God created a number of possibilities in case some of his prototypes failed – that is the meaning of evolution.
After 4 weeks of officially running my Digital Artefact on Instagram. I have experimented through 3 stages of prototyping. Till now, my Instagram account (@reminiscentofhanoi) has reached 67 followers with 17 posts in 4 weeks. Conveniently, my Digital Artefact focuses on my own photos which I have taken during the time I was in Hanoi. These photos express my characters, my taste in art and the classic vibe of Hanoi.
I want to remain the classic vibe of Hanoi by telling Hanoian’s stories through the pictures I took.
Being advised in the lecture of week 6, in the prototyping stage, I focus on refining my target audience, what story I want to tell through my Digital Artefact, how I want my Instagram page is perceived by my audience and keep evolving my Digital Artefact through the feedback loop. Fortunately, I have received a lot of encouragements and feedbacks from my tutor, classmates and my target audience through each step of prototyping. Since I target to people who are in the age of 18 to 25, live in both Hanoi, Vietnam and Australia, they also regularly use social media, I was suggested to use Instagram to implement the images and content. In the first prototype stage, I uploaded images without useful hashtags such as #photograph #filmphotograph or #retro, which highlight the key concept of my platform. Surprisingly, after using as many related hashtags as possible, my Instagram page has considerable profile visits and followers. It accelerated from 5 followers to 30 followers in just 1 week. Also, in this prototype stage, I tried to implement the contents in each image. As I intended in the ideating stage, I aim to create a platform which can tell stories about Hanoi and Hanoi cultures through the images taken by myself. I started to try writing in both Vietnamese and English since my target audience is both of Vietnam and Australia. Then, I only write in English when I found my posts appeal to more foreigners than locals. Finally, I found it is not effective to implement contents on Instagram.
“The problem with prototypes is they don’t always work.”
In the second stage of prototyping, I asked my tutor for the feedback and advice after recognizing my ineffective content implementation. He gave feedback on my photos and recommended me to use Reddit if I still wanted to focus on content writing. After considering the aesthetic photos and writing content, I finally choose to focus on my photos rather than content. I put more effort into choosing photos to upload. I rather upload photos which can tell stories itself and added a short caption in each photo I uploaded. In this stage, I continue to use hashtags in the comment part. I observe my posts are doing better 85% of my previous posts. During this stage, I only got only 45 actions taken on my account and 70 accounts reached in a week.
In the final round of the prototyping stage, I continue to do what I have done in the second round. In this round, I aim to find a way to accelerate followers without paying for the Instagram promotion. My classmate suggested me start to use the story function more effectively to engage more with my audience. I started to use hashtags such as #Hanoi #travel #retro or #classic in each story I uploaded. I also found a web tool to check and scan what kind of hashtag is effective in growing traffic to my Instagram page. After 1 week of prototyping, the interaction and discovery rate grows slowly. From now, using hashtags in story function help me to accelerate the profile visitors and followers as well.
In conclusion, during the prototyping time, there are 3 things I have learned to confidently start the making stage. First and foremost, using the relevant hashtags in the bio, posts, and stories as well. Secondly, instead of focusing on content, I should utilize the material that I have already had on the Instagram. Last but not least, the story can be a tool to attract more interaction and discovery. In the making stage, I hope I will reach at least 100 followers by keeping implementing my idea from the prototyping stage. In addition, I also aim to highlight the social utility in the making stage.