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Social influencers : examining source credibility and homophily on Instagram

Kuster, E.N. (2017) Social influencers : examining source credibility and homophily on Instagram.

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Abstract:Recently, influencer marketing has become a topic of interest for many marketers. An important question for brands that aim to implement influencer marketing is how to identify and select influencers. Although many marketers these days use influencers, there is little academic research on this topic. A 3 x (micro vs. macro: micro / middle / macro) x 2 (number of followees: low / high ) x 2 (number of likes: low / high) research design was proposed, where micro vs. macro, followees and likes were the independent variables and perceived quality, perceived price and brand trust the dependent variables. A quantitative online survey was used to measure the effects of the independent variables on the dependent variables and the mediating effect of source credibility and influencer homophily. In total, 300 individuals participated in this study. The results of this study provide some practical guidelines for marketers who are interested in working with influencers. It indicates that source credibility and influencer homophily are important for improving brand trust and perceived quality. Moreover, it shows that macro influencers are perceived as more credible than micro influencers. When specifically looking at Instagram users, this study shows that the number of followees has an effect on the perceived product price. When an influencer with a low number of followees is promoting a product, participants are willing to pay more for the product compared to when the product is endorsed by an influencer with a high number of followees.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/72306
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