Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


Date of this Version



Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing 5:2 (2017), pp. 175–188.


Copyright © 2017 Henry Stewart Publications. Used by permission.


This paper examines the effectiveness of communication on Instagram, a type of visual social networking site, by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Results show that the TSA’s Instagram account elicited stronger emotional reactions than a private consumer product business Instagram account. More importantly, perceived usefulness of content, perceived persuasive intent of content, and negative emotions all affected attitudes toward the TSA. Additionally, perceived usefulness of content and negative emotions also influenced communicative action regarding the TSA account. Findings demonstrate the emotional impact of visual communication and the role of both cognitive and affective evaluations in changing attitudes and behavior regarding a government agency.