Media and Audience responsesMay 2, 2019
Nowadays, there are many media and platforms that change human behaviors, but do you ever wonder why people use different social media platforms even though all of them have the same function? If they are different, what are the strengths and weaknesses in each of them that attract people’s attention? What is their role as media? We did our experiment in order to know the standing point of each media in our daily life. The first thing we did before we started was we created the social media account as a tool to provides the content in the different styles as well as the perspectives. Furthermore, the independent variables, which are the audiences and media, do not rely on the post or the post time. The causes of the outcomes are useful in our learning due to the different situations based on the dependent variables, which are the types of media, perspectives, and the way to present. Our hypothesis is the response of the audience depends on the different dependent variables, how the audience responses to the taste, the engagement, and the feedback of the audience.
For a better understanding of the role, media is playing in our daily life, we must understand its strengths and weaknesses first by having the experiment on “how human consume the media in their daily life. Hence, our social media tool called “Everyday is Eat Day” has been created to investigate the differences in strengths and weaknesses of each media platform through the engagement of the audience and the type of contents posted in each(e.g. photos, videos or GIFs) and to see which one of them will be gain the most attention from the audience.
First of all, we have created a Facebook page of “Everyday is Eat Day”. By using Facebook as our social media tool in our experiment, we found out the strength of using Facebook; Facebook is able to reach numerous audiences. Facebook Page is really a great kick-start of the new business owners or someone who wish to be a new social media influencers. Although Facebook usually performs as an individual media, it can also be used as a platform to communicate with strangers. The reason why Facebook is recommended is that we can share many types of content on social media, ranging from photo to video, and even GIF. Moreover, we can invite our Facebook’s friends to like our page and when we post our contents, our friends can also share our contents on their feeds with those friends of friends. Even strangers can see our contents and become a part of the community. However, the participation on Facebook is not as accurate as we thought because a thousand views on our contents maybe come from the Facebook users scrolling up their feeds.
Second, we have picked Instagram as another social media platform for our experiment. Instagram is like visual storytelling, which photos and short videos are shared among the followers. This social media platform is very popular among our target audiences who are the university students. However, there are some disadvantages with regard to use Instagram as a business account. With the used of Instagram, there is a gap in information dissemination because Instagram does not have the sharing function. When we post any contents on our account, it is very difficult to reach the massive amount of audience and Instagram does not work in a sharing to friends of friends system as Facebook does. Moreover, the content posted on our Instagram account will only notify the followers who follow our account, unless your account is very famous and contain a big number of followers, then your recent post might be pop up on explore page.
Third, YouTube is a very famous website for video content, we decided to make an official channel as another platform to connect with the audience. Although there is no video content limited timing, but there are the massive amount of contents on YouTube, hence, it is very difficult to find your video among those tons of videos; especially, if you are the beginner. In order to be notified by the YouTube user, your account must receive quite a big number of subscribers first. This is because the first published video will not show up on the website yet, but the viewers must have the specific link as the access to reach your newly published video content. Which is the reason why the YouTubers always ask their viewers to like and subscribe to their channels. Therefore, recently Youtube created a bell button to be notified by the subscriber.
There is no reason for the media to exist if there is no audience, which is the reason why the audience is a basic factor every medias concern. As we already mentioned above about our independent variables, the audience or called the independent variable is unchangeable.
For the experiment, we chose Thammasat student as our target audience because we are also the student, hence, it’s easier to understand and get the feedback for the improvement. Understanding and knowing the audience help us as the producers to know the ‘audience segmentation’: demographic, psychographic, behavior, and geographic. Including getting information from the audience: all gender, age, their timeline, activity, interesting, and the dormitory.
The content is valuable enough to attract the target audience, involving some strategies such as, relevant to the audience, uniqueness, or the trend. These values make content memorable and still remain in the audience’s memory even after the content ended. Moreover, it makes the audience want to find out who is the producer and want to follow up his/her next content. If it can attract the audience and relevant to a group of people, the audiences tend to share this content because it is the way for the interaction among people and this interaction also show their identity. Therefore, we start to make content from combinations of value based on the audience.
The first example, we test from geographic and behavior as dependent variables. Our target audience is the Thammasat Collegians who live in the dormitory, also those who need the fast food in their rush time, hence, we chose to review the foods from Seven-Eleven that is located in everywhere of Thammasat University and dormitory. We combined both audience segmentation with the strategy of relevant to the audience by related to Valentine’s day. Therefore, the final content is to review the food in Seven-Eleven that coming for Valentine’s week and the content is named “Valentine’s day effect”. We chose several foods from Seven-Eleven that are released especially for Valentine’s day. There are 6 different types of them on the occasional Valentines day: cake, burger, granola, and roll and all of them have the pink packaging.
The second example, we chose to focus on the behavioral, which is one of the audience segmentation, and psychographics. During the midterm exam week, every student will usually go to the library to read for the midterm exam which is a place where foods are prohibited but students will bring it in sneakily anyway because it makes students relax and reduce their stress. Therefore, the topic is ‘how to eat in the library quietly’. We chose the fried food to challenge our guest of who will eat the most quietly to find the winner. The first episode can reach more audience than we expected. According to the ratio between our amounts of likes in pages and posts, as a result, we got more like from the post than from our pages, meaning that more people, in general, feel relevant to the topic ‘Valentine’s effect. The result shows that there are more likes in the posts than in the pages, implying, post in one of the option to reach more target audience. It is true that you can reach everyone on this platform, but you can not make all of them love your content then expanding your target audience would be a great choice. By looking at their similar preference and created the content based on that would make us gain more target audience due to the feeling of relevant. For instance, the case of the seven eleven, our audience is the student who needs fast and easy food for their rush hour then the staff in university also a member group of who want some food for the rush hour.
The unique point of new media is the large interaction area between the producer and the audience. In the past, media has the function to entertain, educate, inform, transmitting the value, or even serving political which is similar to media nowadays. However, the transmission of the media is one-way communication and the audience will receive only information but can not give the feedback, we called them “passive audience”. Fortunately, there is a way that producers would urge people to have interaction with them. Since everyone loves reward and free stuff, then the producer uses this as the strategy to attracts people. The strategy the producers used such as making the audiences to send the letter or the bottle cap or wrapped product for the lucky draw, the fast they call to order the selling channel, the more chance they will get the discount or free things, but there couldn’t remain using this strategy. They need to plan their marketing plan to attract people in limited time duration.
For example, the Thai variety channel named “Ching Roi Ching Larn” (ชิงร้อยชิงล้าน https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da5PbF5Lf40) often cooperate with another company which in this case was MAMA, the instant noodles. The audience can participate by sending the wrap of the instant noodle with the name to the variety show then the variety show will draw the lucky draw. This activity urges the audience to try this lucky draw, the more numerous of the audience, the more expensive the advertisement due to the higher recognition from the audience to the product, which would increase the product’s sold amount.
In the present day, the interaction between the producers and the audiences become bigger due to the development of the function of media. There are many tools created to increase the interaction between the producers and the audiences as well as among the audiences themselves or what we called “the 2 ways communication”, which will result as the bigger interaction area. To make a relation to our experiment, when we published the content to the audience and the audience can send feedback to the publisher, it is the 2 ways communication. The connection of a new media between every user allows us as a producer to see the other user. We are able to know their preference by observing which content they share and how they use this post to interact with others. According to, “Symbolic interaction theory” that explains how individuals interact with others to create, share, and maintain the symbol of their group. Therefore, we have learned our target audience and the connection of the target audience. For example, when they share and their friends comment to share their feeling about this content which depends on the content value that the producer use to attracts the audience. Moreover, The interaction is not only online, but offline is still important because when we start to use face-to-face communication by telling our friend personally. The outcome is more effective, most people who we invited personally tend to check our Facebook page.
On the other hand, when we invited friends by the Facebook invitation to like our page, only around 50% participated. According to our experiment, we invited around 30 friends from our own contact on Facebook, but the number of people who like our pages is only half of them. The reason is, that 50% is our real-life-friend and they are university students, also, we are part of it. The person-to-person interaction has more possibility to gives attention toward our Facebook Page including liking it, but the friend from the Facebook invitation which we randomly invite didn’t participate or gives attention to our Facebook Page that much. In conclusion, we would conclude that the friend on Facebook that is our real-life-friend would be our right target to use in our experiment, for it to have an accurate result. In episode 3, we use offline interaction to create the content. At that time, there were 2 new flavors of Lays launched, then we decided to interact with many university students to try these new flavors which are Icy lemon and Melon Bingsu to prove the point if we have more interaction with people will we gain more engagement from the audience. As a result, after we publish the video, almost everyone who participated in video tends to share and interact with their friend who also had the same experience of tasting these new flavors of Lays.
The most important factor that causes audience engagement or participation is called “prime time”. It is the term in the broadcasting that describes the period of time that people will see your posts. Even though the content contains many values that the audience will love it, but it can not reach many people if it publishes at the wrong time. In the new media, there are many things that user can engage but it also depends on their interest to search, friends’ interest, and the time they use new media as well. For the beginner, the prime time will help in the engagement because the post will not be intercepted by another post that exists in the new media. Therefore, we started to research the prime time for Thai people. According to the general statistic, the ‘online’ prime time in Thailand is at 8 PM so most online content creators usually post their content at around 8 PM unless they have a massive follower or subscribers, then they can post their content at any time due to their interested and their friends that will be watching.
Despite the general statistic, on our Facebook page “Everyday is Eat Day” shows that the prime time people come to see our video is starting from 6 PM onward. Episode 2, we published our video at 6.01PM on Friday. After we published, we sit at the front of the computer to ensure that our target audience will love this content and share it because we who are also part of the university student love it then we expected other will love it as well. However, it did not turn out the expected result because, in 1 hour, there were only 4 likes, compared to Episode 1 we published during the prime time, we received 10 likes. We did not give up and keep sending link to others personally in order to reach the target audience. Nothing changed as a result, including likes, comments, and shares. This make us wonder why they did not come to participate. What are they doing at that time? Finally, we got the answer.
Despite the general statistic, on our Facebook page “Everyday is Eat Day” shows that the prime time people come to see our video is starting from 6 PM onward. Episode 2, we published our video at 6.01PM on Friday. After we published, we sit at the front of the computer to ensure that our target audience will love this content and share it because we who are also part of the university student love it then we expected other will love it as well. However, it did not turn out the expected result because, in 1 hour, there were only 4 likes, compared to Episode 1 we published during the prime time, we received 10 likes. We did not give up and keep sending the link to others personally in order to reach the target audience. Nothing changed as a result, including likes, comments, and shares. This makes us wonder why they did not come to participate. What are they doing at that time? Finally, we got the answer.
The day we published our video it’s Friday, and it’s the last day of the week. Hence, most of the university students will have class then travel back home, suddenly and our main target audience is the Thammasat University students. Then 6 PM on Friday was a bad choice because the statistic is opposed by the behavior of the target audience. During that time the target audience is probably going back home or spending time with their families, so they might not use their phones or stay in front of the computer, and not be able to receive our new contents published. Plus, even though we have posted the supporting GIF, ‘COMING SOON’, we did not receive much attention from the audience. On Episode 3 we tried again but this time, we did not promote anything about the new episode, we just posted in the general prime time and it resulted in the priceless audience engagement. With that, we can conclude that sometimes, the statistic prime time might not be working to get the target audience participation in each different culture or environment and if it really works, the promoter of the post is also important to reach the greater amount of audience.