Date of Award

5-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Communication

Committee Chair

Mohammad Hossain. Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to show the positive benefits that the integration of social media, specifically Instagram, can have on a small business in terms of user engagement. Small businesses require more word-of-mouth advertising or online sales than businesses with larger marketing budgets, multiple locations, and more employees. Without these strategies, small businesses are at risk of having a shortened survival rate. With the added layer of connectivity, targeting, and post-reach, information about products and brands travel more widespread with social media, compared to traditional methods. Social media increases engagement between users and a brand's page, which can help boost positive feelings about a brand and shape future buying behaviors of consumers. The results of the study show that specific content types can help drive engagement. Having more posts or followers does not always mean more engagement, but there is a significant relationship between engagement and post type. This research contributes to the communication and marketing field by connecting small businesses to the phenomenon of e-commerce and digital communication via social media.

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