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Being green on Instagram : A qualitative study on how green influencers are composing their messages and arguments of sustainability in their Instagram posts

Lehbrink, M (2020) Being green on Instagram : A qualitative study on how green influencers are composing their messages and arguments of sustainability in their Instagram posts.

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Abstract:Aim: The study that is described in this report, had the goal of getting insights into how green influencers are composing their messages of sustainability and related topics in their Instagram posts. Related to that it gives a closer look towards the engagement techniques used and the products promoted by green influencers. Also based on prior literature, the framing of the posts has been analysed, as there are research showing that negative framing is more effective. Method: A qualitative content analysis of 80 Instagram posts made by ten green influencers was carried out. During the analysis, the frame and goal of the post, the engagement techniques, the shown products and the discussed topics were analysed. Additionally, whether the posts were sponsored or made in collaboration with a brand and whether the influencer could be seen on the photo were also taken into consideration. Results: The analysis shows that most green influencers focus on a certain topic related to sustainability. The topics of the content are often a combination of green topics and more ordinary matters. Most posts are framed positively and are aiming to explain information and educate followers. All green influencers use engagement techniques to interact with followers. Green influencers are posting more content that is not sponsored, that content that is sponsored and they also limit the products they promote or show in their posts. Moreover, a very frequent topic among green influencers is activism, as they either take their followers along when they are active or show them activism at home, also through social media. Besides these findings, differences between micro-, macro- and mega-influencers could be observed. For example, in the way of framing and the amount of sponsored posts. Conclusion: This rather new group of green influencers are informing their followers on topics related to sustainability, in order to raise awareness and tackle the problems of, for example, climate change or waste issues. This study shows that the influencers are communicating with their followers and speak out for issues they deem important and want their followers to be aware of.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/81613
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