For my data visualization project, I chose to create an Instagram feed composed of 12 posts (within each, one to seven sub posts) to construct a powerpoint-like presentation that could be interactive, self-explanatory, and exploratory. The page; called Likes, Comments, Action; includes research-backed scientific explanations for the way advertising works to highly specific examples of marketing on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and the ways in which they differ. The posts are a combination of explanation and illustration, and influencers and bloggers featured are always tagged so that the audience can follow the link to review their personal pages. The account also follows all influencers mentioned within the posts for easy access investigation.
Likes, Comments, Actions is meant to be a holistic approach to the ways digital marketing seamlessly fits into all of our newsfeeds. I hope to demonstrate to the audience that this new method of advertising’s cost effectiveness and maximum exposure structure is successful, and as I argue, will become more successful than traditional advertising with the development of social media. The page includes two mock quizzes, in which the viewer must try to discern which posts are advertisements and which are “authentically real.” The quizzes are to increase engagement from the audience and to help them evaluate how little awareness, or at least, insensitivity, we all have to paid promotions infiltrated into our feeds. The success of this marketing method stems from its modesty and cleverness, using “real” people and their “real” lives to integrate into the product’s brand. In comparison, traditional television, print, and radio ads seem ostentatious.
The feed also includes a post on political advertising, as I want to explain the first point made in the feed, that EVERYTHING is advertisement. Everyone is constantly branding themselves, whether that refers to a corporation with a product or a candidate with a message. In this post, I reference a study on political behavior that supports the hypothesis that online engagement actually generates votes. The last post outlines flaws within this new digital marketing industry and why these qualities are problematic, including lack of racial diversity in the ads and click farms. For this purpose, I selectively chose to feature influencers of different races, genders, and body types to be inclusive. I feel that it’s only fair to include the hindrances of this new structure of advertising while promoting its success.
This Instagram feed was designed to accommodate an audience who would like to go back and reference any of the posts at any time and explore digital advertising on their own. Because of its form, I will be able to continue to add posts as I learn more about social media marketing, and expand the network of influencers I discuss and analyze.