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Understanding Electronic Word of Mouth: TikTok Field Notes (Pt.3)

This is part 2/3 of my TikTok field notes for my ethnographic research project about online skincare communities. I am looking to better understand how audiences’ reactions to Electronic Word of Mouth (EWoM) content differs across different social media channels, by analysing a variety of skincare influencers (or skinfluencers if you will) on Instagram and TikTok.

After looking at @skincarebyhyram‘s content in part one, and @yayayoung in part two, I decided to look at another prominent skincare content creator; @dermdoctor.

Field notes: the process

To ensure I collect a consistent amount of information when analysing content, I ask my self the following questions.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1.png
My scale of persuasion.
  • Who created the content?
  • How is the message communicated? (The video and/or image/s as well as the caption and/or hashtags used).
  • Is this message sponsored?
  • How effective was their persuasion? (Using a my own scale of persuasion)
  • What is the time & date I am viewing the content?
  • Where am I viewing this content?
  • What is my response to the message?
  • How did other users respond to the message?

So, who is @dermdoctor?

@Dermdoctor, aka Dr. Shah ia a popular TikTok skincare account with currently two million followers. Dr. Shah is a licensed doctor who specialises in dermatology, making him a unique creator in the TikTok skincare community as he is professionally qualified. Most of his content focuses on skincare topics and he is almost always seen wearing his scrubs.

Image credit: @dermdoctor via Tikok

I have analysed the following five pieces of Dr. Shah’s content in an effort to better understand this part of the TikTok skincare community.

FIELD NOTES #1

The content:

What? – A one minute TikTok video which consists of Dr. Shah using the product while discussing the ingredients and features of the product with a voice over. The #ad hashtag is used in the caption.

Sponsored? –  Yes. The #ad and #ceraveparneter hashtags have been used indicating that Dr. Shah has been compensated for this TikTok.

Persuasive? – A little. I give this a 5/10 on my persuasion scale. While he explains the product and why he likes it, it also feels a bit like an advertisement.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 7th of November 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 5pm.

My reaction – I felt like this TikTok was informative and somewhat persuasive. I would like to find out more about the product. However, I also felt like it came across as an advertisement and whilst I think Dr. Shah genuinely recommends the product it I feel like he hasn’t disclosed all of his thoughts on it.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 36,500 likes, 714 comments and 838 shares. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using a random selection of 100 comments. The majority of comments were users asking skincare related questions or expressing positive feedback about the video. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #1)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This TikTok was seemingly designed by Dr. Shah (in collaboration with the product brand) to explain why this product would be of benefit to consumers. In regards to audience behaviour, it seems that the majority of users were interested in the product and wanted to know more about it or wanted to share their own experiences with it.

FIELD NOTES #2

The Content:

What? – This TikTok video features Dr. Shah explaining how to minimise a skincare concern suing a specific product. The caption includes eight hashtags relevant to the content.

Sponsored? – No. It doesn’t appear as though Dr. Shah has been compensates in any way for this post.

Persuasive? – Yes! I give this an 8/10 on my persuasion scale. Although Dr Shah hasn’t gone into detail about the product, he has framed it as the solution to the skincare concern.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 7th of November 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 6pm.

My reaction – I thought this TikTok was simple but effective. Dr Shah identified the skincare concern (blackheads) and identified the solution (the product). He also provided information on how to use the product and which product he didn’t recommend using. I felt as though his recommendation was genuine and as such I was interested in learning more about the product.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 2, 200,000 likes, 7660 comments and 80,800 shares. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using a random selection of 100 comments. The majority of user feedback were questions either about the product or other skincare concerns. Dr. Shah replied to the most popular comments/questions. It’s interesting that so many users shared this video with a friend/s, it seems that this video contained valuable information. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing C omments (Content #2)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This piece of content was seemingly designed with the main purpose of helping users with their skincare concerns. The audience behaviour of asking questions seems to suggest that dr. Shah’s fans/followers place significant value on his advice about skincare.

FIELD NOTES #3

The Content:

What? – This TikTok video features Dr. Shah showcasing and using a skincare product. He discusses why the product is good, how to use it and its ingredients in a voice over. The caption includes the #ad and #naturlumpartner hashtag and several other hashtags related to the content.

Sponsored? – Yes. The #ad and #naturlumpartner hashtags indicate that this is a paid promotion.

Persuasive? – A little. I give this a 5/10 on my persuasion scale. It’s interesting but I don’t have a desire to buy it.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 7th of November 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 8pm.

My reaction – I felt like this TikTok was interesting but not very persuasive. Although I did like that it was informative. To me, the video felt very mellow. Dr. Shah talked slowly and calmly and the background music was also calm. I think that my lack of interest might have something to do with the fact that Dr. Shah wasn’t excited or passionate about the product.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 34,400 likes, 514 comments and 1972 shares. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using a random selection of 100 comments. The majority of comments were skincare questions. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #3)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This TikTok was seemingly designed by Dr. Shah (in collaboration with the product brand) to explain why this product would be of benefit to consumers. In regards to audience behaviour, it seems that the majority of users were interested in the product and wanted to know more about it.

FIELD NOTES #4

The Content:

What? – This TikTok video features Dr. Shah

The text provides instructions to treat the skincare concern. The background music is electronic dance music. The caption tags the product brand and includes the #ad hashtag.

Sponsored? – Yes. The #ad hashtag indicates that Dr. Shah was paid for this promotion.

Persuasive? – Yes. I give it a 7/10 onmy persuasion scale. However, I think that this rating would probably be higher if I had this skincare concern.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 2nd of November 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 8pm.

My reaction – Again I thought this TikTok was simple but effective. The text clearly explained what steps to take to treat this skincare concern. I think that if I had this skincare concern the video would have been more persuasive to me.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 50,300 likes, 498 comments and 3184 shares. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using a random selection of 100 comments. For this video, the majority of users were asking skincare questions. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #4)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – Again, it seems that this TikTok was designed by Dr. Shah (in collaboration with the product brand) to explain why this product would be of benefit to consumers. In regards to audience behaviour, it seems that the majority of users were interested in the product and had more questions.

FIELD NOTES #5

The Content:

What? – A video featuring Dr. Shah as he applies the product. The text includes “Amazing Fall/Winter Moisturiser”, then the product name and finally a discount code to buy the product. The caption identifies the product as one of his favourites. The caption also includes several skincare and product hashtags.

Sponsored? – Kind of? There is no clear disclosure of a sponsorships in the video, however Dr. Shah expresses in the comment section that he is not sponsored by the product’s brand company but he does have an affiliate link with a discount code. I assume he receives a commission every time that code is used for a purchase.

Persuasive? – Not really. I give it a 3/10 on my persuasion scale. There’s not a lot of information about the product or why it’s his favourite.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 2nd of November 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 7pm.

My reaction – To me, this piece of content felt like an advertisement. I would’ve liked to know why the product was good, what ingredients it had, how do you use, etc. Generally more information would’ve been better for me.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 28,800 likes, 588 shares and 468 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using a random selection of 100 comments. The majority of comments were skincare questions and positive feedback about the product. However, there was also some users who expressed negative feedback about the product. Dr. Shah didn’t reply to many users on this post. The Following pie chart generally illustrates this TikTok’s feedback loop.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #5)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – The purpose behind this TikTok is sort of unclear. On the surface level it seems Dr. Shah is just recommending this product. However, he also includes an affiliate discount code, suggesting the purpose might be to encourage users to buy this product using the code. In regards to the audience behaviour, most users expressed their own opinion on the product (whether that was positive or negative) or asked a skincare related question.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON @DERMDOCTOR

Ultimately, I found Dr. Shah’s skincare (particularly EWoM) content seemed to be mostly authentic! I believe that he was being genuine about his skincare recommendations as he put in the same level of effort into non-sponsored content. To me, it seems as though Dr. Shah is trying to help users in the TikTok skincare community achieve their goals. My other observations about Dr. Shah’s content include:

  • Dr. Shah replied sometimes to the most liked skincare or product questions.
  • The majority of Dr. Shah’s posts about a specific skincare product/s or brand were sponsored.
  • When the content was sponsored, Dr. Shah indicated that is was using the #ad or #sponsored hashtag.
  • On average I rated Dr. Shah’s content 5.6/10 on my persuasion scale.
  • On average 59% of comments on these five TikToks were skincare questions.
  • Generally the audience behaved in correspondence with the content’s designed purpose, i.e. users asked more questions about brand and/or the product or asked more general skincare questions.
  • It appeared as though, almost every comment in Dr. Shah’s feedback loop was directly skincare related.

If you’re interested in my research into the skincare community across social media platforms make sure you hit follow!

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Understanding Electronic Word of Mouth: Instagram Field Notes (Pt. 3)

This is part 3 of my Instagram field notes for my ethnographic research project about online skincare communities. I am looking to better understand how audiences’ reactions to Electronic Word of Mouth (EWoM) content differs across different social media channels, by analysing a variety of skincare influencers (or skinfluencers if you will) on Instagram and TikTok.

After looking into @jadeywadey’s content in Part 1 and @sortofobsessed‘s content in Part 2, I decided to look at another prominent skincare account on Instagram; @gothamista.

The process:

To ensure I collect a consistent amount of information when analysing content, I ask my self the following questions.

  • Who created the content?
  • How is the message communicated? (The video and/or image/s as well as the caption and/or hashtags used).
  • Is this message sponsored?
  • How effective was their persuasion? (Using a my own scale of persuasion)
  • What is the time & date I am viewing the content?
  • Where am I viewing this content?
  • What is my response to the message?
  • How did other users respond to the message?
  • What was the purpose of this piece of content and how did the audience behave in reaction?
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1.png
My scale of persuasion.

So, who is @gothamista?

@Gothamista, aka Renée is a skinthusiast, who posts skincare reviews on products. Her content mainly aesthetic imagery of skincare products or her with the products.

I have analysed the following five pieces of Renée’s content in an effort to better understand this part of the Instagram skincare community.

FIELD NOTES #1

The content:

What? – An image of Renée holding the product. The caption is fairly brief but identifies the product and what it does.

Sponsored? – No, this post doesn’t seem to be sponsored unless she had disclosed in another post that the @theboxwalla October box was gifted to her.

Persuasive? – Not really. I give it a 3/10 on my persuasion scale. This post is quiet brief and there isn’t a lot of information to peak my curiosity. Also Renée did not specifically offer an opinion on the product’s effectiveness.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 2nd of November 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 5pm.

My reaction – This post was not particularly persuasive or interesting to me. There wasn’t a lot of information about the product, ingredients or benefits and Renee didn’t really offer an opinion on it, aside from it smells nice.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 1049 likes and 54 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using all 54 comments. The majority of comments featured positive feedback, asked questions about the product, talked about skincare or tagged someone. Renée replied to most users, either answering their questions or thanking them. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #1)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – It seems that the designed purpose of this post is to promote the skincare product and the @boxwalla October box. The audience behaviour in response is interesting as the comments seemed to focus on positive feedback about Renée and the post in general and not the actual skincare product.

FIELD NOTES #2

The content:

What? – This short video features close ups of the products as well as Renee using the skincare products. The background music is calm and text has been used to identify the products and their ingredients. The caption describes the different products and their ingredients and has the #ad hashtag.

Sponsored? – Yes. The #ad hashtag indicates that Renée has been compensated for this post.

Persuasive? – Not really. I give this post a 3/10 on my scale of persuasion.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 2nd of November 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 6pm.

My reaction – I didn’t find this post particularly interesting. Whilst the ingredients were identified there wasn’t much information on what they did. Personally, I like to know everything about a product before I purchase it, which is perhaps why this post didn’t really appeal to me. It did feel very calming though.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 12,400 watches and 817 likes. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using all 60 comments. The majority of commenters for this post expressed positive feedback about the products and/or the review. A lot of users also asked further questions about the products. Again, Renee replied to most of her followers. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #2)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This post was seemingly designed by Renée (in collaboration with the product brand) to promote the products to consumers. The audience’s behaviour in reaction to this post was almost entirely positive and users had a lot of further questions about the products/ ingredients.

FIELD NOTES #3

The content:

What? – A close up image of the skincare product. The caption features the #ad and #netrogen_partner hashtags and focuses on discussing retinol skincare products.

Sponsored? – Yes, the #ad and #neutrogena_partner hashtags indicate that this post is sponsored.

Persuasive? – Not really. I give it a 3/10 on my persuasion scale. There isn’t a lot of information to peak my curiosity on this post.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 2nd of November 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 2pm.

My reaction – This post was not particularly persuasive or interesting to me. There wasn’t a lot of information about the product and whilst I related to Renée’s confusing experience with retinol products, she didn’t answer any of my questions in this post.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 1890 likes and 86 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using all 86 comments. The majority of comments were positive interactions between Renée and her followers, with quite a few users asking further questions about the product. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #3)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This post was seemingly designed by Renée (in collaboration with the product brand) to promote the product to consumers. The audience behaviour mainly consisted of asking further questions and providing positive feedback about either the content or products.

FIELD NOTES #4

The content:

What? – A stop motion video of Renée holding the product. The background music is simple and the #ad hashtag has been used. The caption focuses on describing the product and Renée’s experience with it.

Sponsored? – Yes, the #ad hashtag indicates that this post is sponsored.

Persuasive? – Again, not really. I give it a 2/10 on my persuasion scale.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 2nd of November 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 7pm.

My reaction –I feel like this post is a bit generic. I don’t really understand what skincare concern this product targets. Whilst the video is aesthetically pleasing, overall this post feels too much like an advertisement to me. The fact that it is sponsored also makes me sceptical of how genuine this recommendation is.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 1781 likes and 71 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using all 71 comments. The majority of comments are positive conversations between Renée and her followers. There was also some comments from the product brand company as well. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #4)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This post was seemingly designed by Renée (in collaboration with the product brand) to explain why this product would be of benefit to consumers. The audience behaviour for this post mainly consisted of users expressing positive feedback about the recommendation/ brand/ products, users offering their own opinions and advice or users asking skincare related questions.

FIELD NOTES #5

What? – A series of looping images of Renée holding and using the product. The caption focuses on explaining the product, it’s ingredients and why it’s good. Renee also shares how to use the product and her own experience using the product, however this is quite brief. The #ad hashtag has been used as well as seven other skincare related hashtags.

Sponsored? –  Yes. The #ad hashtag indicates that Renée has been compensated for this post.

Persuasive? – Kind of. I give this a 4/10 on my persuasion scale. The description Renée has provided makes the product sound appealing to me. However, the fact that it was sponsored makes me sceptical of how authentic her review is.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 2nd of November 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 6pm.

My reaction – I find the images to be very professional looking- almost ad like. The language that Renée has used in the caption makes me feel somewhat interested in the product. However the lack of detail and the fact that it is sponsored doesn’t make me want to find out more.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 2188 likes and 76 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using all 76 comments. The majority of users provided positive feedback on the skincare product and/or Renée’s review. The following pie chart illustrates the main themes within the feedback loop for this post.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #5)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This post was seemingly designed by Renée (in collaboration with the product brand) to explain why this product would be of benefit to consumers. Interestingly there was no negative or critical comments on this post, the audience behaviour consisted of agreeing with Renée and providing positive feedback about the product.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON @GOTHAMISTA

Ultimately, I found Renée’s skincare (particularly EWoM) content seemed to be somewhat authentic. I didn’t come across any content that I knew for sure wasn’t sponsored and I felt as though her recommendations were kind brief of generic. I would’ve liked more information. Also her images and videos were very professional and polished which made me feel like they were advertisements. My observations about her content (based off the five pieces I analysed) include:

  • Renée often replied to skincare or product questions her followers asked.
  • Almost all of Renée’s posts about a specific skincare product/s or brand were sponsored.
  • When the content was sponsored, Renée indicated that is was by using the #ad hashtag.
  • On average I rated Renée’s content 3/10 on my persuasion scale.
  • On average 39% of comments on these five Instagram posts were positive feedback on the content/products.
  • Generally the audience behaved in correspondence with the content’s designed purpose, i.e. users asked more questions about brand and/or the product or asked more general skincare questions.
  • It appeared as though, most comments in Renée’s feedback loop was directly skincare related.
Image credit: @gothamista via Instagram

If you’re interested in my research into the skincare community across social media platforms make sure you hit follow!

Understanding Electronic Word of Mouth: Instagram Field Notes (Pt.2)

This is part 2/3 of my Instagram field notes for my ethnographic research project about online skincare communities. I am looking to better understand how audiences’ reactions to Electronic Word of Mouth (EWoM) content differs across different social media channels, by analysing a variety of skincare influencers (or skinfluencers if you will) on Instagram and TikTok.

After looking into @jadeywadey’s content in my previous post, I then turned to a smaller, different style of skinfluencer who’s account focused more on product reviews rather than them personally; @sortofobsessed.

So, who is @sortofobsessed?

@Sortofobssessed is an Instagram account run by Adri, a skincare enthusiast. Her content mainly consists of aesthetic photography of skincare products and reviews.

The Process:

To ensure I collect a consistent amount of information when analysing content, I ask my self the following questions.

  • Who created the content?
  • How is the message communicated? (The video and/or image/s as well as the caption and/or hashtags used).
  • Is this message sponsored?
  • How effective was their persuasion? (Using a my own scale of persuasion)
  • What is the time & date I am viewing the content?
  • Where am I viewing this content?
  • What is my response to the message?
  • How did other users respond to the message?
  • What was the purpose of this piece of content and how did the audience behave in reaction?
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1.png
My scale of persuasion.

FIELD NOTES #1

The content:

What? – Two images of the product with the ocean in the background. The caption provides fairly detailed information about the product and Adri’s experience.

Sponsored? – Yes, the ‘*gifted’ seems to indicate that Adri was given this product free of cost to review.

Persuasive? – Yes! I give it a 7/10 on my persuasion scale. Adri provides detailed information about her experience with the product and even though she was given it for free I feel like her review is genuine.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 24th of September 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the images at approximately 2pm.

My reaction – This post was really convincing for me. Adri’s review feels genuine and authentic to me, despite being sponsored. She provides detailed information and context about her experience and why it worked for her. This has definitely interested me and I want to know more about the product.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 1634 likes and 104 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using all 104 comments. Unlike other (and bigger) accounts, @sortofobsessed replies to almost every comment made on her post. The majority of comments made by users are positive feedback about the review or about the product. The following pie chart illustrates the comment section of this post.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #1)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – Adri has seemingly designed this piece of content with the purpose of providing information about the product, advice and her personal experience using it. Through looking at the audience members who engaged with this post (specifically those who commented), it seems as though the consumers really appreciated the detailed information Adri provided in the review.

FIELD NOTES #2

The content:

What? – An image of the product. The caption includes a detailed product review.

Sponsored? – Nope, doesn’t seem like it. There is no clear indication that Adri has been compensated for this post.

Persuasive? – Yes! I give it a 8/10 on my persuasion scale.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 24th of September 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed this image at approximately 2:30pm.

My reaction – Once again, I felt like this review was really authentic! Adri provided a lengthy explanation and lot’s of reasoning as to why she recommends the product, which is super convincing.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 1393 likes. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using all 68 comments. Adri seems to be diligent about replying to all comments made on her posts, with 50.7% of all the comments on this post being replies to other users (sometimes multiple replies). The audience’s reaction to this post seems to be overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of comments praising Adri’s review. The following pie chart illustrates the comment section of this post.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #2)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – Again, it seems as though Adri has designed this post for the main purpose of sharing information about the product and her experience with it. Through the comments the audience has expressed praise for the review and asked further questions, signalling tome that they trust Adri’s skincare knowledge.

FIELD NOTES #3

The content:

What? – An image of the product. Long caption focusing on the Adri’s experience with the product.

Sponsored? – Nope, doesn’t seem like it. There is no clear indication that Adri has been compensated for this post.

Persuasive? – Yes! I give it a 7/10 on my persuasion scale. Adri provided detailed information about the product and her experience, and fully disclosed her personal context and what she didn’t like. Her review appears really genuine to me.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my loungeroom, on the 25th of September 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed the image at approximately 3pm.

My reaction – Again, Adri’s review seemed authentic. She disclosed the difficultly she found in applying the product, and how she didn’t like the product’s scent, which made the review seem more honest and believable to me.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 851 likes and 62 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using all 62 comments. Again, the feedback was all positive, with some users asking further questions and offering their own opinions and advice. Adri replied to pretty much every comment made, either answering questions or thanking them. The following pie chart illustrates the comment section of this post.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #3)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – It seems as though the purpose of this post is to provide honest and helpful information about the product and how to use it. In the comments, Adri’s commitment to replying to almost every comment suggests she is genuinely trying to help others. As such most of her comments praise her reviews.

FIELD NOTES #4

The content:

What? – An image of the product with a lengthy caption detailing her experience with the product.

Sponsored? – Nope, doesn’t seem like it. There is no clear indication that Adri has been compensated for this post.

Persuasive? – This post is a little different as she does not recommend the product. In terms of her persuading me, I would say 10/10 I wouldn’t buy it.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 25th of September 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed this content at approximately 4pm.

My reaction – This post was interesting as she talked about her experience and concluded that she wouldn’t recommend to buy it. I think that for me, I am quicker to believe negative reviews over positive reviews. However, I also think that Adri has provided detailed information about the ingredients and how she used the product which makes her review feel more genuine. She definitely has persuaded me not to buy this product.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 592 likes and 23 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using all of the 23 comments. The majority of comments were positive feedback about the review or questions about skincare. The following pie chart illustrates the comment section of this post.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #4)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – It seems the purpose of this post was to discuss and share information about the product and Adri’s personal experience using it. Her followers seem to appreciate the effort and detail she puts into her reviews which is reflected within the comment section.

FIELD NOTES #5

The content:

What? – An image of the product as well as a length caption about her experience with the product.

Sponsored? – Nope, doesn’t seem like it. There is nothing to make me think that Adri has been paid (or been given free/discounted products) to make this review.

Persuasive? – Yes! I give it a 7/10 on my persuasion scale. Adri has seemingly disclosed all aspects of her experience with this product, and I believe her review is genuine.

When & where? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom, on the 26th of September 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. I viewed this content at 5pm approximately.

My reaction – I believe Adri’s review to be authentic and feel as though she is genuine in her recommendations. I thought that the image she used was aesthetic and appealing and I liked how much detail she put into her review.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 381 Likes. Out of the 65 comments, 37 of them were from users other than @sortofobsessed, all together there were 29 different users that commented on this post (at least 8 users commented more then once). The majority of comments were asking about the product, expressing their views on the product or complimenting the review. It seems @sortofobsessed is particularly good at creating conversations with her followers and other members of the skincare community. The following pie chart illustrates the comment section of this post.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #5)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – Once again, it seems Adri’s purpose in posting this was to share hew own knowledge and experience. The users seem to find Adri’s review interesting and of value, which is reflected in their comments.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON @SORTOFOBSESSED

Ultimately, I found Adri’s skincare (particularly EWoM) content seemed to be really authentic. To me it felt as though she really wanted share her knowledge with others, and that her reviews and recommendations were honest and genuine that convincing. My observations about her content include:

  • Adri always replied to the comments on her post especially any questions about the product.
  • The majority of Adri’s posts about specific skincare products were not sponsored, however some were which she indicated in the caption by writing ‘*gifted’.
  • All the content was high quality images featuring the product, a styled background and sometimes props.
  • On average I rated her content 7.8/10 on my persuasion scale.
  • On average 34.9% of comments on the five posts were positive feedback about the review.
  • On average Adri 40.6% of comments on the five posts were replies to other users from Adri.
Image credit: @sortofobsessed via Instagram

If you’re interested in my research into the skincare community across social media platforms make sure you hit follow!

Understanding Electronic Word of Mouth: Instagram Field Notes (Pt. 1)

This is part 1 of my Instagram field notes for my ethnographic research. I am looking to better understand how audiences react to Electronic Word of Mouth (EWoM) content across different social media channels, by analysing a variety of skincare influencers (or skinfluencers if you will) on Instagram.

One of the first skinfluencers I looked at was @jadeywadey180.

The Process:

To keep the amount of information I collected as consistent as possible, I came up with some select questions I would ask myself when analysing the content.

  • Who created the content?
  • How is the message communicated? (The video and/or image/s as well as the caption and/or hashtags used).
  • Is this message sponsored?
  • How effective was their persuasion? (Using a my own scale of persuasion)
  • What is the time & date I am viewing the content?
  • Where am I viewing this content?
  • What is my response to the message?
  • How did other users respond to the message?
  • What was the purpose of this piece of content and how did the audience behave in reaction?
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1.png
My scale of persuasion.

So, who is @jadeywadey180?

Jade is a self-proclaimed skincare expert for over ten years who currently has 1.3 million followers on Instagram. Jade’s content is very professional and polished in appearance and she often posts sponsored content in collaboration with skincare brands.

Image credit: @jadeywadey180 via Instagram

I have analysed the following five pieces of Jade’s content in an effort to better understand this part of the Instagram skincare community.

FIELD NOTES #1

The content:

What? – A short video featuring Jade using the product, instrumental music, caption focuses on the ingredients and why it’s a good product, #ad hashtag used.

Sponsored? – Yes. The #ad indicates that Jade was compensated in some way for posting this content.

Persuasive? – Not really. I give it a 3/10 on the scale. Although she has talked about the ingredients and benefits, the language she used and lack of personality combined with the #ad hashtag makes me sceptical of her authenticity in recommending this product.

Where & when? – I viewed and analysed this content from the comfort of my bed on the 20th of September 2020. I was using the Instagram app on my phone and it was roughly 11am.

My reaction – The video is aesthetically pleasing, I find jade beautiful and admire her skin, but I don’t believe this product is something she actively uses to achieve it. I am not interested in finding out more about the product as I feel like it’s just a paid promotion.

Audience reaction – This post currently has approximately 40,600 views, 3,700 likes and 58 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using all of the comments. For this video, the majority of comments were complimenting how beautiful Jade was. Not many users asked about or said anything about the product. The following pie chart illustrates my findings.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #1)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This piece of content was seemingly designed to convince users to purchase the skincare product Jade was promoting. However, it appears as though the audience members who engaged with this post via commenting, were more interested in Jade herself rather than the product.

FIELD NOTES #2

The content:

What? – A short video featuring Jade using the product, soft music (a cover of La Vie en Rose), caption focuses on the ingredients, why it’s a good product and mentions it is available at Sephora, #ad hashtag used.

Sponsored? – Yes. The #ad indicates that Jade was compensated in some way for posting this content.

Persuasive? – Somewhat. I give it a 4/10 on the scale. The music and sparkling effect make this video very appealing and aesthetic, and the product looks really nice. However, I don’t believe it would help me achieve my skin goals. Once again, the language used seems too impersonal and reduces the perceived authenticity of the post.

Where & when? – I viewed and analysed this content from the comfort of my bed on the 20th of September 2020. I was using the Instagram app on my phone and it was roughly 11:30 am.

My reaction – The video is very aesthetically pleasing, the pink colours combined with the glitter effect make the product very appealing. However once again, I am not interested in finding out more about the product as I feel like it’s just a paid promotion. The silk background also makes it feel too professional and ad like.

Audience reaction – This post received 325,000 views, approximately 28,400 likes and 387 comments. I gauged the audience reaction by conducting Netnographic research using the comments. For this video, I analysed a random selection of 100 comments. It seems that the audience had a lot of questions about Jade and the video in this post such as what nail colour was she wearing and who was the background music by. Once again there was a lot more comments complimenting Jade’s appearance rather than comments about the product/skincare. The following Pie Chart illustrates the types of comments this post received.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #2)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This piece of content was seemingly designed to convince users that Jade uses this skincare product to achieve her clear, glowy skin. Ultimately it encourages users to purchase the product at Sephora. However, again it appears as though the audience members; who engaged with this post via commenting, had minimal interest in the actual product and were more interested in Jade herself and how she made the video look so aesthetic (lots of questions about the editing tools and music used).

FIELD NOTES #3

The content:

What? – A series of looping images of Jade with the product. There is no sound. The caption focuses on the ingredients and their effects, as well as promoting her YouTube content. The #ad hashtag is also used.

Sponsored? – Yes. The #ad indicates that Jade was compensated in some way for posting this content.

Persuasive? – Somewhat. I give it a 4/10 on the scale. This post again felt like an ad, the language seems scripted, however she did identify vitamin c as being her favourite antioxidant ingredient which felt a little more convincing.

Where & when? – I viewed and analysed this content in my loungeroom on the 21st of September 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. It was approximately 12pm.

My reaction – Once again, this post is very appealing to look at. The lighting and composition seems very professional, her skin seems especially glowy which made me think about the product. However, these images also seem a little too perfect to me, I am unsure whether she is wearing makeup (at least lashes and brows) or if she has edited them. Overall I am sceptical whether this a product Jade genuinely recommends.

Audience reaction – This post received 104,000 view, approximately 11,000 likes and 106 comments. I gauged the audience reaction by conducting Netnographic research using all of the comments. The overwhelming majority of comments were complimenting Jade’s appearance, with less than 10% of comments asking about or mentioning the product. The following pie chart illustrates the comment section of this post.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #3)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This piece of content was seemingly designed to convince users that this skincare product would be beneficial for their skin. It also seems that it was designed to promote Jade’s other content channels (particularly her YouTube episode). Once again, it appears as though the audience members who engaged with this post via commenting, were more interested in Jade herself rather than the product.

FIELD NOTES #4

The Content:

What? -An image featuring Jade using the product/s. The caption features a quote from Austin Powers in Goldmember, and is quite brief, she expresses that the product is her new favourite facial treatment. She does mention that more information is available on her story (but because I viewed this a while after the post date I had trouble finding this story). The hashtags include her name, #skincare, #24k and #complexionsbyjade.

Sponsored? – No. No #ad hashtag has been used to identify this is a paid promotion. However, she is promoting her own products.

Persuasive? – Not really. I give it a 2/10 on the scale. To me it seems she is just promoting her own business without explaining why it’s any good.

Where & when? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom on the 22nd of September 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. It was approximately 9am.

My reaction – To me this content wasn’t interesting besides the fact it looked cool. The caption didn’t provide any information about the ingredients, benefits or even where you could get it. It felt like just a cool picture to advertise her facial services. Also Jade looks beautiful in this post, but she is wearing lip and eyebrow makeup and (what looks like) false eyelashes. Overall, it just didn’t feel relatable to me, especially with how expensive it looks.

Audience reaction – This post received approximately 13,300 likes and 148 comments. I gauged the audience reaction by conducting Netnographic research using all of the 148 comments. For this video, I analysed a random selection of 100 comments. The majority of comments were praising the image or Jade’s appearance, or replying to the prompt in the caption asking where the quote was from. There wasn’t many users interested in learning more information about the product/s.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #4)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This piece of content was seemingly designed to promote the skincare products and prompt unrelated (to skincare) conversations with her followers. It appears as though the audience members who engaged with this post via commenting, were mostly interested in Jade and the aesthetics of the image as well as engaging with her caption. Again, it seems there is little interest in the actual skincare products.

FIELD NOTES #5

The content:

What? – This post consists of two images of Jade using the product and one image of the product by it’s self. The caption is brief and focuses on communicating that the product is good for hydration. The #sponsored hashtag has been used.

Sponsored? – Yes. The #sponsored hashtag indicates that this is a paid endorsement.

Persuasive? – Nope, not really. I give it a 2/10 on the scale. In these images Jade seems to be wearing lip, eye and eyebrow makeup. She is posing and it doesn’t really look like that’s how she would use the product. The post seems too stylised and professional for it to interest me.

Where & when? – I viewed and analysed this content in my bedroom on the 22nd of September 2020, using the Instagram app on my phone. It was approximately 10am.

My reaction – To me these images look too polished and perfect. The lack of replies answering questions about the product make me doubt her authenticity in recommending it.

Audience reaction – This post received approximately 21,000 likes and 214 comments. I gauged the audience reaction by conducting Netnographic research using all 214 comments. For this video, I analysed a random selection of 100 comments. Once again, the majority (72.2%) of comments were users complimenting Jade’s appearance and her replying, (a variant of) “thank you”. The following pie chart illustrates the main conversations taking place in the comments.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #5)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This piece of content was seemingly designed to convince users that this skincare product is something they need to purchase. However, it appears as though the audience members who engaged with this post via commenting, were particularly aware that this post was sponsored, and as such it received more criticism within the feedback loop.

@JADEYWADEY180 FINAL THOUGHTS

Ultimately, I found Jade’s skincare (particularly EWoM) content wasn’t that convincing. My observations about her content include:

  • Jade didn’t often reply to skincare or product questions.
  • The majority of Jade’s posts about specific skincare products were sponsored (indicated by the #ad or #sponsored hashtag).
  • Oftentimes the #ad / #sponsored hashtag was placed second amongst three or our hashtags.
  • All content was very polished and aesthetic.
  • On average I rated her content 3/10 on my persuasion scale.
  • On average 57.24% of comments were complimenting Jade’s physical appearance.
  • Generally the audience didn’t behave in correspondence with the content’s designed purpose, i.e. users didn’t express interest in or desire to purchase the mentioned products.
  • There wasn’t many conversations about skincare or the product taking place amongst the audience.
Image credit: @jadeywadey via Instagram

If you’re interested in my research into the skincare community across social media platforms make sure you hit follow!

Understanding Electronic Word of Mouth: TikTok Field Notes (Pt. 1)

This is part 1 of my TikTok field notes for my ethnographic research project about online skincare communities. I am looking to better understand how audiences’ reactions to Electronic Word of Mouth (EWoM) content differs across different social media channels, by analysing a variety of skincare influencers (or skinfluencers if you will) on Instagram and TikTok.

This blog features my fieldnotes about my experience with five pieces on content from prominent TikTok creator, @skincarebyhyram.

The Process:

To help me better organise my fieldnotes I came up with some set questions I would ask myself after viewing each piece of content. They include:

  • Who created the content?
  • What is the content message? (The video/Image as well as the caption and/or hashtags used).
  • What is my response to the message?
  • Is this message sponsored?
  • How effective was their persuasion? (Using a my own scale of persuasion)
  • What is the time & date I am viewing the content?
  • Where am I viewing this content?
  • How did other users respond to the message?
  • What was the purpose of this piece of content and how did the audience behave in reaction?
My Scale of Persuasion

So, who is @skincarebyhyram?

How could I possibly look into the TikTok Skincare community without looking at Skincare by Hyram!? Hyram is one of the biggest voices within the skincare community on TikTok and has amassed a following of 6.5 million followers. He is American and based in Hawaii. His most popular content is his review of other people’s skincare routines in which he offers advice and recommendations.

Image credit: @skincarebyhyram via TikTok

I have analysed the following five pieces of Hyram’s content in an effort to better understand this part of the TikTok skincare community.

Field Notes #1

The content:

@skincarebyhyram

#AD My favorite @bliss product! ☺️ Get yours at Target.com ✨ #skincarebyhyram

♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

What? – A one minute video featuring Hyram using the product with a voiceover of him discussing the ingredients, how to use it and the benefits of the skincare product. The #ad hashtag is used within the video and the caption, Hyram also clearly says that this video has been sponsored at the beginning. There is upbeat background music, and he uses humorous facial expressions a friendly tone. Hyram also thanks his audience for their support at the end of the video.

Sponsored? – Yes. The #ad hashtag (which is displayed clearly) indicates that this EWoM content has been sponsored by a third party, whether that was paying Hyram to make the video or sending free/discounted products to use.

Persuasive? – Yes, I give it a 6/10 on my persuasion scale. I’m interested and want to know more but I was also thinking about how the video was sponsored in the back of my mind.

When & where? – I viewed this content in my bedroom using the TikTok mobile app on my phone. The date was the 2nd of October and it was approximately 3pm.

My reaction – I like how he clearly disclosed his sponsorship with the products brand and explained when you can use this product and who it would suit. I found his facial expressions and the effects he used on the video to be entertaining. Hyram also identified some of the core ingredients of the product and explained what that meant which I found interesting. I wouldn’t actively go buy this product as I feel as though he left out any criticism he might have had because of his sponsorship.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 250,600 likes, 1068 shares and 2305 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using a random selection of 100 comments. For this video, the majority of comments were people asking questions about the product/skincare or were sharing their own positive experience with the product. There was also a small percentage of users who were critical of the authenticity of the video. Hyram also replied and answered some of the audience’s questions. The following pie chart provides a rough illustration of the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #1)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This piece of content was seemingly designed to have two main purpose: to convince users that the product is good and to educate users why. It seems that the majority of users were interested in the product and wanted to know more about it or wanted to share their own experiences with it. However there was a percentage of commenters that were critical of Hyram’s authenticity and believed that they couldn’t trust that his recommendation was genuine due to the sponsorship.

Field Notes #2

The content:

@skincarebyhyram

LOVE 😍 Reaction ft an underslept Hyram 🤓 #duet with @annaxsitar #skincarebyhyram

♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod

What? – This piece of content features two videos side by side (known as a ‘duet’ on TikTok). Hyram is reacting to the other TikToker’s (Anna) skincare routine and offers advice and opinions on the products she uses. He has no sound on his video and instead mouths the words and provides closed captions to what he is saying. He starts by thanking his audience for tagging him on Anna’s video and then sympathises with Anna when she says she is out of her products. Hyram uses expressive facial expressions and gesticulation throughout the video.

Sponsored? – No. There is no indication Hyram has been compensated for reacting to this video.

Persuasive? – A little. I give this a 4/10 on my persuasion scale. Although Hyram said they were great products he didn’t go into much depth why he thought that (probably because of the time limitation). As such, while it was entertaining to watch I wasn’t interested in finding out any more information about the products.

When & where? – I viewed this content in my lounge room using the TikTok mobile app on my phone. The date was the 3rd of October 2020, and the time was 9am.

My reaction – I found this reaction video to be more entertaining then persuasive, perhaps because it wasn’t focused on a specific skincare product or brand. I did believe that Hyram was being genuine in his reaction as he was providing his own opinions and extra information. I also felt like his facial expressions seemed really authentic.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 1,100,000 likes, 1086 shares 1391 comments. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using a random selection of 100 comments. The majority of comments seemed to focus on either praising Hyram, asking Hyram to review another video or asking Hyram a skincare related question. The following pie chart generally illustrates the audiences’ reactions.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #2)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This piece of content was seemingly designed with the main purpose connecting with other users in the TikTok skincare community. Anna herself had asked her own followers to tag Hyram so he would see and react to the video. This tagging behaviour seems to suggest that Anna and Hyram’s fans/followers place significant value on his opinions about skincare.

Field Notes #3

The content:

What? – This is a one minute video featuring Hyram using the product with him talking about it in a voiceover. In the video he discusses and uses text to explain what the product is, what is does, how much it is and how to use it. Hyram also discloses that this TikTok is sponsored in the video and with the #ad and #sponsored hashtag.

Sponsored? – Yes. The #ad and #sponsored hashtags indicate that Hyram has been compensated in some way for posting this TikTok. Hyram also announces in the video that it has been sponsored.

Persuasive? – Yes. I give it a 6/10 on my persuasion scale. Hyram has explained in detail what the product is, how to use it and why it is helpful. Which makes interested in finding out more.

When & where? – I viewed this TikTok at 10am on the 24th of October 2020. I was in my bedroom using the TikTok mobile app on my phone.

My reaction – I feel as though this video would have really helped some users who were after a skincare product that targeted this concern. Personally, the product isn’t something that interests me as I don’t have that skincare concern but I can see how it would help others. I think Hyram is being genuine in his recommendation and I like that he explained the product in detail.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 305,700 likes, 1651 comments, and 1637 shares. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using a random selection of 100 comments. The majority of comments were either skincare question, positive feedback or skincare review requests, suggesting that Hyram’s audience consider his opinion and advice to be of value. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #3)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – This TikTok was seemingly designed by Hyram (in collaboration with the product brand) to explain how and why this product would be of benefit to consumers. The audience behaviour in response to this sponsored TikTok is interesting as there were more users praising/congratulating Hyram for being sponsored than those who were criticising him. Hyram’s audience also seemingly perceive Hyram’s skincare knowledge and advice as valuable as he majority of comments asked him skincare questions or requested he review a certain skincare product/brand.

Field Notes #4

The content:

What? – This is a one minute TikTok video featuring Hyram talking about the importance of moisturising and recommending a variety of skincare products al from the same brand. The video is captioned with the #ad hashtag and says ‘Moisture Barrier 101’ which reflects the educational nature of this video. Hyram uses humour and detailed information about the product to explain why he thinks the product is good.

Sponsored? – Yes. The #ad hashtag indicates that Hyram has been compensated in some way for posting this TikTok. Hyram also announces in the video that it has been sponsored.

Persuasive? – Yes. I give this video a 7/10 on my scale of persuasion. Despite it being sponsored I feel as though Hyram is being genuine in his reccomendation.

When & where? – I viewed this TikTok at 11am on the 24th of October 2020. I was in my bedroom using the TikTok mobile app on my phone.

My reaction – I enjoyed watching this TikTok, I found it entertaining, funny and informative. It definitely made me consider whether I needed this product or something similar. Despite all of the detailed information he provides, I think Hyram’s friendly personality and humorous, exaggerated facial expressions make this video easy to digest.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 130, 200 likes, 897 comments and 548 shares. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using a random selection of 100 comments. Generally, it seems the audience is more appreciative of this recommendation then critical about it being sponsored. The majority of comments focused on asking Hyram other and more skincare questions, or asking him to review other products. Hyram also replied to some users answering questions or thanking them for their feedback. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #4)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – Again, this TikTok was seemingly designed by Hyram (in collaboration with the product brand) to explain how and why this product would be of benefit to consumers. Once again, there were more users praising/congratulating Hyram for being sponsored than those who were criticising him. From analsing this video’s feedback loop it seems that Hyram’s audience perceive Hyram’s skincare knowledge and advice as authentic and valuable.

Field Notes #5

The content:

@skincarebyhyram

AD: Reaction to Sienna Mae’s routine! 🤩 Thank you @elfyeah ❤️ #skincarebyhyram

♬ original sound – elfyeah

What? – This piece of content features two videos side by side (known as a ‘duet’ on TikTok). Hyram is reacting to the other TikToker’s (Sienna) skincare routine, he offers advice and explains the ingredients in the products she uses. He has no sound on his video and instead mouths the words and provides closed captions to what he is saying. He starts by thanking the product brand for sponsoring his reaction to Sienna’s video. The #ad hashtag has been used in the caption.

Sponsored? – Yes. The product brand has sponsored Hyram’s reaction video to Sienna’s skincare routine. Hyram discloses that this is sponsored using the #ad hashtag and by announcing at the start of the video.

Persuasive? – Yes. I give it a 8/10 on my scale of persuasion. Despite it being sponsored I find that Hyram has effectively explained why these products are good and it makes me want to know more about them.

When & where? – I viewed this TikTok at 12pm on the 27th of October 2020. I was in my loungeroom using the TikTok mobile app on my phone.

My reaction – I found this TikTok to be interesting and informative. I like how Hyram broke down the main ingredients of each product and explained why they were beneficial. Despite the reaction video being sponsored, I feel as though Hyram was being genuinely nice and the information he provided was valuable.

Audience reaction – This post currently has 558,800 likes, 1376 comments and 2859 shares. I gauged the audience reaction mostly by conducting Netnographic research using a random selection of 100 comments. The majority of comments on this post were skincare questions, suggesting that the audience members trust Hyram’s advice. The following pie chart generally illustrates the feedback loop for this video.

Pie Chart: Analysing Comments (Content #2)

Message purpose & audience behaviour – Once again, this TikTok was seemingly designed by Hyram (in collaboration with the product brand) to explain why this product would be of benefit to consumers. The audience behaviour is interesting as Sienna has asked her audience to tag Hyram so he would see and react to the video. This tagging behaviour seems to suggest that Sienna and Hyram’s fans/followers place significant value on his opinions about skincare.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON @SKINCAREBYHYRAM

Ultimately, I found Hyram’s skincare (particularly EWoM) content seemed to be really authentic! His persona was consistent friendly, knowledgeable and helpful across the five pieces of content. Hyram often responded to popular skincare questions within his feedback loop. He also provided the same level of detail about the skincare products he reviewed/ recommended in non-sponsored content. My other observations about Hyram’s content include:

  • Hyram often replied to the most liked skincare or product questions.
  • The majority of Hyram’s posts about a specific skincare product/s or brand were sponsored.
  • When the content was sponsored, Hyram clearly indicated that is was by a saying a disclosure at the start of the video and/or the #ad or #sponsored hashtag.
  • On average I rated Hyram’s content 6.2/10 on my persuasion scale.
  • On average 41% of comments on these five TikToks were skincare questions.
  • Generally the audience behaved in correspondence with the content’s designed purpose, i.e. users asked more questions about brand and/or the product or asked more general skincare questions.
  • It appeared as though, almost every comment in Hyram’s feedback loop was directly skincare related.

Image credit: @skincarebyhyram via TikTok

If you’re interested in my research into the skincare community across social media platforms make sure you hit follow!

The Journey of My Digital Artefact

A contextual essay reflecting on my digital artefact for BCM206 (Future Networks).

My Digital Artefact: @Goddess.sayings

@Goddess.sayings via Instagram

The [concept]

The concept for my digital artefact was to create a quote inspired content that specifically targeted girls. I developed this project because I find that quotes can really affect my mood and give me motivation, I wanted to help others feel inspired as well (that was my social utility for this project).

Instagram is perhaps the most popular platform for quote accounts, as such my project was inspired by the format I was seeing in my own feed, particularly the account @fakesayings.

Inspiration – @fakesayings via Instagram

The [methodology]

After looking into what other quote accounts were doing, I decided to start creating content that mimicked the style I was seeing. Using Pinterest, I found an image and quote and assembled it using Canva. Remembering who my audience was, was key during this process. Creating a series of starter packs helped me maintain consistent content.

My target audience starterpacks.

Initially I captioned each image with one of three hashtag stacks I had prepared, after a while I found that this wasn’t working so I began generating unique hashtag stacks for each image. Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to make any significant difference.

The [trajectory]

In terms of my project’s progress, my follower gain has been (very) slow but steady. At one point I did use Famoid to gain fake followers and likes so as I could get to 100 followers so I could view my account’s insights. However, these followers quickly disappeared. I currently have 74 followers.

Lexie Kane explains (in this article) that, “the modern economy increasingly revolves around the human attention span and how products capture that attention.” (Kane,2019). As such I will continue to post content when I feel inspired and experiment more with the type of content to see whether I can find better ways to capture user attention and/or a more specific niche that my content would appeal to.

The [learning moments]

Throughout the development of this project I experimented with the content I was posting in an effort to see what would be most valuable/relatable to my audience.

“…prototyping itself can be an ideation technique.”

(Plattner, 2010).

One of the biggest learning moments during this project occurred after receiving negative feedback about my early content on Reddit.

The Reddit post w/ one of the comments

Ultimately, the medium I was using was not aligned with the message I was trying to communicate. So, I reflected on how I could choose a better medium and made changes to my content.

Examples of my project’s iterations.
(Instagram Baddie Vibes –> Wholesome Vibes –> Nostalgic Vibes)

However, after monitoring my audience’s engagement and receiving feedback noting that the effect of nostalgia could be of benefit for my project, I tried changing my content again slightly, by using images I thought would be nostalgic for my audience.

Final thoughts…

Even though I thought my content was of value (and I suppose so did 74 others), ultimately, my project received minimal audience engagement. As such, I have learned that copying a format that’s already popular (and modifying it) doesn’t necessarily mean the new content will also be popular.

Whilst I still believe this project had potential, I think one of the main reasons it wasn’t particularly successful was because there is already so many quote pages on Instagram. The social utility I was trying to fulfil was already oversaturated with other creators trying to do similar things. I believe my project demonstrates some of the difficulties the attention economy presents for content creators.

References:

Kane, L, 2019, ‘The Attention Economy’, Nielsen Norman Group, weblog post, 30 June 2019, viewed 10 November 2020, <https://www.nngroup.com/articles/attention-economy/&gt;

Plattner, H, 2010, ‘Introduction to Design Thinking’, Institute of Design at Standford, viewed 10 November 2020, <http://web.stanford.edu/~mshanks/MichaelShanks/files/509554.pdf&gt;

In the Age of the Internet of Things- How Far is Too Far?

In today’s digital age more and more objects are becoming connected to the Internet, a phenomenon known as the Internet of Things (IoT).

Top 10 IoT Disasters of 2019 | Threatpost
Image credit: Threat Post

“In simple terms, the IoT stands for the connection of usually trivial material objects to the internet – ranging from tooth brushes, to shoes or umbrellas.”

Mitew, 2014, p.5

Whilst this is a time of great innovation as developers find ways to make everyday items even better, there are also many products being created that you wouldn’t think would need to be ‘smart’.

Check out the following video for some examples of the stranger side of the Internet of Things.

My remediation.

As we head into an age of 5G and smart cities, the Internet of Things markets is predicted to grow to 5.8 billion in 2020 (Williams, 2020). There is no wonder why so many people are rushing to release new “smart’ devices. However, this rush into transitioning online also means many products aren’t being equipped with the necessary cyber security technology.

Click here to read about the smart male chastity device that internet hackers worked out they could remotely lock.

Without ensuring that the ‘things’ we are connecting to the Internet are properly secure, the possibilities for cybercriminals is almost boundless.

Smart deadbolt locks could be remotely unlocked. Motel cameras could secretly film guests. Smartwatches could allow attackers to listen to private conversations. Fitness wearables could allow hackers to track and call children. The scary part is that all of these examples have already happened… (Read about it here.)

However, on the flip side, the Internet of Things has the potential to be of great benefit and enable individuals, companies and societies to become even more efficient. By collecting and analysing primary data, these technologies can provide better and/or more personalised services. Another benefit of IoT devices, particularly in a COVID-19 world is that they reduce non-vital human interaction.

The pros and cons vary, however, I think it’s not a bad idea to be a little more wary of which IoT technologies you are willing to use.

What do you think? Do the benefits of having so many Internet connected devices outweigh all the potential cyber-security risks?

Is the line between what should and shouldn’t be connected to the internet becoming more blurry? Do we really need a smart water pitcher or smart umbrella? How far is too far?

References:

Mitew, T, 2014, ‘Do objects dream of an internet of things?’, The Fibreculture Journal, Issue 23., pp.3-26

Williams, H, 2020, ‘Internet of Things predictions for 2020’, ABN, Weblog post, 09 January 2020, viewed 30 October 2020, <https://www.arnnet.com.au/article/670135/internet-things-predictions-2020/#:~:text=The%20Internet%20of%20Things%20(IoT,per%20cent%20increase%20from%202019.&gt;

Mark250 Presentation- Tinkle (Group 6)

Our Presentation for Mark250

Bibliography:

Interviewing a Stranger Using a Narrative Approach- A reflection

Last week for my BCM313 (The Future of Work) class, I had to identify someone that was working professionally in a way relevant to my future and conduct a interview with them using a narrative approach.

The narrative approach to helping is based on constructionist thinking about how we are ‘constructed’ as people by the power of words – by how we are spoken of, by how our lives are ‘authored’ by society and its cultures. 

O’Byrne, 2015, p.123

15,528+ Interview Images | Free Download
Image Credit: Stories (2020) via Free Pik

Preparing for the interview I first asked around my friend and family circles if anyone had a contact working in a marketing role that would be willing to participate in an interview.

Image credit: Adams, n.d. via LinkedIn

Fortunately my father was acquainted with Sonia Adams the Marketing Executive for his company GHD; a global project management organisation, and he was able to help me get into contact with her. After exchanging emails and explaining what I was trying to do Sonia was generous enough to agree to spare some free time and speak with me.

After organising a time I could call, I then began to prepare possible questions I could ask and map out a couple directions I thought these questions could take me. The questions focused on Sonia’s professional values, managing change in the workplace and expectations for the future of work.

I felt a little anxious at thought of interviewing Sonia as I had never interviewed anyone before and because she holds a very senior position in GHD. Luckily Sonia permitted me to record our conversation, which removed a little of the pressure from the interview and also allowed me to better reflect on what she had said.

Gif credit: Echosmith (n.d.) via Giphy

During the interview I had a small stumble, I asked Sonia for a story about an instance where she had to deal with change. She then provided me with two great (albeit slightly complicated) stories about commercial and organisational change she had faced and instead of asking follow up questions about the values that helped her manage these changes, I froze, panicked (especially about wasting her time) and moved on to a different question.

Whilst I had obtained plenty of other information from the interview I could use for my presentation I felt disappointed in myself that I hadn’t asked better questions.

Reflecting now I realise that that feeling had a lot to do with my personal value of pride in my work. I always try to do the best I can and when I think I haven’t done that I can be a little harsh on myself…

Prior to and after the interview I read through some sources on narrative thinking (particularly focusing on Michael White‘s work), which I believed created a strong foundation from which I could base my understanding.

Whilst listening to Sonia’s story and all throughout the interview I tried my best to engage in double listening, which Michael White explains involves asking ourselves, “What are the subjugated meanings that the problem story relies upon for its expression? How do these connect with stories of preference and how can we bring them forward?” (Carrey et al. 2009, p.3).

Furthermore, White’s ‘absent but implicit’ theory was particularly helpful in allowing me allow me to better understand the values Sonia was expressing in this story.

Jill Freedman suggests this theory can be explained as,

Persons make meaning of an experience through contrasting it with other experiences, so that in order to distinguish something as a problem we must be contrasting it to some preferred experience.

Madigan, 2019, p.123

Using ‘double listening’ and the principle of the absent but implicit I reflected on Sonia’s language choice, and I think that her story reflects that the values of responsibility, respect for authority and others and having confidence in ones’ abilities are important to her.

Presenting online? Engage Your Audience! | MindForest - Managing Change
(Mindforest, n.d.)

Pre-recording my presentation meant that I didn’t have to stress about my (dodgy) internet connection whilst I shared what I learnt with my classmates.

One of the big questions my peers asked me during our time for questions, was whether I thought that the fact Sonia’s colleagues questioned her authority/competence was related to gender inequality in the workplace. (You can listen to the full story in my presentation video).

Reflecting on that, I think it’s hard to say whether that situation occurred due to sexism. However I do think that everyone does make assumptions (consciously or subconsciously) about a person based on their own understandings of the world and that these assumptions affect how we interact with one another.

Another question that came up during the presentation was, “what quality do you admire most about your interviewee?”. I thought this was fascinating to think about as my answer also reflects the qualities and values that are important to me.

Some of Sonia’s qualities that really stood out to me during our conversation were her confidence and resilience.

My admiration for her confidence in particular, I think reflects my own desire to be that experienced and that confident one day. But don’t worry, if there’s one thing this class has taught me it is how important small steps are, and I think I’m making more and more small steps everyday.

Overall, I learned a lot from making this presentation, particularly that conducting interviews are hard and that there is so much to learn from listening to the stories we tell.

Thanks so much for reading you can check out my presentation below!

My Narrative Interview Presentation

References:

Adams, S., n.d. Linked In Profile Picture. [image] Available at: <https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/image/C5603AQEMRIBQXy50dw/profile-displayphoto-shrink_400_400/0?e=1608768000&v=beta&t=mY6JzTDX7-LV-_NsPfZjTLk2L4LsfuA61OECh153mW8&gt; [Accessed 20 October 2020].

Carrey, M, Walther, S & Russel, S, 2009, ‘The Absent but Implicit – a map to support therapeutic enquiry’, Family Process, Vol. 48, No. 3, viewed October 20 2020, <https://narrativepractices.com.au/attach/pdf/Absent_But_Implicit.pdf&gt;

Echosmith, n.d. Facepalm GIF. Giphy. Available at: <https://giphy.com/gifs/echosmith-3oEhmQ3TGEYvriKaEo&gt; [Accessed 21 October 2020].

Madigan, S, 2019, ‘Recent Developments and Future Directions in Narrative Therapy’, Narrative Therapy, Second Edition, The American Psychological Association.  pp. 117-160

Mindforest, n.d. Presenting Online. [image] Available at: <https://www.mindforest.com/presenting-online-engage-your-audience/&gt; [Accessed 24 October 2020].

O’Byrne, P, 2015, ‘Laura Beres, The Narrative Practitioner’, Journal of Social Work, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp.122-123

Stories, 2020. Interview Concept Illustration. [image] Free Pik. Available at: <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/vectors/work”>Work vector created by stories – http://www.freepik.com</a&gt; [Accessed 21 October 2020].

The future of Cybercrime

Protect yourself from cyber crime | ANZ
Image credit: ANZ

In the age of the Internet of Things more and more objects and devices are becoming connected to the internet.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) market is likely to grow to $1.1 trillion by 2026. Needless to say, this widespread use of IoT devices will herald a larger number of increasingly complex cybersecurity threats.”

Emmitt, 2020.

In this digital era the possibilities for malicious hackers and cyber criminals is almost boundless.

Cars can be remotely turned off in the middle of a highway. Flying planes can be hijacked. Identities and data can be collected and stolen. Personal devices can be locked and held for ransom. People can be phished and scammed out of their life savings.

(Schreifer, 2015) Made with Giphy.

The introduction of 5G technology will also present more challenges as, “billions of new devices become connected to the internet with more speed, density and efficiency than ever seen before” (Mire,2019).

TechRadar believe that in the future AI will be a core component of every cybersecurity system. They believe that future developers may “embed AI in user interfaces to warn people about risky websites or poor-quality security choices. AI may also be used to create simulated network attacks, revealing any weak points so they can be patched.” (Parker, 2020).

Another prediction by many industry experts is that the use of passwords will be eliminated and organisations will embrace more advanced processes of authentication such as facial identification and other biometrics (Nelson, n.d.).

Click here to see some of Australia’s cyber security guidelines for individuals.

The future of cybercrime is truly daunting. However, as cyber criminals are getting smarter and better so is cybersecurity. We can only hope as we move forwards that cybersecurity and the law can keep up.

My remediation from this week is an amalgamation of ideas I found interesting about the future of cybercrime.

References:

Emmitt, J, 2020, ‘Top 10 Cybersecurity Threats in 2020’, Kaseya, Weblog post, 15 April 2020, viewed 19 October 2020, <https://www.kaseya.com/blog/2020/04/15/top-10-cybersecurity-threats-in-2020/&gt;

Parker, J, 2020, ‘What is the future of cybersecurity’, Tech Radar, Weblog post, 19 May 2020 , viewed 19 October 2020, <https://www.techradar.com/au/news/what-is-the-future-of-cybersecurity&gt;

Nelson, O, n.d., ‘The Future of Cybersecurity’, Cyber Experts, Weblog post, viewed 19 October, <https://cyberexperts.com/the-future-of-cyber-security/&gt;

Mire, S, 2019, ‘What’s The Future of Cybersecurity? 40 Experts Share Their Insights’, Disruptor Daily, Weblog post, 26 June 2020, viewed 19 October 2020, <https://www.disruptordaily.com/future-of-cybersecurity/&gt;

Schreifer, F, 2015, ‘On Cyberwarfare’, DCAF Horizon, No.7

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