Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Information

Role of Conservatism in Turkish Users' Instagram Behavior

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Information

Role of Conservatism in Turkish Users' Instagram Behavior

Article excerpt


Consumer behavior varies depending on the individual consumer's values and lifestyle. Through social media, individual consumers build virtual communities to share information on values and lifestyle (Miller & Lammas, 2010). For this reason, an individual's conservative position, which is related to that individual's values and lifestyle, may affect the media use behavior of that individual.

Instagram is a very popular social media platform. It has more than 500 million active users. It is easy to use and visually oriented, offers publicly available posts like Twitter, and encourages people to interact more (DeMers, 2017). Today, people spend more time on Instagram than in the past. For these reasons, Instagram offers many opportunities for marketing consumer brands to targeted individuals and for increasing brand awareness overall. Conservatism may affect the individual's preference and behavior regarding social media. It would be useful, therefore, for brand managers to have information on the lifestyles, tendencies, and demographic profiles of Instagram users in order to conduct successful marketing and communications campaigns.

Conservative individuals can be defined as those who pay more attention to values and traditions and who generally oppose change. Nowadays, however, conservatives comply more with modern lifestyles and consumption habits than in the past. Today's conservatives show a tendency to luxury consumption in daily life (Başfirıncı, 2011). The current study approaches conservatism not from a political or religious perspective, but from the perspective of the social habits and lifestyle of individuals.

The literature includes several studies on Instagram use (Zhang Ye et al., 2018). To the best of our knowledge, however, there are a limited number of studies on conservative consumer behavior on social media, specifically on Instagram. This study, therefore, will contribute to literature on this subject.

The aim of this study is to categorize Turkish Instagram users in terms of their consumer behavior on social media, specifically Instagram, and in terms of conservatism as a way of life. In other words, the aim is to determine whether their social media is different based on their level of conservatism. The research scale consists of six factors: (1) opinion leadership, (2) positive and negative word of mouth (WOM); (3) information seeking, (4) religion and obedience, (5) women's status and rights, and (6) family and sexual orientation.


This section reviews the literature relating to the concept and development of social media and to consumer behavior on social media with regard to conservatism as a lifestyle.

2.1.The Concept and Development of Social Media

The term social media emerged in the 1990s in relation to the development of computer and Internet technologies (Cao, 2011). Today, businesses use social media for marketing research, new product testing, and customer relationship management. With the continuous improvement and expansion of social media, more and more companies are assessing the marketing capability of social media in terms of linking their business to consumers at a low cost (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Research has shown that social media have a significant impact on the perceptions and behavior of different groups of like-minded customers (Williams & Cothrell, 2000).

Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) described social media as "a group of Internet based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and it allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content (UGC)." User-generated content is a significant way for customers to express themselves and to connect with others online (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) found that UGC creates online social environments that emerge independent of expert routines and practices.

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