When researchers tackled the broad topic of new media marketing, their research can come to a complete halt as a result of so many social media platforms. According to the author of the book Instagram Power by Jason G. Miles mobile platforms dominate the market with social media sites. Miles, 2014, explains, “The world is migrating to mobile devices. These powerful new handheld tools include iPhones, iPads, Kindle, and similar Internet-enabled products. The worldwide adoption of these web-enabled tools is revolutionizing the online experience, including social media marketing” (Miles 2012, pg XV). Mobile-based social media APPS dominate the market and platform used by potential clients and consumers. In the fall of 2012, Instagram surpassed 100 million users (Miles, 2012) showing the migration to mobile as a large potential marketing tool. For fashion models, this photograph based social media site is ideal for showcasing print work and the aesthetics of a fashion model. In the book, Instagram Power 2012, author Jason Miles explains the role Instagram plays in the mobile social media market. Miles states, “Instagram is the breakout social network of the iPhone revolution. In less than two years, it has grown into a full-fledged social network. The pace of user adoption went from 887,00 daily active users to 7.3 million” (Miles, 2012, pg 3).
Research has shown that of all the social media platforms, Instagram is the most successful platform for new media marketing in the fashion industry. According to the fashion article by Influence marketing company MediaKix, “For those seeking success in today’s modeling landscape, Instagram is just as important as the runway. Before the social media boom, models used opportunities like Fashion Week and magazine shoots to kickstart their careers.
Today, though, a new category of social media influencers and models has emerged through Instagram. To find out who has the industry buzzing and who might be the next big talent, we’ve compiled a list of Instagram’s most famous traditional and Instagram models who are making a name for themselves one post at a time” (MediaKix.com 2018). The term Instagram Model is also an industry term that has submerged from the fashion culture with the expansion of models using Instagram as their primary platform for new media marketing.
To keep the focus and scope of this research paper, we will analyze the use of Instagram as a new media platform for fashion model self-promotion. Below is a SWOT analysis of Instagram as a social media platform for new media marketing.
• Massive audience reach (Both Personal and Professional)
• High engagement levels
• A way to engage with audiences that adds value
• Hashtags to capitalize on real-time trends
• A way to engage with readers and prospective readers in a channel that they love
• Established platform with many industry people already accessible with Instagram accounts
• Easy to show collaborations with industry professionals using hashtags and Instagram handle tagging.
• Developed on a mobile platform
• Possible view as “entry level” model
• Self-contained traffic
• Photo based posts only
• Established agency websites
• The growth of model specific social media platforms
• Not used as a professional tool in most professional industries (Link’d In)
• Facebook and Twitter are more established with algorithms to drive paid business
• Limited activism posts
• Instagram is moving toward paid presence vs. organic presence
• Platform avoids social commentary compared to Facebook and Twitter
• Able to link to a Facebook Professional page to expand social media presence
Amiee Song has used Instagram as a platform for presence in the fashion world. In her book, “Capture Your Style” Fashion blogger Diane Von Furstenberg opens the book with “As one of the fashion industry’s most influential bloggers, Amiee Song is living her American Dream. With one perfectly curated Instagram photo at a time, she has become a symbol of today’s successful, stylish young women” (Song 2016 pg 06). The platform of Instagram continues to be a successful platform for individuals to showcase their lifestyle while presenting a fashion portfolio to be shopped by modeling agents and brand ambassadors. The use of Instagram has helped launch multiple modeling careers, both within the Transgender community and the Cisgender modeling population. By using this successful platform used by many models within the fashion industry, Transgender fashion models can take advantage of adding their voice and lifestyle to the market via Instagram.
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