Brand activism in social media: the impact of brand activism content on Instagram engagement

Activity: Supervision


Social media platforms have become central in a significant part of the population. This is especially the case for young people representing the core users of Instagram. They generate an interesting and strategical target for companies to communicate with on such a platform. Brands’ presence online as become paramount for the companies. This is why establishing a well thought communication on Instagram can be critical. On another hand, sociopolitical matters importance has been very high over the past years and attracted a lot of attention. Various companies took action and became brand activists. This phenomenon is on the rise while the consumers give more importance to the corporate behaviors. In this dissertation, the aim is to observe companies that proceed in activism, discovering consumers’ opinion about it and the impact on Instagram engagement. Two research questions and four research hypotheses were proposed regarding whether people’s opinion and behavior towards a brand would be influenced by its activism or not, and if Instagram users’ engagement would be impacted by brand activist posts. Opinion and behavior were collected in a survey focusing on the under 35 years old segment. The Instagram engagement was analyzed based on users’ likes and comments on a selection of both activist and non-activist posts of 6 different brands in a period of two consecutive months. Results showed that overall, people perceive activist brands in a better way and that they are more likely to engage with them. Additionally, pictural activist posts tend to receive a higher engagement.
Period30 Jul 2021
Held atCatólica Lisbon School of Business & Economics