Telling the story through Instagram: Takeovers, Trends and Top Hashtags

How is multimodal story telling driving social media journalism and a break-down of the short cuts used to keep us engaged, active, and ever scrolling.

(Top to bottom) COVID-19 Infographic taken from BBC.com, worldwide COVID-19 stats taken from Reuters, BBC’s Tiktok page

Gibbons described it simply as “the experience of living; we experience every day life in multimodal terms through sight, sound and movement”. In the digital age of the 21st century combined with a global pandemic; sight, sound and movement are just a few of the things we have been deprived of in the real world. However, across social media, is being used within every tweet, Tiktok and time-lapse especially by journalists to keep themselves and their stories forever ! Little do we know as consumers these short cuts are being used right before our eyes as we engage in a Youtube video, vote in a Instagram Poll or even love a Facebook post. News outlets such as The BBC, The Guardian and The Times are just some of the companies utilising this technique to keep readership among a news sphere, the BBC in particular have gained huge attraction from their recent TikTok posts. So I set out to mimic the success of these digital outputs by sharing my own work through the use of multimodal messaging.

Within Understanding Multimodal Meaning Making Bucher identified categories in which multimodality elements fell into such as to ‘describe’, ‘elaborate’, ‘justify’, ‘advertise’ and ‘narrate’. So how exactly has my multimodal story telling that I’ve shared along side this blog over the past 2 months, fit within these categories?

‘A picture is worth a 100 words’ Fred R. Barnard once stated.

According to Trend Reports, between 65 and 85 percent of people describe themselves as visual learners, which could be why infographics are on the rise! Infographics are a graphical method of presenting information and knowledge in the form of a systemically organised set of graphic and text data, the purpose of which is to present sophisticated systematised and structured information in a qualitative an effective way. It is not intended to replace the text of an informational message, but only to help communicate information to the consumer in a clear and accessible form.

I adopted this method of description within my blog ‘, as mentioned journalism law really can include some so what better way to describe them through a infographic to target and educate a varied demographic. I also shared this on Instagram as my understanding of my varied demographic and readership came from my Instagram statistics and insights.

Insights from my Instagram page

This allowed me to see journalism from a different point of view as it allowed me to adopt a head space where I could image and understand what my readers may be thinking or interpreting, therefore gaining key journalism expertise.

To help some my blogs and key findings along they way I have also created a podcast to accompany one of my blogs. Using blogging and podcasting together allowed be to reach a larger audience and diversify my blog content. You can do the same on your Medium account, check out this article.

Podcast features in ‘The V Word’ blog.

During my microblogging experience I decided to not only write up my experiences and tips but brought the audience along with me throughout the experience by creating a that showed my real-time emotions and thoughts. By creating this digital narrative I was able to give my blog diversity and a multi-layer of contexts. It’s been argued that well planned video on mobile is arguably the most effective mass communication format ever… You can check this out below.

Digital storytelling is the art of combining narrative with digital media such as images, sound, and video to create a short story.

It can often be difficult to justify options and choices expressed through journalism and blogging, but to engage my audience and again build a multimodal platform I asked my viewers to vote on polls on my Instagram story and tell me what they would like to read, therefore allowing me to create production orientated articles. While in the process of justification this multimodal story telling approach also gave me the opportunity to learn from other digital users and gain a deeper understand of my audience.

Some of the responses I received included…

Responses when asked ‘What would you like to see more of on my blog?’

These therefore helped me plan and write my blogs for my audience and justify my writing choices. You can check out all of these blogs below.

An advertising element was used constantly throughout my story telling on Instagram especially when sharing snippets of my interview with Vegan Journalist Selene Nelson to engage and ‘tease’ the audience with what was about to come. Teasing your audience was identified as one of the top 10 ways to create Buzz-Worthy social media and defiantly paid off…

My blog interviewing Selene Nelson generated 25 views exceeding many of my other blog posts, 15 of these being from direct social media links. Social media statistics really can be your best friend when promoting yourself and your writing.

When working on your multimodal story telling it is also useful to consider the key News Values, these can range from relevance to frequency. These are useful to consider when marketing your work through multimodality as you can target your audience but advertising the key news values you’ve featured.

It could be argued that one of the key elements to multimodality story telling is keeping up with the trends..

As part of disseminating information to my followers I tested and trialled the latest trend,, as a way to the news in a simple but effective way to my audience. Journalism on Tiktok is a new phenomenon but there is huge potential for quality media to create a concept for sharing news among people of young age to inform them in the way they accept news. Over the course of 5 days I created a vegan news series highlighting the 3 top stories from that day with a simple voice over narration. To my surprise, in terms of engagement, these generated a total of views. Is tiktok a fad or is it something journalists should jump on sooner rather than later? With 315 million downloads in the first quarter of 2020 it seems you could be left behind if you aren’t utilising Tiktok engagement.

My Tiktok journalism series

Overall using digital story telling as a technique to share information with my followers has not showcased a up and coming form of journalism but has allow me to navigate and begin to understand my readership by reviewing engagement and participation within the active forms of communication. What I’ve learnt is that in order to stay current and engage NEW readers, jumping onto trends is essential! This not only helps you stand out from the crowd but helps you target a range of demographics.

If you need tips and tricks for on twitter check out my 5-step guide! For more journalism news and updates follow my twitter @DFCJourno and come back next Thursday for a new blog post.

WEEK 5 : TEDxTalk of the week:

Welcome to week 5 of this week I felt motivated by Kelsey Samuels who really helped me identify with and influence my audience. Her personal story made me feel so emotive about issues within journalism and social media. It starts with you, it starts with me, it starts with us!

Avocado Lover, Iced Coffee Addict and Self-Help Bookworm — follow me while I explore the challenges of the vegan journalistic world 🥑 Twitter : @DFCJourno 🥑