Choosing the right social media influencer. : A quasi-experiment to explore the impact of influencers’ different characteristics.
Abstract: Background: The use of influencers in social media has become a popular strategy in online marketing. The theoretical field is originally derived from communication and word-of-mouth where certain individuals possess the ability to influence others. With the help of global reach in social media, companies nowadays have the possibility to utilize influencers to communicate brand related content and promotion online. Purpose: Challenges occur to companies in the selection of the right influencer to achieve desired goals and outcome. The purpose of this study is to identify the effect of social media influencers’ different characteristics and how they are perceived by the receivers. Theory and methodology: The literature review is based on theory of branding, communication and characteristics of influencers online. The study applies experimental research design with qualitative approach in order to investigate respondents perception of messages shared by influencers on Instagram. Originality/value: The current study provides a conceptual model that describes the communication process from companies to customers through social media influencers. The focus of the research is the effect of social media influencers’ characteristics on the message perception of the receivers. The study encompasses numerous insights about differences in SMI’s characteristics perception of female and male genders. Results: Integrity and frequent activity are described as the most appreciated characteristics of influencers. Their ability to send successful posts online is dependent on the receivers’ perception of a person. The findings of this study contribute to theory and are useful for companies which consider usage of social media influencers in their communication and branding strategies.
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