This master thesis has examined how Instagram differs from other social media and how fashion brands can use Instagram to communicate strategically. These aspects have been examined by analyzing two case companies, Vero Moda and Zara, based on data stemming from a netnographic study and a focus group interview. The data from the two research methods have been analyzed with the help from relevant theories about social media, branding and communication. Both older and more classic theory as well as contemporary theory has been applied. It was discovered that there are specific features which all social media have in common: There must be a high degree of accessible information available as well as a high degree of interconnectedness between the users. Instagram differs from the others by providing a dreamworld of edited images, which awakens desire and inspires the users. Particularly the photo editing tool on Instagram is rather advanced, and using it is an accepted and integral part of the media. Fashion brands can certainly use Instagram as a strategic communication tool, however, based on the theory and primary data, some relevant considerations have been uncovered. It is important to post inspiring posts. This can be done by showing trends or interesting setups. It is a fast pace media, which means that the timespan between stimulus and response is short. Therefore, the image text should be short and precise, and hashtags should inform about the brand to create awareness. Other branding activities such as competitions could also be included. Strategic communication on Instagram also has an internal effect on the company, as the messages also have an autocommunicative impact. This allows fashion companies to streamline their company identity through their Instagram posts. It may be advisable to administer all these strategic steps by appointing an employee to carry out this task, such as a social media manager. Current trends in communication style by fashion brands on Instagram seems to be dominated by one-way product promotion communication. This was found in both Zara and Vero Moda’s communication styles. Instagram opens up for the possibility of two-way communication, however, we found no demand for an increased use of this communication style, but this could be an interesting future study.
|MSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
|Number of pages