This thesis qualitatively explores how social media influencers whose activity is inextricably linked to the beauty industry perceive their role in diversity communication and what techniques these influencers use to raise awareness and encourage their audiences to engage. With the level of importance that social media has got to in our society, people with prominent online presences might have real social power. The main goal of the research was to approach the phenomenon of social media influencers from the perspective of corporate social responsibility communication as the possibility of influencers being actors of social change has not yet received a considerable amount of attention in the academia. Through a thematic analysis of the data collected via interviews and YouTube videos, the thesis provides an insight into how beauty influencers define their place in diversity communication and how do they make the message regarding diversity and inclusivity most compelling. The findings suggest that beauty influencers indeed see themselves as capable of informing and educating the audiences, inspiring the followers and subscribers to pay attention to companies’ diversity-related projects and encourage them to exercise their consumer power. Moreover, influencers recognize their potential to use their social media platforms to effectively pressure companies within the beauty industry into starting a productive discussion or rethinking their marketing and product development directions. The ways social media influencers achieve or attempt to achieve the set goals mainly revolve around framing and active user engagement.

Additional Metadata
Keywords media, business, corporate social responsibility, social media influencers, diversity, communication, inclusivity, beauty industry
Thesis Advisor V. Chaudhri
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/50211
Series Media & Business
Citation
L. Leonova. (2019, June 24). Influencers: The Dark Knights of Beauty An Exploration of Internet-Famous CSR Actors’ Role in Diversity Communication. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/50211