Short-term Impact of Instagram on Livelihoods of Artisans at Accra Arts Centre
Keywords:Instagram, e-commerce, artisans, livelihoods, followers, brand awareness
The Accra Arts Centre in Ghana is a physical commercial hub for over eight hundred artisans. However, due to an ongoing construction project, the Marine Drive Project, the artisans' livelihoods are threatened. The Marine Drive Project aims to transform parts of the Accra coastline into a residential business district; hence will demolish the current Accra Arts Centre. Therefore, there is a need to explore sustainable livelihoods – ones that withstand stresses and shocks, such as the Marine Drive Project. Within the sustainable livelihoods framework, socially sustainable livelihoods encompass the economic gain that persons can derive from meeting their needs and affording them a decent living – such as the economic gain the artisans get from selling. To promote this social livelihood and withstand the stress of the project, artisans can use Instagram for commerce due to its visual emphasis, social features and embedded e-commerce platform. The Digital Business Transformation Initiative has taught about 120 artisans how to use Instagram for trade, and this research investigates its impact on the artisans' livelihood. Through the literature reviewed, brand awareness is a step towards increasing the sales volume on social commerce. Therefore, the impact on brand awareness was studied to investigate the short-term effect of Instagram on the artisans' business. The independent variable is the number of followers the artisan has, and the dependent variables are the frequency of posts by the artisan and the number of persons they follow. The findings gained external validity through a comparative analysis against selected African artisans to confirm patterns in the initial data set. Both datasets revealed that artisans could gain brand awareness through Instagram commerce and build their network through literature in the short term. However, other factors, such as the quality of posts and the quality of the artisans' network, play a role in achieving brand awareness. From the literature, the increasing brand awareness due to frequent posting and the quality of the artisans' following can lead to sales and improve the artisans' social livelihoods.
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