Content Co-creation Practices and Expressions of Authenticity on Destination Marketing Organisation’s Instagram Account
Abstract: The emergence of social media has changed the power relations and the practices of tourism destination marketing by enabling the co-existence of user generated content and destination marketing organisation’s content, as well as the content co-creation among these actors. Due to the visual nature of tourism the image-focused social media platforms are particularly interesting for the tourism field. This thesis is looking into tourism destination marketing on image-focused social media platform Instagram, concentrating on the social media content co-creation on destination marketing organisation’s Instagram account, the user practices related to the content co-creation process and the expressions of authenticity within the co-created content. The study aims to explore the practices of content co-creation and the expressions of authenticity present within the co-created content through an ethnographic content analysis of destination marketing organisation Visit Stockholm’s Instagram account’s content. The findings indicate that Visit Stockholm’s Instagram account combines the destination marketing organisation’s published posts with the further content co-created among the destination marketing organisation and other users. Social media presence constructed like this was found to enable the destination marketing organisation to largely maintain control of the projected destination image within the account, while co-creating content with other users and incorporating user reactions into destination marketing practices. The content co-creation was discovered to enable the co-existence of various authenticity forms, as well as to open a possibility for the social process of authentication to emerge on destination marketing organisation’s official Instagram account.
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