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Communities and Web 2.0 Social Networks

Instagram Marketing Has Revolutionized Social Commerce: The Consumer Trust and the Role of Influencers

Abstract

Social networking sites have changed the way people communicate, interact socially and share information. Almost every system in each domain is being digitalized thus paving ways for electronic commerce which in turn give rise to social commerce. The growing presence of notable businesses on social media platforms has revolutionized social commerce thus helping them to generate revenues from the social media applications like Instagram. Social commerce will be the next big trend of this era if other businesses also join this platform for their global growth. Instagram is easy to use platform for both individual socializing and business activities. Instagram started as a picture sharing application but with the increased user base, the creators kept adding features which have now become an important source of marketing at global levels. Individuals can share their unbiased views through social platforms. This paper demonstrates how the social networking platforms have revolutionized social commerce. The consumer trust and the role of influencers are discussed in detail to understand their impact on social networks especially Instagram. Consumer purchase decisions are highly impacted by the reviews of the influencers and also consumers are those people who end up following the influencers depending on certain quantifiable characteristics. Some dominating characteristics of social platforms which build up consumer trust are also highlighted in this paper. Some counter arguments and darker sides of this Instagram and other social networks are also described. Future implications shed light on the possible advancements which are possible to occur in social networking sites and would enhance user experience.

KEYWORDS

#SocialNetworks, #SocialCommerce, #InstagramMarketing, #InstagramInfluencers, #ConsumerTrust

Social media has a remarkable impact on the ability of businesses to enhance business scope by communicating product’s benefits all over the world through internet. The communication and interaction of people has been revamped using social media platforms. Applications of social networking platforms commonly include computer mediated social interaction, politics, education, healthcare and business (Sadiku, Omotoso, & Musa, 2019). Social commerce is a sub part of E-commerce which facilitates E-commerce activities and transactions using various social media platforms and services. Economic growth will also increase by combining the shopping and social motives. (Ben, Al-neama, & Kerbache, 2018), (Rosa, Qomariah, & Tyas, 2018). Influencers and bloggers have now become an integral part of marketing domain. This happens because of the increasing advancements in technological era. Almost every system in each domain is being digitalized thus paving ways for electronic commerce. These digital advancements are also a great source of increasing social interactions. People from all over the globe are connected due to widely spread communication networks. As the social interactivity increases, businesses find it easy to spread their campaigns and marketing strategies through social media platforms thus achieving global coverage. However, not all businesses always get the desired results from social media marketing. They must be aware of the business tactics to influence the consumer purchase behavior. They must focus on the usage perception of different platforms. If platforms provide facilitating conditions and ease of use then they will have strongest impact on social commerce. Instagram is such a platform where one can use visualizations in form of pictures and videos to share information and it is the fastest growing social media platform which is widely used for marketing through culture of influencers (Singh & Islam, 2019). Social networking sites have made a remarkable place into daily practices of their users all over the world. Social networks help strangers connect to each other based on their shared interests in varying fields of life (Boyd, M., & Ellison, 2007). Social networks are not about analyzing individuals rather they provide useful insights on the interactions and connections of people based on different attributes. Accessing the nature of these online connections and the functions they serve provide ways for progress of social networking sites (Churchill & Halverson, 2005).

As stated in (Casaló, Flavián, & Ibáñez-Sánchez, 2017), Instagram is used to achieve different specific goals. These may include popularity, to get updated with the latest news and what others are doing, sharing pictures, to demonstrate the creativity by someone through posting various pictures and videos. Social commerce also have some darker sides which must be known and tackled efficiently by the users. One of the major concerns fake accounts which deceive customers thus reducing their trust in social networks. With sufficient knowledge of the account personality, these accounts can be easily identified. Personality of the vendor and their associated networks can be accessed to identify fake and trolling accounts (Shu, Kai, Wang, & Liu, 2018), (Cheng, Justin, Bernstein, Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, & Leskovec, 2017). With the increasing social interactions and technological advancements, the debate on social networks will never end. In fact, it will keep accelerating with the advent of time. The high adoption of social media platforms and their diverse functionalities is taking over almost every domain. Social networking sites have become part of many people’s daily life from fulfilling entertainment purposes to defining business strategies, the role of influencers and the consumer’s trust has become an integral component for Instagram business marketing or social commerce through the utilization of social networks.

There is frequent and easy interaction between Instagram influencers and the corresponding followers. Instagram bloggers have a tremendous effect on the buying and selling patterns of social media users. Consumer trust is usually gained or lost based on the Instagram reviews by the influencers on a specific product. A conceptual framework  is presented in (Ben et al., 2018) which considers different dimensions of Instagram marketing and hence provided results categorizing the dimensions which increase or decrease consumer trust. These dimensions show the characteristics which are considered by customers in order to trust some vendor. These include Price Advantage; the products are reasonable and provide good value for money, Reputation; the degree of followers and likes of vendor and also the number of recommendations by different users, Product Differentiation; the vendor is offering unique and different products, Social Interaction; the vendor is very responsive to his followers questions and queries, Language; the vendor uses the language which is understandable by most of his followers, Hedonic Effects, the vendor or influencer usually assists followers with tips, giveaways and informative posts. A survey indicated that reputation has strongest impact on consumer trust followed by the price advantage (Rosa et al., 2018). Language and hedonic effects also have positive impacts but product differentiation and social interaction are not significant in positively impacting Instagram marketing. Communication has been globalized through social networks as indicated by the considered dimensions which are applicable to almost every social networking site on the internet.

People tend to trust E-commerce where online payments are automatically checked and one can withdraw the payment if order is cancelled by consumer or vendor. But, in social commerce people are more prone to fraud because of manual methods of payment. This trust must be ensured by the vendors by introducing some trustworthy payment method for social networking sites. However, if vendor or influencers have good reputation then consumer trust is automatically gained to some extent. If any complaint arises then vendors must be quickly responsive to avoid any future trust issues (Rosa et al., 2018). As there is no face to face communication of consumers and online business vendors in social networks, security of money transactions must be ensured to gain positive consumer confidence. Discounts attract more customers providing the same best quality. If the brand’s image is good then consumers will definitely trust its online shop without any queries. Consumer confidence is boosted up by providing complete, reliable, relevant, timely and quality information. Instagram is currently providing user friendly and attractive features to engage users. The “Shop Now” feature has improved perceived usage. Posted photos can be tagged. Hashtag feature plays an important role in Instagram marketing. Hashtags facilitate users to filter desired information in the search bar. Instagram is also providing live videos where vendors can display even minor details of their products by engaging a large audience. People can get more insight into products while looking at them in live session instead of trusting the pictures. Pictures can be filtered but live videos usually show the original product quality. This feature with the sponsorship ads can be utilized by many advertisers to convey their posts to large domain of users (Rosa et al., 2018) and eventually build consumer trust on the brand or product.

Influencers are those people who post content on social media platforms and have significant number of followers who make them celebrities (Lou, Chen, & Yuan, 2019). The influencers form the basis for social networking sites. Their personality traits and appearances have long lasting and quick impacts on the followers. A strong influence means reaching maximum people and engaging them actively in posted content. Another term used for influencer is endorser; a person who gets public attention, advertises products on behalf of brands and appears in their advertisements (Lou, Chen, & Yuan, 2019). Influencers use different types of campaigns in collaboration with the brands or vendors to attract consumers. These include influencers sharing the brand’s products on their profiles, or they can co-work with brands to come up with effective marketing ideas. Brands and influencers both gain advantage in the context of promotion when brands share content produced by the bloggers. The brand’s reputation is promoted using hashtags and various giveaways by the influencers, and events are promoted and advertised by inviting Instagram influencers who in turn spread information to followers. Many brands provide discount codes to their corresponding influencers and their followers can use these codes on official brand websites. Finally, brands can handover their social media advertisement channels to bloggers or influencers who use their own strategies to market businesses (Singh & Islam, 2019).

The influencer profiles are of many types including the adventurers who share information and photographs about traveling sites and advertise travelling agencies, whereas another type is related to the beauty, fitness and fashion. Different instructors are also available who are experts of some field and instruct their followers about different life hacks. This category mostly include food bloggers. Some influencers may have multiple skills and they can act as both instructors and advertisers (Evans, J., Phua, Lim, & Jun, 2017). There are also some traditional marketing strategies used by different companies which mainly include print advertisements.  A study (Riedl & Luckwald, 2019) compared both strategies and concluded that classic methods of printed advertisements have more marketing impact rather than the Instagram posts. However, there is the exception where influencers have such a large base of followers that have even great marketing impacts than traditional methods. The reputation of brands or influencers is built up or lost depending on how they engage their followers. The online activities designed by them are measures of their image in public. The reputation has both emotional and cognitive elements. Brands or vendors must consider different characteristics and experimental results to determine the best suited influencer for their marketing (Lim, Radzol, (Jacky), & Wong, 2017). It is indicated that engagement, outreach, growth and sentiments are most important factors for an influencer (Arora, Bansal, Kandpal, Aswani, & Dwivedi, 2019). Businesses must select influencers according to their product type and monitor content created by influencers which must be relevant and informative (Lou et al., 2019).

Internet has evolved from being just an information sharing platform to social networking platform. Social networks serve as both the consumers and vendors. Social networking sites provide the users with the choice of who can view their profile and contact them. User’s privacy is thus ensured increasing user’s satisfaction of using social networks (Sadiku et al., 2019).  

The long term implications of social networking platforms can be accessed by large scale ethnographic research on both users and non-users. It will be fun to see real time happenings of this world on Instagram. The features of data history, hashtag tracking and the analysis of best performing posts would be the future of this application. The buffering of the IGTV videos would be another technological advancement for the platform. With the immense business tactics being used on Instagram, this application has been shifted from merely a photo sharing platform to promoting businesses and exchanging opinions (Leaver et al., 2020).

The future of technological advancements will somehow impact the future of social media platforms. Social internetworking of machines is a new trend creating Internet of Things (IoT) and social networks among machines (Sadiku et al., 2019).

Social networks are the biggest global information platform on the Internet today. As these sites are affordable and easily reachable, they have attracted a lot of researchers from both academic and industrial fields. Besides being used for business purposes, social networking sites ease the daily lives of users through their global connections with other people of common and varying interests. Marketing through social networks has proved to be very cost effective as it operates by just adding attractive pictures of a product with hashtags and filters to engage people from all over the world. There is not any operational cost. Influencers play an important role in spreading information to large user base thus having an impact on consumer trust. Consumer purchase decisions and consumer trust are highly impacted by the online reviews of influencers instead of mass communication channels like newspapers and TV channels. Good reputation increases your chance to act as potential supplier of services for consumers. Consumers are even willing to pay more for a product advertised by a strong influencer. The application started with the photo sharing feature and became so much popular because many people have become obsessed with capturing and sharing pictures with their community. Social networks has also revolutionized travelling connecting travel companies from all over the world. All the social and noble causes become rapidly viral due to outreach of social networking platforms to almost every corner of the world. There are brand sponsorships but these are not a depiction of some controlled activity. Although influencers post sponsored ads with prompting content, consumers nowadays are well aware of the tactics being used on social networks and can decide and distinguish accordingly.

References

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Ben, I., Al-neama, N., & Kerbache, L. (2018). Investigating the drivers for social commerce in social media platforms : Importance of trust , social support and the platform perceived usage. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 41(October 2017), 11–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2017.10.021

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Casaló, L. V., Flavián, C., & Ibáñez-Sánchez, S. (2017). Antecedents of consumer intention to follow and recommend an Instagram account. Online Information Review, 41(7), 1046–1063.

Cheng, Justin, Bernstein, M., Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, C., & Leskovec, J. (2017). Anyone can become a troll: Causes of trolling behavior in online discussions. In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM conference on computer supported cooperative work and social computing (pp. 1217–1230). ACM.

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Evans, J., N., Phua, J., Lim, J., & Jun, H. (2017). Disclosing Instagram influencer advertising: The effects of disclosure language on advertising recognition, attitudes, and behavioral intent. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 17(2), 138–149.

Leaver, T., Highfield, T., & Abidin, C. (2020). Instagram : Visual social media cultures. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/legacydocview/EBC/6027966?accountid=10382.com

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34 replies on “Instagram Marketing Has Revolutionized Social Commerce: The Consumer Trust and the Role of Influencers”

Hi Jashwanth

Very nice paper! You pointed out some very interesting information. As consumers we are not always aware that we are being advertise different products on Instagram as with influencers the line can sometimes be blurred. This is why countries like the UK are proposing an official guide for social media influencers when posting ads. This is in line with consumer’s protection law. On the other hand, because of the dominant « cancel culture » on the Internet, those influencers are constantly at risk of getting themselves involve in a scandal and getting “cancelled”. Do you think that this affect their career as brand are less likely to work to controversial figures?

Hi Marie

Thank you for your kind words and I think that the point you have stated is absolutely valid. I personally feel that these influencers are on a tight rope and as you have mentioned them getting cancelled is a real possibility. But I think that the brand gets some kind of an advertisement due to think and it is highly unlikely that they may not join hands with other influencers, the reach ratio cancels all the other perceived negativities. This is what I personally feel and I would love to hear your opinion if you think otherwise.

Thanks
Jashwanth

I agree. Even though influencers end up loosing some followers after getting “cancelled” , the public attention does not stay on them very long and in most cases it is not enough to ruin their career completely.

Hi Jashwanth
This was a very well written piece!
Its really interesting to read about social commerce as it is so topical right now, especially on platforms like Instagram. The points made about Influencers i found particularly relevant, as it has almost created a new form of marketing for brands that has only come about in the last decade or so.
Thanks,
Keisha

Hi Keisha

Thank you for your kind response and it is a great thing that we feel the same way. And you are absolutely right on when it comes to the fact of Influencer marketing, that is turning out to be a niche that brands might have to look out for in the coming days.
I am pretty sure that there might be an influencer who might’ve intrigued you regarding this topic, it would be great if you could mention about him and what makes him stand out.

Thanks
Jashwanth.

Hi Jashwanth,

Thank you for bringing my attention to your paper, I found it quite interesting.

The phenomenon of influencers has been unprecedented, and it is quite interesting that their reviews can help construct or damage brand reputation. I also found your point about reputation of a brand having the strongest impact on consumer trust very intriguing. Are influencers the primary marketing tool leading to sales for brands on Instagram? If this is the case, do you think brands are relying too heavily on influencers for their sales?

Great paper, I look forward to your feedback.

Hi Mia

Thank you for your feedback. Now coming to your question, Yes, I do feel that influencers play a very pivotal role in marketing products for brands on the internet especially in Instagram. This is mainly caused due to the tremendous increase in the number of influencers in social media and I think that that brands are adapting themselves to this new found trend to bring their products to the people, so I wouldn’t say that they are relied on heavily but to an extent, Yes. Hope this useful, if you are contradicting then II am open for suggestions.

Thanks Jashwanth

Hi Jashwanth,
What a well written paper! As a consumer and avid Instagram user, I sometimes am blind to the scale of which Instagram advertising and promotion has infiltrated the photo sharing platform. It happens so frequently on my feed that I almost pay no mind to it now.

As influencers can be paid to promote products, what is your opinion on using Instagram to promote ideas? Political promotion online for example can persuade and influence consumers on their political affiliation. Cambridge analytica was a huge scandal and largely refers to Facebook, however, as facebook also owns Instagram, I believe it is safe to assume that similar political propaganda can be found on Instagram through ads and influencers.
I am looking forward to your response.

Hi Sofia,

Thanks for your kind reply, what you are saying is absolutely right. The advertising on social media has gone to such a level that we don’t even mind them occupying our feeds every day. This is a great tactic done by these social media platforms as they did not over burden us from right at the beginning rather they slowly integrated them and now it has just become a part of our social feed.

And yes, absolutely the strategies followed by Facebook and Instagram are very similar aside from the fact that they are part of the same company.

Thanks
Jashwanth

Hi Jaswanth
You supported your main argument as to the positive role played by Instagram in e-commerce. It is also a well-known fact nowadays that influencers impact largely upon consumers’ purchasing decisions and trust. I was just wondering that probably some age groups or market segments are more influenced by others. Have you come across such distinctions among consumers while analyzing e-commerce on Instagram? having said so, I really enjoyed the read. You may wish to comment on my paper. Regards.
Ranish
https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/social-media-and-political-participation-are-social-networking-sites-democratizing-political-systems/

Hi Ranish,

Thank you for your feedback. The category that uses this instagram e-commerce is very obvious, the millenials rule this place. It is fair to say that Instagram is a platform which favours the millenial way and continue to evolve for the future generations whose mindset is not that variable from the current lot that we have now. And looking forward to read your paper.

Thanks
Jashwanth

Hi Jashwanth,

Well done on your paper it was a great read! As a user of social media like instagram it really doesn’t set in on how normal advertisement on the platform is. Any big identity with a large following is forever tagging brands of clothes or accessories that they are being sponsored to wear to generate clicks for the brands. I would say a positive to this large sector of marketing that is rapidly growing day by day is allowing business of all sizes to get a chance at exposure, allowing for businesses to operate on a single profile/page! Would you say that this is a good thing that influencers are able to build trust with their followers who then go on to consume products from sponsored content on Instagram? Or do you think it could reach a point where it becomes out of control and needs to be heavily regulated?

I’m glad to see you commented on my paper and led me to yours, was an interesting topic that is relatable to so many people, including myself.

Thanks,
Campbell

Hey there Campbell,
Thank you for the feedback. An influencer is one who is accepted by his followers, followers who accept and believe their influencer, therefore when an influencer provides a certain particular commodity, it’s because they have personally taken time to try the product, hence they support and encourage their followers to consumer the product.
Any product that is being sponsored on Instagram is carefully regulated, the products type, nature, availability are all clearly explained so that the consumers understand what they’re choosing, a product can reach the point out of control for two reasons, one, if the product is good, more demands will be made, therefore more production of these goods will take place which gains profit for the company. Second, if the reviews are bad is always receiving bad comments, then the product goes under inspection and is rectified. In order to not let any issue, go out of control a set of members, or a team will always be present to take control of the situation.

Thanks,
Jashwanth

Hello Jashwanth,

I hope you have been doing well.

A very well written and engaging paper, it was enjoyable to read and was particularly thought-provoking. I would like to make comments on topics that I found especially engaging. I specifically appreciated the discussion of online social media platforms framework, whereby the driving force of its e-commerce is its word of mouth reviews. This method of marketing has proven highly effective and it’s no wonder the industry of social media commerce is so successful. A great job in emphasising how businesses cut costs and reach a wide demographic through these streams, and how it has revolutionised marketing and commerce.

The point you made about how Instagram and social media platforms have become an integral part of our daily lives and therefore exposing us to marketing frequently was insightful. This reality is concerning on many levels as to whether this type of exposure is damaging to our general attention span due to people being bombarded with advertising at such a high frequency.

That was a very enjoyable and informative read, if I may pose a few questions to raise further discussions: You mentioned the opportunity for users to share their unbiased views through social platforms, do you believe there is a censoring of opinions for users that have a large following when navigating the social landscape lest they are scrutinised by the online populace? With business attempting to integrate and capitalise on the mentioned online connections, at which point is a business’ practice unethical in this regard? (i.e. Influencers having to now explicitly state if an endorsement is a #ad, Facebook selling personal information, or company’s using people’s location to target market their products) If an influencer endorsed a product or service that they don’t use personally or believe in wholeheartedly, is this deceptive to their audience that idolises them or considered an understandable business move?

I’d be interested to hear your opinions.

All the best!

Hey Janelle,
Thank you for your feedback.Yes, advertisements are necessary in our daily lives so that we can keep tract of the products, inventions and other type of business, yet they don’t have to be bombarding our daily lives, the reason why we view so many ads daily is because the makers of these advertisements put in a lot of money for their ads to reach to a wider surrounding, therefore we view a particular ad more than once, it also remains in our memory so that once we remember of a particular need we require, we choose the ad and it’s provisions.
Censoring of options on social media is so that they don’t hurt or provide an unnecessary feeling for the other, therefore all popular pages have strict rules regarding hurtful unbiased comments.
Any type of business that is not legal and bends the rules of the terms and conditions are all unethical.
An influencer must promote a particular product that they believe in, if an influencer doesn’t do so, he isn’t an influencer, only a con to conduct his business and to raise his business.

Thanks,
Jashwanth

Hi Jashwanth, I really enjoyed your paper and found it to be really factual and in line with my opinions and views on the modern day Instagram world. I think the role an “influencer” plays in helping companies to market their products and promote attention around products is honestly one of the best ways to circulate the word and grab people’s attentions. Something I have noticed over the last year or two is that influencers now have to either put #ad in their photo captions promoting the product they’ve been asked to or have to acknowledge that this is a paid partnership. Do you think this is to let their follower’s know that they are being paid to promote this product and it is not actually something they have used for years and swear by? Also, do you think that having to acknowledge the paid partnership or #ad creates a less authentic promotion for followers, or do you think it really changes much? I personally think that if I, for example, wanted to have hair like Kylie Jenner – I would be more inclined to buy whatever hair product I see her use in a makeup tutorial, rather than whatever product she is promoting in a paid partnership. Interested to hear your thoughts!

My paper is about the pressures of body image and popularity for young teenage girls on social media. Should you have a few minutes, I’d love for you to check it out at https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/12/because-we-are-girls-the-instagram-identity-of-adolescent-girls/

Best,
Grace

Hey Grace,
Thanks for your feedback. Answering to your question, Hashtags are used so that the product is viewed by more than the persons following list and gets him more likes and views. We all are blessed with natural beautiful hair, if we look after it and care for it properly we’ll all have better hair that Kylie Jenner, who isn’t being exposed to dust and remains in a healthy environment, unlike the rest of us who sweats and works to earn our living.

Sure will look into your work 🙂

Thanks,
Jashwanth

Hi Jashwanth, I really enjoyed reading your paper and you made strong arguments which contributed in deepening my knowledge on the topic.
It is true that people do place a lot of trust in influencers and the numerous products they are reviewing or promoting. Actually, I do believe that influencers’ reviews in the vast majority of cases are somewhat hidden forms of promotions for brands they work with. I think that in most cases, influencers term their promotions as reviews in order to get more trust from their followers which is manipulative. What is your opinion on that?
If you want further information on my point of view on influencers and their impact on their followers, I invite you to read my paper where I have exposed the detrimental effects of Instagram influencers on teenage girls and women’s identity. You can find my paper by following the link below:
https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/10/the-encouragement-towards-modification-of-identities-of-women-and-teenage-girls-by-the-instagram-influencer-community/

Hey Marie,
Thank you for your feedback. An influencer must expose the product that they personally use for the benefit of their followers, if they don’t they aren’t actually influencers, but artist who just do the work that they are being paid for at the expense of the innocent followers who idolized the influencer, which is manipulative.
I will surely take a look at your paper.

Thanks,
Jashwanth

Hi Jashwanth,

Just finished reading your essay and I found it really engaging and interesting especially due to the fact that you expanded on so many differing features surrounding Instagram and the impacts they can have when businesses and influencers utilise them within their marketing. I also thought your argument was delivered very strong due to the fact that you not only decided to develop on the positives of using Instagram in this way but also the negatives, as doing this within an argument can assist in strengthening your point. Although you did develop on the fact that there is a clear relationship between online influencers and their followers, I think to further develop your argument it would be a good idea to expand on the idea of the relationship that is furthered on social media between customers, non-customers and businesses, and the impact this relationship can have on the corporate reputation of businesses. Overall, I do believe that your argument was convincing due to the fact that you provided lots of detail and examples, encouraging readers to trust the argument you are making. Here is the link to my essay in case you would like to read it https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/10/the-facilitation-of-advertising-within-social-networks/#comment-1261. My essay covers very similar topics to your paper so I think it would be a good read for you.

Regards,
Amelia

Hey Amelia,
Thanks for taking time to read my work and giving your feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I will surely read your paper.

Thanks,
Jashwanth

Hi Jashwanth,
This was such an interesting read for me. I am extremely interested in the Influencer phenomenon and a keen Instagram user (although I don’t tend to post content as much as view content!). Your paper points out a lot of areas that you don’t think about with Social Commerce v E-Commerce. I think it is important for there to be regulations on this ‘Social Commerce’ as it is so easy for users to get caught out by scammers and for Influencers to endorse products they haven’t even used. You mention in your last paragraph that consumers are well aware of the tactics and can decide and distinguish – I don’t think this is always the case. More recently Influencers are noting whether a product is an ‘Ad’ or ‘Gifted’, however this is not always identified by Influencers, however most of the general public would assume there is a contract in place to promote this company. I believe that advertising should be highlighted either with #Ad or #Gifted just to keep the lines of communication between Influencer/Company/Consumer open. What are your thoughts on this?

Hi Bobbie,
Thanks for your feedback.Yes it’s the responsibility of an influencer to provide all the details on the particular commodity that they receive. Therefore one must be sure of the fact that they must be honest to their followers and not mislead the followers. Therefore they should include the hashtags and notify their followers on the commodities.

Thanks,
Jashwanth

Hi Jashwanth,

I really enjoyed your paper!
I liked how you incorporated not only the positives about social commerce but you brought up some of the negatives as well.

Instagram has definitely evolved very quickly, beginning as a platform to share images to now involving sponsorships, advertising and for may people it is their paid job. Like you mentioned there is frequent and easy interaction between Instagram influencers and the corresponding followers. Which then leads influencers to have arguably the largest impact on online businesses (such as clothing and beauty companies).

For me personally, it is hard to trust online stores (such as clothing) especially if they don’t have a large following. As I question if the clothes are quality and if I will end up receiving the clothes. When large influencers advertise the brand and most often give discount codes, for me I can feel more trusting towards the brand. With platforms like instagram and Youtube it has been a trend to do ‘clothing hauls,’ like you mentioned about live videoing clothes. These methods also allow audiences and myself to view the quality and fit which can strongly influence whether or not to purchase.

Overall, I agree with your argument and the information raised! Great read 🙂

Hey Jasmyn,
Thanks for your feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed the paper, Yes every pro and con is supposed to be mentioned while doing a research, i understand the need to be inquisitive about brands and their quality. Hope you have understood better now and the way to approach online marketing.

Thanks,
Jashwanth

Hi Jash,

Your paper is very engaging, I really enjoyed reading it. The reconciliation of social commerce with its influencers and marketing strategy aspects that are determined in this paper is crystal clear. I think social media, particularly Instagram, is a one stop platform with its new and revolutionary features. Those features help Instagram to be the modern, digital, online catalog. Including the “Instagram shopping” where future customers are able to see prices on Instagram posts and be directed to the main company’s website, while this is a feature for the regular post, then the newest one is made on Instagram stories for supporting small businesses. I think the one who invented or maybe identified themselves as Instagram influencers are brilliant. Big companies have been using celebrities as brand ambassadors since forever, yet with the help of Instagram influencers, target audience can be reached in more precise ways in my opinion, and broader as well. Most celebrities are used just because they are famous as actors/actresses, singers, etc. While most Instagram influencers have their own stories and background on how they become famous only on social media, and most of the time we can clearly see their lifestyles, thus we know what kind of followers who follow some particular influencers. Although it is kind of annoying to see how much Instagram has changed the past years, from being an only photo-based social media platform where we used to share everyday pics with hardcore filters to this one-stop media that is crucial for companies’ marketing strategy. Yet, this is the product of digital era we’re living in.

Cheers,
Kira

Hey Syakira
Thanks for taking time and reading my work. I’m glad you found the paper engaging, Yes, Instagram like many other social networks is being used by many people, just like Facebook, Instagram clearly helps small businesses to run and is very efficient in many cases of brand hunting and other products, providing an easy redirect to another page for marketing.

Thanks,
Jashwanth

Hi Jashwanth,

I really enjoyed reading your paper.

It was on a topic that affect many of us on a daily basis.

I liked how you touched on influencers promoting different products through social media channels. This has become so prominent in recent years and along with its rise has come many questions about the authenticity and reliability of this form of advertising. I agree with how you highlighted that this is a very cost effective and smart was for companies to advertise to a large audience.

My question would be do you feel like influencers loose authenticity and relatability if they are constantly promoting different products on their social media platforms?

Thanks,
Victoria

Hi Victoria,
Thank you for your feedback. Influencers can promote products that they find is effective, for example, if a person is going to promote hair products, they should stick to one brand and acknowledge all the benefits to that particular product and not vary with their choice of products, hence they must maintain their decision, yet, if they feel like changing their product they should notify their followers why they are changing to another product to maintain transparency.

Thanks,

Jashwanth

Hello Jaswanth

Your topic is indeed very interesting and your paper really reflects the impact of social networks and the importance of Web 2.0 online communities. I like how you have given details about the development of Instagram, which went a mere photo-sharing platform to a real business space. Your arguments were solid and you used a lot of recent examples to back up your ideas. There is one small detail that I would like to point out though. You talked a lot about influencers and how they use Instagram to promote brands and products and I think including some real-life examples would have been great. Overall, it is a nice paper.
Best regards

Hello Vaishnavi,

Thanks for taking time and reading my paper. I’m glad you found it interesting. And yes I’d not really given real life example instead I made generic as the Instagram commerce is very broad and anyone can link their business. For your convenience and others I would like to give an current example ‘where now I see lots of saloons and spa’s are promoting their business in Instagram where they’re telling influencers to post their haircut or makeup pics and tag them to bring in the business back in track after Covid-19.

Hope this is helpful, thanks again for commenting.

Cheers,
Jashwanth.

Hey Chavee Hookoom,

Thanks for taking time and reading my paper.
I’m glad you’d like my paper. Yes the adverts are indispensable as nowadays everything is digital, and whether its a corporate or startup need to ad their business where the Instagram Social commerce is very apt-able and they need to do this to sustain in market.

Hello Vaishnavi,

Thanks for comment ya. I’m glad you liked it. And yes I’d not really given real life example instead I made generic as the Instagram commerce is very broad and anyone can link their business. For your convenience and others I would like to give an current example ‘where now I see lots of saloons and spa’s are promoting their business in Instagram where they’re telling influencers to post their haircut or makeup pics and tag them to bring in the business back in track after Covid-19.

Hope this is helpful, thanks again for commenting.

Cheers,
Jashwanth.

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