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Persuasion in social media: A study of Instagram influencers' usage of persuasive speech acts
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to investigate how different fitness Instagram influencers use persuasive speech acts in their marketing posts. Another aim is to look at the similarities and differences between the influencers’ use of linguistic strategies and speech acts. A study was conducted on 200 Instagram posts from four different fitness influencers. A total of 638 speech acts were coded using a typology by John Searle (1979). The typology consists of the speech acts representatives, directives, commissives, expressives and declaratives. Two speech acts were also added by the researchers; inquires and quotations. Furthermore, the speech acts were also coded for sentence forms (declarative, imperative and interrogative) and also whether they were direct or indirect speech acts. The study also discusses the different aspects of online communication and how these might affect someone’s marketing decisions. This shows that the language someone uses online might affect his or her online identity. There was also a comparison of the results to identify similarities and differences among the selected influencers. The results show a variation of usage of Searle’s (1979) speech acts. All speech acts were used at least once but directives showed the highest frequency among all influencers since they would often command or request their followers to perform a certain action. Another result was that many of the speech acts had a certain sentence structure but a different intention or function, namely, they were indirect speech acts. The intention and function of these speech acts were often to persuade the audience and were therefore persuasive speech acts. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 28
Keyword [en]
persuasive speech acts, John Searle, online marketing, Instagram influencers
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-69900OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-69900DiVA, id: diva2:1174814
Subject / course
English
Educational program
Language, Culture and Communication Programme, 180 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-01-18 Created: 2018-01-16 Last updated: 2018-01-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf