An investigation into how charismatic leadership can shape the legitimacy of fitness instructors’ brands on Instagram
Social media has opened up new doors in communication. This means brands have access to talk directly to audiences online, allowing them to increase their positive influence to create a relationship with the audience, while also leading to harder critique from their followers (Grunig and Grunig 2010; Waddington 2012; Painter 2015). As a consequence, establishing legitimacy of brands on social media has become critical. This research will be looking specifically at Instagram, and how brands establish charismatic legitimacy through their leadership online. Instagram is an image-based platform, but this research will look at the text that is used alongside images to understand the way brands communicate and establish legitimacy, thus addressing a new area of research in social media (Bevins 2014; Smith and Sanderson 2014; Guidry et al. 2015; Gibbs et al. 2015; Lavoie 2015; Pittman and Reich 2016; Sheldon and Bryant 2016).