This paper considers the role of brand as a media to present a woman in a virtual community in Indonesia called Female Daily Forums. In the absence of face to face communication, the member needs something to identify with as they communicate with one another. Specifically, the research looks at how a certain brand is related to the daily production of a member's identity. In order to seek an answer to the research question, this study employed netnographic-like observation of the participant when they communicated in the forum. I analyze this problem by using the theory of Irving Goffman on impression management. Later on, I look at the theory developed by Andrew Wood and Matthew Smith into a virtual context that discusses how this identity is applied on the internet. Wood and Smith said that identity is 'a complex personal and social construct, consisting in part of who we think ourselves to be, how we wish others to perceive us, and how they actually perceive us". The finding of the research shows that the member of Female Daily uses the brand as positive self-presentation. Through her possession of information about a certain brand, she becomes the opinion leader, and she is known as the master of the brand. In this social media context, in which participants in this research produce branded content, therefore, they shape their identities. They become the source of information about a certain brand, for example, @Snowyland for the brand Secret Key, while she is not the official representative of the company who owns the brand.
Fatma Dian Pratiwi, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
Stream: Social Media & Communication Technology
This paper is part of the MediAsia2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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