I’m sure you all remember when you first created your own Instagram account – how the vast majority of the content were photos shared by your friends to express their interests and hobbies. Instagram a couple of years ago used as everyone’s personal online photo albums.
Over the years, especially since many businesses have created their own Instagram accounts, there is more and more marketing material on my feed. The marketing material ranges from businesses posting promotional pictures, to users who are paid by businesses to promote their products. In my opinion, this has made the feeling of Instagram become less genuine.
Businesses have been targeting Instagram users who appear to have an influence over others, and pay them in order to promote their products. Due to this, I’ve noticed that there is almost a desperation for users to have as many followers as possible and as many likes as possible, creating this fake feeling to Instagram.
For the possibility of being paid by a business to promote something for them, and also for their own narcissistic desires, many users desire to be “Instafamous”. In order to get there, users no longer post whatever they want, but they post photos with the same colour schemes, styles, and some spend hours preparing everything within the photo for the perfect pic. Even with Instagram, basic digital marketing principles apply and every “Instafamous” user seems to know it – including not posting so often that your posts appear as spam.
From a business’ perspective, utilising Instagram users who have a large following is very effective, not only because it exposes the product to a large number of potential consumers, the product is seen to be endorsed by the user themselves, and therefore influence the buying behaviour of consumers. This also decreases the perceived risk associated with purchasing new products as most of the time, the Instagram user reviews the product.
Have you ever been persuaded by something on Instagram to purchase something? Do you think Instagram’s content has changed for the better or for the worse?