Social media management: Choose measures of success on Instagram



digital marketing, online marketing communication, user engagement, vividness


This study aims to demonstrate the different results of particular methods applied for answering the same research question. By conducting field study, Instagram marketing communication of higher education institutions is empirically investigated. This study provides insights into measures of user engagement on Instagram and to shed the lights on their differences by applying these metrics on real data. The results demonstrate that a) liking and commenting should be studied as separate constructs; b) the level of granularity chosen is important in evaluating Instagram marketing communication; c) control variables should not be neglected in evaluating Instagram marketing communication; d) likes(comments)-to-followers ratio is not appropriate variable to measure user engagement; e) including quasi-moderators to conceptual frameworks should be considered based on literature review. Thus, the contribution of this research is two-fold. On a theoretical level, it enhances the existing knowledge base on Instagram user engagement and construct operationalisation appropriate for studying user engagement. On a practical level, the findings from this study could guide evaluation of marketing and communication strategies for brands that employ Instagram as part of their digital marketing mix.