean online footprint and making sure they have great self-representation on these Social Networking Sites. Through doing so, businesses are able to narrow down to who exactly reaches their target audiences, and which influencers they are willing to work with give the opportunities to. Instagram has now become an essential tool for individuals to connect with each other, build an online following and even for businesses to market and find potential ambassadors/employees.
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How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on Instagram? WebFX. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.webfx.com/social-media/how-much-does-it-cost-to-advertise-on-instagram.html
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