To examine a more holistic communication landscape for companies on Instagram, this study conducted a content analysis of Fortune 500 companies’ official Instagram posts (N = 7,540) using the original three brand community dimensions (i.e., shared consciousness, rituals and traditions, obligations to followers). We also propose and explore a fourth marker, social networking, as an important Instagram communication characteristic for companies and marketers. Findings revealed that while all four brand community practices are observed across eleven industries and 165 companies in our sample, companies did not fully utilize their Instagram accounts to establish strong brand communities. More importantly, there were significant effects of the brand community practices on fans’ behavioral engagement through a number of “likes,” and a number of “views” for video posts. Theoretical and practical implications are addressed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science