Politician's Strategic Impression Management on Instagram

Date
2017-01-04
Authors
Jung, Younbo
Tay, Ashley
Hong, Terence
Ho, Judith
Goh, Yan Hui
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Abstract
With the growing trend of Instagram usage among politicians, this study investigates the effects of two self-presentation styles of personalization (i.e. presenting the private over the public life of a politician) and interactivity (i.e. presenting the active versus passive voice of a politician) on voters’ perception of politicians and their voting intention in the context of Instagram. The results of an experiment (n = 120) showed that presenting the public life of a politician had a more positive effect on perception of character, compared to the private life. Using a highly interactive style on Instagram had a more positive effect on perception of character, compared to a lack of interactivity. Finally, character perception was found to be a mediator for the effects of personalization and interactivity on voting intention. Theoretical implications with respect to impression management on social media, as well as practical implications for political engagement, are discussed.
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Keywords
Impression management, Interactivity, Instagram, Personalization, Politicians
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