Electronic Word of Mouth on Instagram: Customers’ Engagements with Brands in Different Sectors

Document Type: Original Research


Brunel Business School, Brunel University London, London, UK


Marketers desire to reach more customers through means of social media, and thus create official accounts on these websites. Instagram, which has become a popular social media website in recent years, allows users to post pictures or short videos through appealing filters; this feature provides opportunity for marketers to promote themselves by creating content. However, not all content generated by marketers achieve a similar response from users: whilst some content achieves a high response from customers and widely spreads through electronic word of mouth (eWOM), others do not. There may be many factors affecting customers’ engagements; however, in this study, we focus on sectoral differences. The question is posed: Are sectoral differences one of the reasons behind the different customer engagement ratios of brand posts on Instagram? In order to answer this question, a comparison was conducted across 100 Instagram posts, posted by brands from 8 different sectors. The results show significant differences between sectors; customers’ engagement with brands in the beverages sector through liking is almost 2.5 times higher than brands in the apparel-luxury sector. Moreover, customers’ engagement with brands in the electronics sector through commenting is almost 8 times higher than brands in the apparel sector.


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