Market

Audience Profile

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  • The Social Media User

Meet your average social media user. Someone who regularly browses their newsfeed, maybe uploads their own content occasionally, but generally uses social media to keep in contact with friends, view funny videos or images people post and just to pass time when their bored. The average user knows that there is hype surrounding social media but neither gets flustered by it, nor ignores it. Their the middle of the road type of user, can live with it and can live without it. They are the ones who will stop and interact with The #Life. Its important to reiterate that The #Life is not trying to portray a bad or good opinion of social media, it is just a visual representation of the behaviours carried out online and offering an interesting perspective. Therefore, the target market of viewers will be those with an interest in viewing something a bit different, someone who is not so involved with social media that they have a very firm opinion of it and somebody who can take a step back and appreciate the observation/representation. Note how I haven’t referred to the user as either a he or a she,  because my project is not gender specific and can be appreciated by all.

  • The Non Social Media User

Due to the comparison elements of the project I feel that even non social media users will be able to relate to what is trying to be portrayed. This section of the audience I would assume to be slightly older, or those who are not that familiar with Social Media directly but are aware of it and what it has become. Social media is such a big thing now that it is impossible to have not come across it… even my 84 year old Grandad has Facebook and him and my Nan regularly sit and see what their grandchildren are getting up to.

 

Although the target market stated is quite broad, I don’t think should be seen as a bad thing. Social media is a big enough topic to be understood by most and the creative aspect off the mini pieces included within the project will be appreciated in their own right. Kelley and Ugenheimer (2008) highlight how “arriving at the right audience appears on the surface to be a simple exercise” (p.59), however their must be careful crafting and planing to get the best results. Kelley and Ugenheimer (2008)  suggest that the target market can appreciate a given piece from a number of different ways depending on their own circumstances. For example, some may “make sense of it from a business perspective, a marketing perspective, a media perspective, and a creative perspective” (p.59) . The aim of this project has always been for the audiences to arrive at their own conclusions and take from it what they see fit, so although defining a target market is possible, the nature of the project makes it more of a “media exercise” (Kelley and Ugenheimer 2008, p.59).

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Market: Field of Endeavour

The field of endeavour in which my graduate project is positioned within, is similar to that of a fine art approach to modern media technologies. The piece will stand alone as a concept of appreciation for understanding audience engagement with social media and reflect a social study. The most unique aspect of this project is that it is an artistic piece created from a non artistic platform that is social media. It is a piece of artistic expression stimulating the exploration of the role of social media within society. The audience are challenged personally to access and address their own journey and engagement with social media as a whole and ask question about the future of online and offline life. This in itself reflects the creative process users of social media go through each time they upload something online because they are creating themselves, creating evidence to show an online persona. This project may suffer criticism because it does not necessarily have a point, but the point is that it will aim to achieve a reflective response from those who choose to engage with it. The project will be aimed at a generation of people who have grown up with social media and have become reliant on it, meaning that it will promote personal growth and development within a personal experience that makes the social media user/project viewer take a step back from everything just for a moment.

 

Identity Theory and Social Media Participation

Identity Theory in regards to Social Media participation:

Individuals employ a social identity online…. Tajfel (1981) combines   “four linked concepts: social categorisation, social identity, social comparison and psychological group distinction” to construct better understanding of self-identity.

The social categorisation process is the “bringing together social objects or events in groups which are equivalent with regard to an individual’s actions, intentions and system beliefs” (Tajfel 1981, p.254). So this means that for a transmedia story to work, it needs to “bring together social objects or event in a group” in order to make it desirable by a large audience.

Leary and Tangney (2005) explain how social identity is when the representation of the self is recognised as part of a social group, suggesting that social media users construct an appropriate ‘self’ to portray themselves online.

Ashmore et al. (2001) highlights the complexity of self and identity concepts, offering a further breakdown of social identity as the belief of group belonging, in which receiving acceptance from other group members is deemed an important facilitator of successful group membership. In terms of social media, this could be represented by the number of Facebook ‘friends’ or Twitter ‘followers’.

Leary and Tangney (2005)  states how social identities are “not simply individual cognitive constructions” (p.480), instead they are developed with shared attributes and beliefs of other individuals in mind.

Tajfel (1981) includes a relevant description of ‘social actions’, which play in construction of the social self.

The social comparison concept offers explanation linking social identity theory with social categorisation (Tajfel 1981). Leon Festinger (1954) concludes that social comparison is the drive humans have to evaluate their own opinions and abilities, by measuring them against the opinions and abilities of others who make theirs available. Social media facilitates communication between one to one, and one to many, allowing for social comparison to take place. The active users, are either consciously or unconsciously offering information about themselves to other users, hence making social comparison in an online space possible.

The social comparison theory offers insight  into social media networks “as a system of orientation which creates and defines the individual’s own place in society” (Tajfel 1981, p.258). Users are able to participate online and  in order to construct themselves socially and personally.

Social identity is very complex and social groups cannot necessarily be defined fundamentally. Psychological group distinction discusses how social attitudes; intentions and actions can be used to express the characteristics of a particular group (Tajfel 1981). The benefits, opportunities and other “consequences of membership” within a group can only achieve true satisfaction and status if defined in relation to an alternative group because “groups are…capable of any definition because of their insertions into a multi-group structure” (Tajfel 1981, p.259).

Ashmore, R.D., Ussim, L.J., Wilder, D., 2001. Social Identity, Intergroup Conflict and Conflict Reduction. London: Oxford University Press

Leary, M., Tangney, J., 2003. Handbook of Self and Identity.  NY: The Guildford Press

Tajfel, H., 1981, Human Groups and Social Categories: Studies in Social Psychology.  Cambridge USA: The Cambridge University Press

“Secret is the new social”

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In an article published in Cosmopolitan magazine (March 2014) it would seem that publicly displaying ones life on social media is a thing of the past, revealing “the next big thing: ‘private’ social networks’. People are choosing to stay away from public spaces online as more and more people become users. People are protecting their identity more so than ever before with more and more employers checking social media. For the nature of this project, if this is the case and peoples social media usage is declining then it means that a trans media story portrayed through social media channels is going to lack enough engagement from target audience regardless of content.

 

Wow… People ‘Like’ it!! 103 people to be precise

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The Hashtag Life Facebook page is to help tie the story together and prevoke the audience to engage with the content… It will act as a market tool in order to update the followers that the next part of the story is coming up and will act as a unifying media body to ensure that people don’t get lost along the way. The current page is very bleak with just a short description of what is to come, but within 3 days the page had received 103 likes and shows that there is an interest in this and it could really be possible! So either people like the sound of the idea or it really does go to show that “I’ll get by with a little help from friends”(The Beatles 1967)

Twitter Research Case Study: “Made In Chelsea”

“Made in Chelsea” is a popular reality TV show series shown on channel E4. The show captures the lives of young, rich and fancy free individuals living in and around the wealthy London Borough of Chelsea. The audience members are led to believe that the people and their lives are real…however “some scenes are created for entertainment purposes”. The characters from the show are all active Twitter uses with a massive following. The images included below are recorded moments of the live newsfeed during the same time the show was running on air. It was surprising to see just how active the Twitter feed was when you would normally expect the viewer to be glued to their TV screens.

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Production Analysis: Target Market*

 

 

 

 

  • What is the purpose of what you are trying to “sell”?
  • Does it satisfy a basic need or is it a luxury?
  • What makes it unique?
  • What other products are similar and what advantage does yours have?

 

The aim of my project is to entertain audience members and engage with active social media users.  Research has shown that social media news feeds are browsed regularly throughout the day due to boredom and dissatisfaction of the user. In order to combat that boredom, my project will aim to give the viewer something to browse for and enjoy following. Similar to a soap or drama series that people sit and watch on the television, my project will act as the first social media “soap” distributed through social media content in the forms of short videos, pictures, status’. The viewer must follow or add the characters in order to gain full experience from online series. My project is unique in that it has not been achieved before – forums online have always established themselves after a TV show has been aired on television, but what I intend to do is to distribute the story through the social media profiles of the characters themselves.

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From watching my own news feeds whilst enjoying popular TV programmes, I was able to recognise peoples increased online activity when indeed the popular TV show was on because people wanted to discuss and make comments about it. By following a hastag to do with the TV show, users of social media were able to discuss and express their feelings about what they were watching.

By creating a fictional story online and getting users to follow each character to understand the next part of the story, a networked web of narrative with hopefully be created.

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The disadvantages and problems to consider:

  • Not being able to establish a following of users/viewers
  • Not being able to keep up with enough content for the viewer to engage with
  • Backlash from public audience
  • Unable to regulate what characters are real and constructed and people just trying to get involved

Online Character Development: Facebook Users

1. The Tell Everything Bore – A constant update of day to day trivial things and a running commentary on their lives. Regularly Checking in.

2. The Self Promoter – posting achievements, or blog post links, or article you’ve written or competition you have won

3. The Friend Padder – One who has thousands of “friends” and feels the need to show off about it

4. The Town Crier – Posts about breaking events and news stories as if they are the first to have heard about it

5. The TMI-er – Too much information. See no boundaries regarding what to share and what not to share.

6. The Bad grammarian. Those who take digital speak to a whole new level and sounds ridiculous due to text speak

7. The Lurker – very rarely posting or updating but always very aware of what is going on online. Watching from afar without getting involved.

8. The Stalkers – tirelessly traipsing through pages and pages of profiles in order to find out the nitty gritty gossip or merely for their own amusement

9. The Chronic Inviter – “Support my cause”, “…invites you to play candy crush”, “sign my partition”, “do my survey” . They mean well but it can get very annoying.

10. The fearful user – has their profile on lock down, vets all friend requests and never likes anything.

 

http://socialmediatoday.com/socialbarrel/1646241/9-types-facebook-users-infographic

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/08/20/annoying.facebook.updaters/

 

Online Character Development: Twitter Users

Types of Twitter User

1. The Egg. Every user starts Twitter life as an egg but many of those Twitter Eggs never hatch. Studies have shown that a quarter of Twitter users have never Tweeted. Some eggs may send a few tweets but then give it up and go quiet when they receive no responses

2. The Lurker. Studies have shown that 40% of uses logged in during a given month but did not tweet during this time. There is an overlap of eggs and lurkers, but lurkers tend to be active users just consuming news through the twitter feed without actively tweeting

3. Contester. Users who only really use there profile for the sole purpose of entering competitions or running promotions

4. Retweeter. Less confident Twitter users who only share other peoples posts. They may feel a bit daunted by the whole concept and struggle to let their true personality shine through

5. Bot. The non human twitter account posting automated tweets

6. #TeamFollowBack. Those wishing to embark upon world domination by having a most ridiculous amount of followers. Tweets include too many hashtags, particular ones encouraging a follow or a retweet. High number of followers and high number of followees.

7. Celebrity. Celebrities can include musicians, athletes, actors, the prime minister… anybody known by the masses. Celebrities have millions of followers and with have anything they post retweeted hundreds of times so they can use this influence to do good or purely for self promotion

8. Social Star/”Guru”. Those who have amassed a serious following on twitter and become pseudo celebrities online. Provide a string of content.

9. Business. Advertisers engaging with the world in a way not possibly before social media

10. The steady eddie’s. Core user base of Twitter. Some tweet, some don’t, but they are generally engaged and are essential to the success of twitter as they act as the main audience that advertisers are going to reach with their promoted tweets. Usually very socially engaging on a regular bases with all types of users.

 

 

http://socialmediatoday.com/minterdial/1781106/who-follow-twitter-cartography-types-twitter-profiles-and-users