Article

Influence of Parasocial Relationship Between Digital Celebrities and Their Followers on Followers’ Purchase and Electronic Word-of-Mouth Intentions, and persuasion knowledge

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Abstract

Marketers recognize digital celebrities' advertising power and effectiveness, making them influential models of social media advertising. The concept of parasocial relationships may elucidate relationships between digital celebrities and their followers and explain the former's persuasion power over the latter. This study explores how parasocial relationships affect followers' purchase and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) intentions and investigates the effect of empathy, loneliness, and low social self-esteem on parasocial relationships within Uses and Gratification Theory. Additionally, it examines whether followers' parasocial relationships can reduce their persuasion knowledge. A survey was administered three hundred eighty-nine Chinese SNS users following digital celebrities; valid data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Empathy and low self-esteem positively influenced parasocial relationships; however, loneliness did not. Parasocial relationships positively affected followers' purchase and eWOM intentions. The second model investigated the negative effects of persuasion knowledge on followers' purchase and eWOM intentions. The results indicate that parasocial relationship moderates the paths between followers' persuasion knowledge and purchase intentions and between followers' persuasion knowledge and eWOM intentions. This study sheds light on how digital celebrities have an advertising influence on their SNS followers with the concept of parasocial relationships and is notable given the dearth of empirical studies on digital celebrities’ SNS advertising.

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... Furthermore, PSI can positively influence brand perceptions (Lee & Watkins, 2016), WOM intention (K. Hwang & Zhang, 2018), and purchase intention (Sokolova & Kefi, 2020). Thus: ...
... Hwang & Jeong, 2016). Furthermore, K. Hwang and Zhang (2018) realised that PSI can lessen the negative impact of followers' persuasion awareness. Consequently, it is crucial to study consumers' attitude towards sponsored posts to understand their impact on purchase intention. ...
... More specifically, this result suggests that consumers' purchase intention of a recommended fashion product is likely to occur if followers regard digital influencers as their close friends and if they feel they are part of their group. The results of this study are consistent with findings of past research, for example, K. Hwang and Zhang (2018) as well as Lee and Watkins (2016). According to Lee and Watkins (2016) study, PSI between YouTube vloggers and their viewers can positively influence the purchase intention in luxury fashion. ...
... Unlike traditional celebrities (e.g. those famous on TV and radio), SMCs have become famous due to their active efforts to create content, including pictures, stories and videos on SMPs (Hwang and Zhang, 2018;Zafar et al., 2020). The recent literature has asserted that followers perceive SMCs to exhibit a high level of sincerity and trustworthiness compared to traditional celebrities (Lee and Eastin, 2020). ...
... For example, Taobao and Tmall, two leading Chinese online retail platforms that capitalised on the popularity of SMCs by making them a core part of their promotional strategy (Cheung, 2018). Thus, mirroring the steady growth in the number of SMC followers, the number of SMCs in China has likewise surged (Hwang and Zhang, 2018). ...
... While a growing body of research has addressed SMCs' traits (e.g. Kay et al., 2020;Zafar et al., 2021), the role of SMCs in establishing PSRs with their audiences remains relatively understudied (Hwang and Zhang, 2018;Jin and Ryu, 2020;Shan et al., 2020;Sokolova and Kefi, 2020). This is a significant lacuna in the existing research on the relationship between SMCs and their followers' PSRs, especially because the prior literature reveals contrasting findings. ...
Social media celebrities (SMCs) and social media platforms (SMPs) have become indispensable in today's business and marketing settings. Drawing on the celebrity influence model (CIM), this study examines the impact of SMCs on their followers' purchase intention and the moderating influence of SMP usage on the relationships between (a) SMCs and their followers' purchase intention, (b) para-social relationships (PSR) and purchase intention, and (c) identification and purchase intention. We collected 665 valid responses via an online questionnaire in China and then employed partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) to examine the proposed relationships between the variables. The findings revealed that SMCs do not significantly influence their followers' purchase intention directly; however, they do exert such influence through PSR and identification. The results further indicated that SMP usage moderates the effect of PSR and identification on purchase intention. Our study offers both theoretical and managerial contributions. Theoretically, the incorporation of CIM into this study's model augments the PSR and identification literature in the context of SMCs. Again, the moderating effect of SMP usage that we reveal is novel in the social media literature. In practice, marketers in China should consider the credibility and rapport a particular social media celebrity has with his or her followers before contracting that particular celebrity to endorse their products.
... Social media sites also provide a free platform for consumers to share their experiences of purchased products and even criticize the brands for their failures, increasing word-of-mouth communication (Chen et al., 2011). With the growth of social network sites, new digital celebrity groups such as bloggers and Instagram celebrities (Insta-celebrities), who are famous for their online blogs, vlogs or posts on social media accounts, have emerged, unlike traditional celebrities (Hwang, Zhang, 2018). Digital celebrities, thanks to a large For today's brands, existence on social networks has become part of their marketing strategies as the efficiency of promotion via online business accounts and social networking platforms and user-generated content has been proved (Gensler et al., 2013;Welbourne, Grant, 2016;Lipizzi et al., 2015;Sokolova, Kefi, 2020). ...
... With the development of this kind of relationship, as the social impact theory reveals, the follower begins to see the influencer as a reliable source of information, and it is possible to shape their purchasing decisions in line with the recommendations of the influencer (Lee, Watkins, 2016;Rubin et al., 1985). Studies show that this para-social interaction between social media influencers and followers positively affects purchase intention (Kim et al., 2015;Hwang, Zhang, 2018;Sokolova, Kefi, 2020). ...
... According to the literature on interpersonal communication, when "the source and receiver are similar, alike or homophilous" (Rogers, Bhowmik, 1970: 526), the message exchange will occur more frequently, the attraction will be more accessible, and friendships will develop more easily (Byrne et al., 1986). Para-social interaction, which expresses the asymmetrical relationship between media users and media figures, can be built depending on many variables including, the attractiveness, trustworthiness and expertness, collectively credibility of the media persona (Yuan et al., 2016;Hwang, Zhang, 2018), attitude homophily (Lee, Watkins, 2016), and perceived interactivity (Kim et al., 2021). ...
Article
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Purpose –The aim of this study was to eplainhow the source credibility, attitude homophily, interactivity, and para-social interaction are related and affect the attitude toward the post. Following this, the effect of this attitude on buying and e-WOM intention and the moderating role of risk aversion levels in this relationship also has been investigated. Design/methodology/approach –Data were collected from 570 followers of an influencer who mainly share content related to experience products on Instagram. The research model was tested with SEM and multi group comparison analysis using AMOS. Findings –This study revealed that para-social interaction of consumers with influencers results in the generation of a positive attitude towards the recommendation post of the influencer. Also, once a positive attitude towards the post has been generated, it results in the generation of purchase intention and e-WOM engagement. Relationships examined in the context of experience products showed that attitude homophily and influencer's interactivity were the most influential among the antecedents (influencer's credibility, attitude homophily, interactivity) examined in the formation of para-social interaction. In the study, it was also determined that the risk aversion levels of consumers have a moderating effect on the attitude-purchase intention relationship, and even in the context of experience products that are perceived as inherently risky, consumers with low risk aversion tended to make purchases by considering the influencer's share.Discussion –Today, where influencer marketing is used extensively by businesses, it is possible for these activities to create the desired effect by choosing the right influencer. It is crucial to determine what is necessary to ensure that the followers buy the product and have positive word-of-mouth communication that are among the ultimate goals of the influencer's posts. For experience products where the purchasing decision is relatively risky, it can be said that for the success of influencer marketing, the influencer's expertise, the attitude homophily, and the willingness of the influencer to interact are essential at the point of establishing para-social interaction. In order to ensure that consumers with high risk aversion levels buy the product, it can be recommended to pay great attention to the content shared and provide helpful information that reflects the truth.
... We added perceived congruence, interaction with the influencer, influencer expertise, influencer credibility, and physical attractiveness as recommended by Choi and Rifon (2012), Lafferty et al. (2002). It has been shown that attitude towards the influencer is affected directly Conceptual model by perceived congruence, influencer credibility, and physical attractiveness (Xu and Pratt, 2018;De Veirman et al., 2017;Hwang and Zhang, 2018). Moreover, it was revealed that customers' attitudes influenced purchase intention, as recommended by the TPB. ...
... Influencers who are perceived as attractive can change the attitudes of their followers (Sharma, 1990). A study was conducted by Hwang and Zhang (2018) in China and found that attitude towards the influencer is positively related to purchase intention and influenced by physical attractiveness. Consequently, an attractive Instagram influencer is more likely to positively affect followers' attitudes and buying intentions. ...
... Perceived congruence was shown to be the strongest factor impacting attitudes toward influencers, followed by credibility and physical attractiveness. These results suggest that an influencer who is perceived as congruent, credible, and physically attractive is more likely to impact positively the consumer's attitudes and buying intention, as confirmed by previous literature (Hwang and Zhang, 2018;Nam and Dân, 2018). On the other hand, interaction with the influencer, influencer expertise, and subjective norms negatively impact consumers' attitudes toward influencers in the organic food industry. ...
Article
Purpose Instagram health and wellbeing influencers (HWIs) have been increasingly considered as important sources of information and advice for their followers. This study aims to investigate the key antecedents of followers' attitude towards HWIs as well as their influence on their followers' intent to purchase organic products. The moderating effect of gender is also taken into account. Design/methodology/approach Based on data collected from 251 Instagram HWIs followers, the authors empirically tested the conceptual model using structural equation modeling. Findings First, the authors demonstrate that attitude towards HWIs positively impacts followers' attitude towards the promoted brands as well as their intention to purchase organic food brands. Second, followers' attitude towards HWIs is mainly influenced by perceived congruence, influencer credibility, and physical attractiveness. Finally, gender acts as a moderator, e.g. attitude towards HWIs is more likely to be influenced by perceived congruence and physical attractiveness among female followers. Practical implications The findings allow organic brands' managers to understand the key antecedents of followers' attitudes toward HWIs, and therefore, better select talented influencers who are able to create purchase intentions among both existing and potential customers. Originality/value This original research bridges a gap pertaining to the potential use of HWIs to shape consumer intention to purchase organic products. To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to investigate the impact of attitudes toward influencers on both brand attitude and purchase intention in the organic food industry.
... H2. Consumers develop higher levels of parasocial interaction with vloggers when vloggers have higher levels of self-disclosure in their channel. Lim and Kim (2011) reported a positive relationship between older consumers' loneliness and parasocial relationships (Hwang and Zhang, 2018). In a related study, Iannone et al. (2018) studied ostracism and proposed NTB as an antecedent of parasocial interaction. ...
... Labrecque (2014) proposed vlogger's openness as a driver of parasocial interaction. Moreover, Hwang and Zhang (2018) found empathy to be an antecedent of parasocial interaction. Empathy provides a fundamental basis and skills for individuals to effectively perform social interaction (Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright, 2004;Hwang and Zhang, 2018). ...
... Moreover, Hwang and Zhang (2018) found empathy to be an antecedent of parasocial interaction. Empathy provides a fundamental basis and skills for individuals to effectively perform social interaction (Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright, 2004;Hwang and Zhang, 2018). In a similar study, Ferchaud et al. (2018) stated that self-disclosure can function as a driver of parasocial interaction. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose-The purpose of this study is to examine the role of interaction-based features of social media reviewing channels and vloggers' self-disclosure in consumers' parasocial interaction with vloggers. Design/methodology/approach-The study was conducted using an online survey, and data was collected using Amazon MTurk. The respondents were asked to think of an online reviewing channel that they watch regularly and subsequently responded to a series of questions. The analysis was conducted using structural equation modeling via AMOS. Findings-Both channel interactivity and vloggers' self-disclosure displayed a positive impact on consumers' parasocial interaction with vloggers, which eventually led to perceived trustworthiness, brand identification, communal-brand connection with the channel, purchase intention toward the recommended products and willingness to pay a premium price for extra services. Research limitations/implications-Future research can examine the robustness of the findings by using a sample of internet users who are similar in terms of frequency, enthusiasm and duration of active usage. Originality/value-Marketing managers can benefit from the findings of this study by understanding the dynamics of how influencers shape consumer perception and behavior. Owners of reviewing channels can gain insight on how to strengthen their bond with their viewers.
... For example, research suggests that followers' perceptions of an influencer in terms of physical attractiveness, opinion leadership, and credibility Lee and Watkins, 2016;Lin et al., 2018;Sokolova and Kefi, 2020;Taillon et al., 2020;Wiedmann and von Mettenheim, 2020) and of messages, such as originality and quality (Evans et al., 2017;Woodroof et al., 2020), affect their behavioral intentions toward the influencer's recommendations. Followers' individual characteristics, such as loneliness and self-esteem (Belanche et al., 2021;Hwang and Zhang, 2018), also play a role in their responses to influencer marketing. ...
... Influencer characteristics that can positively affect followers' purchase decisions include opinion leadership (Belanche et al., 2021), physical attractiveness (Lou and Yuan, 2019;Sokolova and Kefi, 2020), credibility (Breves et al., 2019;Reinikainen et al., 2020), and trustworthiness (Schouten et al., 2020;Wang et al., 2018). Follower attributes that are associated with their purchase intention include interest fit with influencer posts (Belanche et al., 2021;Martínez-López et al., 2020), perceived parasocial relationships (Sokolova and Kefi, 2020), and loneliness (Hwang and Zhang, 2018). Post/content features that improve influencer marketing effectiveness include content uniqueness, originality (Casaló et al., 2020), interactivity, informativeness, and aesthetic (Ki et al., 2020). ...
... We adapted two items measuring storytelling posts from Ki et al. (2020) and Stubb (2018). Four items on followers' purchase intention came from Hwang and Zhang (2018). We used a 7-point Likert scale to measure all the items. ...
Social networking in the form of online communities and social groups is a characteristic of social media communication that has profound implications on the identity dynamics and behavior of social media users. Drawing from social identity theory, this research brings the social identity construct (i.e., followers' perception of the self in relation to the influencer community) to the literature on influencer marketing and examines the effect of followers' social identity, along with their interest fit and the influencer's opinion leadership, on their purchase intention. This research also examines the moderating role of storytelling, a pervasive approach of social media influencers, in enhancing the social identity-purchase intention link. Empirical results from 467 Instagram users show that all three factors positively impact followers' intention, but social identity has a more salient effect than the others. Storytelling posts can enhance these effects. Studying influencer marketing through the social identity angle contributes to a better understanding of influencer marketing effectiveness.
... Cluster four deals with PSI and Lee and Watkins' (2016) paper, which builds on fundamental PSI literature (e.g., Giles, 2002;Horton & Wohl, 1956;Rubin et al., 1985). Research in this cluster shows that PSI has a positive impact on brand perception (e.g., Lee & Watkins, 2016), purchase intention, and eWOM intention (e.g., Hwang & Zhang, 2018). In addition, PSI is positively influenced by attractiveness (e.g., Liu et al., 2019), empathy (Hwang & Zhang, 2018), identity similarity (Hu et al., 2020), self-influencer congruency (Shan et al., 2019), opinion leadership (Quelhas-Brito et al., 2020), and credibility (Sakib et al., 2020). ...
... Research in this cluster shows that PSI has a positive impact on brand perception (e.g., Lee & Watkins, 2016), purchase intention, and eWOM intention (e.g., Hwang & Zhang, 2018). In addition, PSI is positively influenced by attractiveness (e.g., Liu et al., 2019), empathy (Hwang & Zhang, 2018), identity similarity (Hu et al., 2020), self-influencer congruency (Shan et al., 2019), opinion leadership (Quelhas-Brito et al., 2020), and credibility (Sakib et al., 2020). ...
... In addition, a clear thematic development is evident. In 2017 the research focused on social networks and their influence (e.g., Araujo et al., 2017;Litterio et al., 2017), in 2018 on communications and recommendations, and their impact on communities (e.g., Esteban-Santos et al., 2018;Hwang & Zhang, 2018), and in 2019 on celebrity endorsement and the associated SC (e.g., Cheah et al., 2019;Djafarova & Trofimenko, 2019;. The most recent research gives more consideration to the links between PSI and persuasion knowledge (e.g., Jin & Ryu, 2020;Reinikainen et al., 2020). ...
Chapter
Continuous exposure to marketing communication has led to its commoditization. Addressing this concern, marketing practitioners increasingly rely on social media-based influencer marketing as a counterstrategy to effectively position products and brands in the market. Social media-based influencer marketing has also attracted considerable attention in marketing research, with numerous studies shedding light on the contingencies that shape successful influencer marketing and its effect on consumer behavior. In light of its growing prominence, this chapter documents the results of a comprehensive bibliometric analysis of social media-based influencer marketing research published between 2011 and 2020. Our study of 132 research papers discloses the scientific foundations of and emerging trends in the field by analyzing collaboration networks, conducting a citation analysis, and concluding with a keyword trend analysis. We find that four main topics shape the field, namely influencer marketing principles, advertising disclosure effects, source credibility and endorsement, and para-social interaction. Based on our results, we offer guidelines to marketers on how to overcome the commoditization of marketing communications.
... Persuasion researchers usually assume that respective coping behaviors involve defensive reactions (Isaac and grayson 2017) such as reactance (Beckert et al. 2020;Dillard and Shen 2005) or cognitive and affective resistance (Beckert et al. 2021;van Reijmersdal et al. 2016;Zuwerink and Devine 1996). Accordingly, most studies on the topic demonstrated that the activation of persuasion knowledge has a negative impact on indicators for persuasion success such as brand attitude (e.g., Attaran, Notarantonio, and Quigley 2015;Beckert et al. 2020;Hwang and Zhang 2018). Yet it should be noted that in different occasions, studies demonstrated that the activation of persuasion knowledge might also have a positive impact on persuasion outcomes (e.g. ...
... Ahluwalia and Burnkrant 2004;Isaac and grayson 2017;Wei, Fischer, and Main 2008) Research on influencer marketing has demonstrated that persuasion knowledge also has an impact on processing sponsored influencer messages. Hwang and Zhang (2018) and H. Kim (2021) found that persuasion knowledge activation negatively affects purchase intention. Focusing on the effect of sponsorship disclosures, other studies demonstrated that such disclosures facilitate ad recognition as a precondition of activating persuasion knowledge and subsequently lead to lower brand attitude (Stubb and Colliander 2019; Veirman and Hudders 2020) but increases brand recall (Boerman 2020). ...
... The general thrust of these findings is that PSI and PSR have positive effects on both consumers' influencer perceptions and their brand perceptions. Research has demonstrated that PSR affects influencer-related outcomes such as influencer credibility (Breves et al. 2021;Munnukka et al. 2019;Reinikainen et al. 2020) as well as brand-related outcomes such as brand attitude, brand trust, and purchase intention (Breves et al. 2019;Hwang and Zhang 2018;Munnukka et al. 2019;Reinikainen et al. 2020). These findings suggest that PSR also plays a role in multiple influencer endorsement scenarios. ...
Article
Advertisers report avoiding collaborations with influencers who endorse a large number of brands because they fear the negative outcomes of such over-endorsements. Yet many popular influencers endorse far more than one brand. Earlier research on multiple endorsements by celebrity testimonials and their effects on both brand and endorser evaluations produced mixed results. This article investigates the consequences of multiple endorsements in an influencer context. We conducted a between-subjects online experiment in which we varied the number of brand endorsements (one, three, seven endorsements) presented by an influencer. Results show that multiple influencer endorsements affect the performance of evaluative persuasion knowledge and subsequent coping behaviors, which in turn negatively affect brand attitude and perceived influencer authenticity. Coping with influencer endorsements is generally moderated by participants’ parasocial relationships with the influencer. However, parasocial relationships appear not to be relevant in specifically processing multiple endorsements. Based on these findings, we discuss theoretical implications for researching influencer marketing from a persuasion knowledge model (PKM) perspective.
... H2. Consumers develop higher levels of parasocial interaction with vloggers when vloggers have higher levels of self-disclosure in their channel. Lim and Kim (2011) reported a positive relationship between older consumers' loneliness and parasocial relationships (Hwang and Zhang, 2018). In a related study, Iannone et al. (2018) studied ostracism and proposed NTB as an antecedent of parasocial interaction. ...
... Labrecque (2014) proposed vlogger's openness as a driver of parasocial interaction. Moreover, Hwang and Zhang (2018) found empathy to be an antecedent of parasocial interaction. Empathy provides a fundamental basis and skills for individuals to effectively perform social interaction (Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright, 2004;Hwang and Zhang, 2018). ...
... Moreover, Hwang and Zhang (2018) found empathy to be an antecedent of parasocial interaction. Empathy provides a fundamental basis and skills for individuals to effectively perform social interaction (Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright, 2004;Hwang and Zhang, 2018). In a similar study, Ferchaud et al. (2018) stated that self-disclosure can function as a driver of parasocial interaction. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the role of interaction-based features of social media reviewing channels and vloggers’ self-disclosure in consumers’ parasocial interaction with vloggers. Design/methodology/approach The study was conducted using an online survey, and data was collected using Amazon MTurk. The respondents were asked to think of an online reviewing channel that they watch regularly and subsequently responded to a series of questions. The analysis was conducted using structural equation modeling via AMOS. Findings Both channel interactivity and vloggers’ self-disclosure displayed a positive impact on consumers’ parasocial interaction with vloggers, which eventually led to perceived trustworthiness, brand identification, communal–brand connection with the channel, purchase intention toward the recommended products and willingness to pay a premium price for extra services. Research limitations/implications Future research can examine the robustness of the findings by using a sample of internet users who are similar in terms of frequency, enthusiasm and duration of active usage. Originality/value Marketing managers can benefit from the findings of this study by understanding the dynamics of how influencers shape consumer perception and behavior. Owners of reviewing channels can gain insight on how to strengthen their bond with their viewers.
... Researchers found that PSI is a secondary dimension that positively influences purchases and content sharing intentions (i.e., electronic word-of-mouth) (Lee & Watkins, 2016;Lou & Kim, 2019;Ki et al., 2020). This is attributed to the perception that influencers are authentic and credible, just as one would perceive their friends (Hwang & Zhang, 2018). The effect of PSI is particularly pronounced among Generation Z consumers, as researchers found that PSI is a much stronger predictor of purchase intentions than credibility (Sokolova & Kefi, 2020 While most researchers agree that ad disclosures increase ad recognition and brand/product recall (Boerman, 2020;Evans et al., 2017), it remains highly contested whether ad disclosures significantly affect brand attitudes or purchase intentions. ...
... Nowadays, social media influencers wield much power and influence over their following. In a digitally driven marketing environment, social media marketing research adopted an established body of parasocial research to extend existing literature in various research topics, such as celebrity endorsement (Chung & Cho, 2017;Rasmussen, 2018), electronic word of mouth and persuasion knowledge (Hwang & Zhang, 2018), and source credibility (Yuan & Lou, 2020). Another stream of fruitful parasocial research in influencer marketing has been around YouTube personalities or, simply, YouTubers. ...
... SMIs establish PSRs by posting daily insights on their lives, reacting occasionally to comments, and addressing their followers directly (e.g., via Instagram stories or by asking questions in their social media posts; Abidin 2016; García-Rapp 2017; Jerslev 2016; Raun 2018). These ongoing dialogues and repeated encounters between SMIs and their respective followers increase the intimacy level with the audience, thereby deepening the PSR (Ballantine and Martin 2005) and distinguishing SMIs from traditional celebrities (e.g., Hwang and Zhang 2018). ...
... Previous researchers have asserted that a PSR exerts a significant positive effect on purchase intention (Hwang and Zhang 2018; Sokolova and Kefi 2020), brand perceptions (Lee and Watkins 2016), SC (Breves et al. 2021), and electronic word-of-mouth intentions (Hwang and Zhang 2018) in the context of influencer marketing. Moreover, scholars have demonstrated that PSR acts as a mediator between attitude toward a brand and purchase intention (Colliander and Dahlén 2011), between attitude toward a blog and blog credibility (Colliander and Erlandsson 2015), and between participation in vlogs and credibility perceptions (Munnukka et al. 2019). ...
Article
Social media influencers (SMIs) have become an effective channel for reaching targeted customers. The present study explores the influence process of advertising recognition on consumer responses in the SMI marketing context. The authors examined an Instagram post featuring the endorsement of a brand and created an experimental design with four conditions related to advertising recognition and the parasocial relationship. Findings from a partial least squares structural equation modeling procedure indicate that advertising recognition results in overall negative consumer responses to SMI brand endorsements. The results also indicate parallel mediating effects of source credibility and attitude toward endorsements as well as moderating effects of the parasocial relationship and consumer skepticism toward influencer marketing. The study sheds light on the influence process of SMI brand endorsements and the boundary conditions under which consumer responses to advertising recognition are moderated.
... To extend current knowledge on the role of C2C video reviews in influencing consumer decision making, we turn to parasocial interaction theory (Hartmann and Goldhoorn 2011;Horton and Wohl 1956), which suggests that consumers who are searching for reviews are prone to developing specialalbeit one-sided-connections with reviewers. Although previous studies highlight the positive impact of such connections on source credibility and the acceptance of recommendations provided (Munnukka et al. 2019;Reinikainen et al. 2020) they have focused on building parasocial relationships over time (Choi and Lee 2019;Hwang and Zhang 2018) rather than on fostering parasocial interactions through single encounters. Moreover, most studies on parasocial interaction focus on communications with celebrities and online influencers (Lee and Watkins 2016;Tsai and Men 2017) rather than complete strangers. ...
... In particular, the research in Table 1 establishes the importance of parasocial interactions and relationships with different media personalities. One-sided connections formed in an online environment positively influence the perceived source credibility of media personalities (Reinikainen et al. 2020;Yuan, Kim, and Kim 2016) and the effectiveness of their endorsements (Chung and Cho 2017;Gong and Li 2017), leading to more favorable brand attitudes (Labrecque 2014;Lee and Watkins 2016) and consumptionrelated behaviors (Chung and Cho 2017;Hwang and Zhang 2018). However, previous research focuses primarily on relationships consumers experience with online media personalities such as traditional celebrities (e.g., actors, musicians), online influencers (e.g., bloggers, vloggers), or brands (e.g., hotel chains, consumer goods brands). ...
Article
Full-text available
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) online reviews are important sources of information that help consumers decide which products and services to buy. Although C2C reviews in video format (e.g., on YouTube) have become increasingly popular, research remains focused primarily on textual reviews. This article emphasizes the importance of C2C video reviews in influencing consumer outcomes through parasocial interaction, a special—albeit one-sided—connection with reviewers. Interactivity and self-disclosure are suggested as online communication techniques reviewers can use to foster parasocial interaction with their viewers in a single encounter. Parasocial interaction is further established as a psychological mechanism that underlines the impacts of interactivity and self-disclosure on source credibility, leading to improved consumer purchase intentions. The authors also propose that strong parasocial interaction with reviewers exerts a particularly powerful influence on the purchase decisions of consumers who experience low levels of decision confidence, while arguing for the importance of C2C video reviews in guiding the decisions of various consumer groups. Research recommendations reveal how managers can encourage consumers to create and share video reviews on different platforms and offer guidance on the ways companies can foster parasocial interaction through firm-related marketing communications.
... Influencers have a sizable network of followers, who show keen interests in the influencers' information and activities by voluntarily receiving automatic post feeds from the influencers and interacting with the influencers and other followers by comments and discussions. An increasing body of literature has studied factors that can enhance influencers' effectiveness (Casaló, Flavián, & Ibáñez-Sánchez, 2020;Farivar, Wang, & Yuan, 2021;Hwang & Zhang, 2018;Jiménez-Castillo & Sánchez-Fernández, 2019). We note that research on the topic has been multidisciplinary and relied on various research traditions. ...
... As such, we attempt to rely on multiple pieces of evidence, when possible, rather than on a single study, such that we increase the likelihood of our claims to be based on past credible insights. Particularly, the research on influencers has provided some evidence that followers' relationship to influencer, such as parasocial relationship (i.e., the unilateral interpersonal relationship a follower develops with an influencer), is the key to the effectiveness of social media influencer (Hu, Min, Han, & Liu, 2020;Hwang & Zhang, 2018;Lee & Watkins, 2016), and influencer characteristics, such as social and physical attractiveness, can affect the formation of parasocial relationship (Lee & Watkins, 2016;Sokolova & Kefi, 2020). This strand of research tended to use large scale surveys; hence, it provides relatively strong strength of evidence. ...
Article
Following social media influencers is a common activity for social media users. As influencers endeavour to engage followers and increase their power of influence for commercial value, it can result in potential negative consequences to followers' wellbeing. This research explored how social media influencing may cause problematic engagement with influencers. To do so, we drew from attachment theory and used mixed methods, including a Delphi study and a survey with 500 Instagram users. Results suggested that influencer characteristics such as physical attractiveness, social attractiveness, and self-presence, as well as followers' participation comprehensiveness can foster followers' problematic engagement through the mediation of bond- and identity-based attachment (i.e., parasocial relationship and sense of belonging). Importantly, following more influencers weakened the effect of sense of belonging on problematic engagement, but not that of parasocial relationship. Overall, this study sheds light on negative aspects of social media influencing and provides useful insights to gauge social media influencers’ engagement tactics for a healthy follower behaviour and influencer outcomes.
... These social media relationships can enhance individuals' sense of connectedness with real or online communities, which may contribute to perceptions of a parasocial relationship (Mujde and Labrecque 2016). Indeed, research demonstrates that digital celebrities, defined as those individuals who become famous online via social media blogging and vlogging (Hwang and Zhang 2018), are more closely connected to their online followers than celebrities who do not engage with their followers online, making them powerful opinion leaders in their social communities (Agarwal, Mahata, and Liu 2014). ...
... SMIs typically provide rather consistent content on their platforms, addressing genres such as fashion/lifestyle, fitness, art/music, environmental topics/politics, cooking/baking, gaming, or travel. Thus, followers know what to expect topic-wise, and therefore choose the SMIs they follow with regard to topics and content they are interested in themselves (Hwang and Zhang, 2018). With regard to marketing, this makes it possible for brands to choose SMIs that have a good topic fit to their product. ...
Article
The impact of social media influencers (SMIs) on brand-related outcomes has been well researched, yet whether this influence also impacts political participation and what role the relationship between SMIs and their audiences play has not been sufficiently examined to date. Basing this study on the Balance Model, I investigated the potential of an unlikely vs. a likely source and the role of similarity with a SMI based on a shared topic interest to elicit the intention for political action in an experimental study (n = 222). The perceived similarity with the SMI was examined as a mediator and the role of the shared topic interest with the SMI as a potential moderator. The results indicate that a likely source for political information generated a greater topic fit. The perceived similarity with the source depended on the shared topic interest between the source and the participants. This is a key finding, as perceived similarity with the source in turn predicted the intention to take political action, which positively activated participants who shared the topic interest of the unlikely source even if they did not indicate a topic interest in politics. Thus, a shared interest with a SMI might make even those not interested in politics more open to political participation.
... Emellett az online térben elhelyezett reklámok költséghatékonysága miatt a közösségi média a marketingkommunikáció fontos színterévé vált: a Business Insider előrejelzése szerint az influenszermarketing iparága 2022-re a 8 milliárd dolláros értéket is elérheti (SCHOMER, 2017). A közösségi média influenszerek egyre inkább kezdik felváltani a hagyományos hírességeket mint márka-és reklámarcok, azonban kampányaik sikerességét számos tényező befolyásolja, mint például a követőkkel kialakított kapcsolat (HWANG -ZHANG, 2018;SOKOLOVA -KEFI, 2019), illetve az influenszer-imidzs kongruenciája (összeillése) a termékkel vagy márkával (KAMINS, 1990;SCHOUTEN et al., 2019;TILL -BUSLER, 2000). Tanulmányunkban ezen tényezők hatását vizsgáljuk az influenszer hitelességére és a reklámattitűdökre nézve. ...
Conference Paper
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Lately, the more „relatable” and „trustworthy” social media influencer has been taking over the role of the traditional celebrity in advertising. The aim of our present paper is to examine the simultaneous role of parasocial relationship and the influencer-brand congruence on source credibility and the effectiveness of social media posts. The results of the two empirical studies are contradictory: in our first study, the high parasocial relationship offset the direct and indirect negative effects of the incongruent post on advertising attitude. In contrast, in the second study, the positive effect of the congruent post through source credibility was enhanced along with the parasocial relationship, while the direct effect of the incongruent post on advertising attitudes was more positive than the effect of the congruent post when parasocial relationship was strong. The difference in the results may be explained by the different brands, influencers, and samples used across the two studies. Further studies are needed to understand the combined mechanism of influencer-brand congruence and the parasocial relationship.
... Their reputation depends on their authenticity, communication skills, influence, and expertise (Ryu and Han, 2021). Given the increasing impact of social media influencers on social media (Hwang and Zhang, 2018), companies partner with influencers who agree to endorse brands in their content. Influencer marketing thus is becoming more important in the communication strategies of brands. ...
... In the long-term processing of information, consumers gradually build knowledge to identify and analyze various persuasive intentions, which is called persuasion knowledge (Ryu and na Park, 2020). Consumers' persuasion knowledge is inactive for a long time and is activated when they realize that the received information contains persuasive intent (Hwang & Zhang, 2018). When consumer persuasion knowledge is active, they distinguish the fraudulent content based on persuasion knowledge and pay more attention to the authenticity of online reviews. ...
Article
Online reviews are of great importance in supporting the purchasing decision making of online consumers. With the prospering of e-commerce, increasingly fraudulent reviews are appearing on e-commerce platforms to mislead consumers, and an increasing number of consumers are worrying about being deceived in online shopping. However, little research effort has been invested in studying the impact of review credibility perception caused by online review fraud on product sales. To fill this research gap, this paper conducts empirical research on the moderating effect of consumers' credibility perception of online reviews. Here, review credibility perception, or consumers' credibility perception of online reviews, refers to the credibility or trust that consumers have in the reviews they are reading. Building on dual-process theory, this paper develops two hypotheses to understand why and how review credibility perception influence consumer decision-making behaviors. The empirical studies in this paper demonstrate that consumers' credibility perception of online reviews moderate the effect of review sentiment on product sales. This work also found that consumers' credibility perception of online reviews have a heterogeneous effect on product sales. The effect shifts the relationship between review sentiment and product sales from an inverted U-shape relationship to a monotonous positive relationship with the improvement of consumers’ credibility perception of online reviews. This study has great managerial implications for platforms and vendors to improve online review management.
... Meanwhile, several factors were contributed to influencer marketing effectiveness. Among these factors are brand attitudes (Jay & Ramzan, 2020;Hwang & Zhang, 2018), credibility (Saima & Altaf, 2021), social influence (Wonseok, Jihoon, Soojin, & Jung, 2020), persuasion (Feng, Chen, & Kong, 2020), interaction (Samira, Fang, & Yufei, 2021), and communication (Baek, Bae, & Jang, 2013). Meanwhile, only a few research authors comprehend the impact of influencer marketing on consumer behaviour (Djafarova & Rushworth, 2017;Saima & Altaf, 2021). ...
Article
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Influencer marketing has become inherent for every business that wants to thrive, using social media as a marketing communication strategy. In Nigeria, entrepreneurship is fraught with many challenges which entrepreneurs are facing in the course of doing business. As a result of these challenges, stimulating customer interest is becoming of utmost importance. This study investigates influencer marketing as a marketing communication tool to encourage customer patronage. The research consists of customers that buy and patronized small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) firms within Kwara State in Nigeria. The questionnaire was conveniently distributed among 300 participants, but 268 was used for the study. Regression analysis was used to survey the data collected. The findings revealed that influencer marketing has a positive significant impact on business performance. Further findings showed that social influence and e-WOM play an important role in stimulating customer interest, desire, willingness, and readiness to buy and patronize products or services. It was therefore recommended that influencer marketing should be explored by the entrepreneur due to its potential benefit and the consequence of its absence on the business performance.
... Recent studies have highlighted the relevance of parasocial relationships in the context of celebrity endorsements (Aw and Labrecque 2020;Escalas and Bettman 2017). For instance, it has been evidenced that consumers evaluate brands favorably and develop positive attitudes, purchase intentions, and word of mouth when the products or brands are endorsed by celebrities with whom consumers have built parasocial relationships (Chung and Cho 2017;Hwang and Zhang 2018;Kim, Park, and Kim 2014). To further advance our understanding of parasocial relationships, this study explores its role as a shield for brands. ...
... The illusion of a face-to-face relationship with a social media personality is another determining factor for purchase intention and, subsequently, sales on Instagram. This concept helps to understand the power of persuasion better than Instagramers exert on their subscribers and explain the relationship between an influencer and the members who make up his community (Hwang and Zhang 2018). This feeling for a subscriber to have a special relationship with a micro-celebrity that he appreciates makes it possible to positively influence purchase intention and improve the relationship between the brand that the influencer is promoting and the potential consumer (Labrecque 2014) sensitive to the fact of maintaining a privileged face-to-face relationship with a micro-celebrity whom they appreciate as men. ...
Book
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a very strong reminder that the future economic development of any country is more than ever influenced by its ability to ramp-up digital competitiveness. Consequently, enterprises were pushed to assess and develop the possibilities offered by e-commerce and online marketing tools. In this book, experts outline the prerequisites for such online marketing competitiveness and compare the current level of digital marketing competitiveness in Europe by using publicly available macro and micro-level data. The authors present their analyses and recommendations including interviews with over 125 online marketers and e-commerce specialists and present the lessons from digitalization of over 600 SMEs.
... WOM is the primary resource of information for consumers on products and services (Hwang & Zhang, 2018). It is considered to be an effective method that can influence customers in acquiring products and services. ...
Chapter
This study proposed and tested a design model that integrates brand experience (BE), service quality (SQ), the perceived value (PV) on repurchase intentions (RI), and word-of-mouth (WOM) recommendations from retail-banking customers in an emerging market. The primary objective was to examine empirically the linkage between these concepts, which resulted in 12 hypotheses being postulated. The study also examines the mediating effect of loyalty on WOM and repurchase intention, with respect to the above-mentioned antecedents. A questionnaire was created using a structured survey of 180 retail-banking customers in Pakistan, and data was collected from those customers. The appropriate tests were employed to ensure the study constructs' validity and reliability. Hypotheses were tested using SmartPLS 3.0. The study findings support the proposed conceptual model, showing that BE, SQ, and PV have a significant effect on the RI and WOM recommendations of retail banking customers. Furthermore, loyalty mediates the relationships between the aforementioned antecedents, WOM, and RI.
... Therefore, parasocial relationships can be described as an illusionary experience where people incorrectly believe that they are engaged in a two-way conversation and develop a so-called false sense of intimacy (Jin 2018). The perceived relationship often grows as a result of knowledge accumulated by followers through exposure to an influencer's content, such as information about their style, personality, preferences, and personal life (Hwang and Zhang 2018). Parasocial relationships are maintained through engagement and by means of accessibility, community and intimacy (Van Eldik et al. 2019). ...
Chapter
The objective of this study was to analyse how consumers adopt webrooming and showrooming purchasing processes for different products (textile-fashion, home appliances and groceries). A crossover study was carried out in two countries, Spain and Colombia, applying an exploratory model through the analysis of PLS structural equations. The results showed differences in the adoption of this type of purchase depending on the type of product. The contributions of this study allow companies to choose and manage omnichannel processes depending on the type of products they sell.
... Therefore, parasocial relationships can be described as an illusionary experience where people incorrectly believe that they are engaged in a two-way conversation and develop a so-called false sense of intimacy (Jin 2018). The perceived relationship often grows as a result of knowledge accumulated by followers through exposure to an influencer's content, such as information about their style, personality, preferences, and personal life (Hwang and Zhang 2018). Parasocial relationships are maintained through engagement and by means of accessibility, community and intimacy (Van Eldik et al. 2019). ...
... fitness). Although their experimental study was rather brief, the effects that they discovered may become stronger as followers develop interactive and/or parasocial relationships with influencers over time (Hwang and Zhang 2018;Sokolova and Kefi 2020). ...
Article
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Patient health influencers have become new sources of information on social media. In our study, we investigated the motivations and consequences of following accounts of Instagram influencers from the nonprofit Blogger 4 Charity, all of whom have suffered from cancer and shared their experiences with their followers. Following a cross-sectional survey of 1,601 followers, we performed structural equation modelling to investigate how different types of followers varied according to motivation, information gain, and behaviour change. Whereas followers directly affected (i.e. have suffered from cancer) scored highest for social interaction and expression motivations for following the accounts, indirectly affected followers (i.e. have relatives or friends suffering from cancer) and general interest followers scored higher for perceived information gain and behaviour change induced by following them. Thus, following such social media accounts may help directly affected followers to emotionally cope with their health conditions via expressive, interactive activities and indirectly affected and general interest followers to gain information and adopt healthier behaviours.
... • Attractiveness: attractive, classy, beautiful, elegant, sexy, stylish, unique, charming, positive, good sense of humour, current/trendy, charismatic • Trustworthiness: dependable, trustworthy, reliable, sincere, honest, engaging with the users, constructive, authentic, consistent, informative, accurate, transparency • Competence: experienced, knowledgeable, professional, relevant to the product and to the customer, intelligent, high followership, competent • Online behavior/Self Presentation: Consistent, authentic, engaging, inspirational, sociable/ friendly, positive, active, good intentions, message strength, social ties, high quality of posts/images Influencers who are the celebrities of social media are found more influential and persuasive than traditional celebrities. Parasocial relationships between social media celebrities and their followers also affect followers' purchase intentions (Hwang and Zhang, 2018). Previous research found that vloggers positively affect consumers' purchase intentions (Lee and Watkins, 2016;Chapple and Cownie, 2017). ...
... This research looks into the use of digitization as a means of self-expression. Consumers are more likely to engage in eWOM when consumption is viewed as self-relevant, such as making a good impression on others, conspicuous consumption, or self-image congruence, according to this study (Hwang & Zhang, 2018;Krishnamurthy & Kumar, 2018;Previte et al., 2019;Septianto & Chiew, 2018). ...
Article
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Open Access The importance of this study is discussed to determine the intensity of purchases resulting from cafe-relevant value, as well as the impact of brand awareness through e-wom. Two hundred forty-six respondents were used as coffee lovers in cafes, most used questionnaires and interviews as data collection methodologies. This study analyzed data from e-WOM-mediated path analysis on purchase intention using SEM-PLS multiple path analysis. The research findings have a positive relationship between cafe relevant value and brand awareness in influencing e-wom and a direct positive contribution between café-relevant value and brand awareness on purchase intention. So, it is proven that e-wom has the potential to increase the intensity of coffee purchases in cafes.
... The significant result between customer engagement and brand trust is in line with the conceptual framework developed by Hollebeek and Macky (2019) and the observation of Ahmad et al. (2016). As predicted, brand trust has a positive relationship with longterm OPI (H7), which is aligned with the previous study (Hwang and Zhang, 2018;Mohamad et al., 2018;Hollebeek and Macky, 2019). The participants claimed that they would have more OPI if the seller was reliable or gained positive comments from other users. ...
Article
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The purpose of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of Digital Content Marketing (DCM) on a Mixed Reality (MR) training platform environment with the consideration of online purchase intention (OPI) through social media. E-commerce today encounters several common issues that cause customers to have reservations to purchase online. With the absence of physical contact points, customers often perceive more risks when making purchase decisions. Furthermore, online retailers often find it hard to engage customers and develop long-term relationships. In this research, a Structural Equation Model (SEM) is proposed to examine the efficacy of DCM from both immediate and long-term OPI. The results examine whether adopting DCM on an MR training platform environment through social media brings positive results in OPI. Empirical research was carried out through online questionnaires collected in 2021 and 2022. A total of 374 questionnaires were qualified for data analysis in this study, conducted with IBM SPSS and AMOS. The results imply that DCM is critical to stimulating both immediate and long-term OPI. The immediate OPI is positively affected by increasing perceived value through MR in DCM. Regarding the long-term OPI, increased customer engagement with DCM under MR environment can cultivate brand trust and significantly affect the long-term OPI.
... Lee and Watkins (2016) argued that social interactions between celebgrams and followers had a positive effect on the emotion of possession envy to buy luxury brands and to aspire similarities to the celebgrams on social media. Other literature also states that PSI is positively related to purchase intention because of followers' envy and self-esteem (Chung & Cho, 2017;Hwang & Zhang, 2018). Women show a more intimate PSI and express a stronger desire to imitate their idols (Greenwood et al., 2008;Sokolova & Kefi, 2020). ...
Article
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Businessmen's marketing strategies that take advantage of the fame of celebgrams as influencers are incredibly appropriate in the social media era. The present study deals with the dynamics of celebgram trustworthiness and social interaction with their followers in relation to possession envy and consumer purchase intention. To test the proposed model, the researchers collected data from 181 respondents in Indonesia through an online survey and analyzed it using the Smart PLS. The results of the present study showed that celebgram trustworthiness had no positive effect on possession envy but it had a positive effect on consumer purchase intention. Furthermore, para-social interactions had a positive effect on possession envy and consumer purchase intention and possession envy had a positive effect on consumer purchase intention. The present study provides a theoretical contribution to the literature on retail and consumer services and offers managerial implications for instafamous-based marketing.
... As SMIs have become influential information sources for consumers in the digital age, endorsement content posted by SMIs is regarded as an important marketing tool for brand promotion (Hwang and Zhang, 2018;Ouvrein et al., 2021). The extant literature has established the importance of SMI personal attributes (expertise, attractiveness, authenticity, prestige, and distinctiveness) in driving SMI-consumer relationships and consumers' desire to mimic SMIs Ki et al., 2020;Sokolova and Kefi, 2020). ...
The purpose of this research is to examine the underlying mechanisms through which social media influencers' (SMI) content characteristics (information, design, and technology quality and creativity) influence consumers' online brand-related activities (COBRAs) (consume, contribute, and create) through parasocial relationships and wishful identification. Grounded in the integration of the two-step flow theory, social influence theory, and power theory, a conceptual model is proposed and empirically tested using a sample of 263 social media users who had followed at least one social media influencer on social media. We analyzed the data using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) and necessary condition analysis (NCA). The results reveal that three of the four dimensions of SMI's content characteristics, namely design quality, technology quality, and creativity are significant predictors of parasocial relationships. Design quality and creativity are significant predictors of wishful identification. Parasocial relationships and wishful identification are also identified as significant predictors of COBRAs. The results of NCA analysis also identify the proposed content characteristics as necessary factors required to foster COBRAs. This study offers valuable insights into how social media influencers can position themselves to be more effective in promoting brands and products through the curation of their social media content.
... In addition, high-popularity review parties greatly affect the consumers' opinions on certain products and consumers' purchase decisions. Their reviews can reach consumers and be advertised more quickly with the help of social networks and we-media (Jin and Phua, 2014;Knoll and Matthes, 2016;Hwang and Zhang, 2018). Early studies have attributed the essence of popularity affecting consumer decision-making to the binding of fan economy and consumption habits, which create a strong stickiness between review parties and their fans, and induce fans' consumption behaviors (Zhong et al., 2020). ...
Article
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Professionalism and popularity are two important external identity cues of the review party. Previous studies have mostly focused on the content of the reviewers' comments. However, few studies have explored the potential impact of the review party's cues on consumers' adoption willingness and consumption behavior. This study mainly examined the neural mechanisms of how the differences in the two identity cues of the review party affect consumers while adopting the comments. The current study employed an event-related potential (ERP) experiment, in which the participants were asked to make a personal choice quickly based on the review party's identity cues after seeing the target product. A 2-level professionalism (low vs. high) x 2-level popularity (low vs. high) experiment design was used to test the impact of the review party's professionalism and popularity on consumers' intentions to adopt the review. The behavioral data reveal that the two identity cues of the review party impact the adoption rate, and the review party's popularity has an impact on the reaction time. The ERP data indicate that the review party's popularity affects the perceived risk (the N2 component, which is a high-risk signal) and the two identity cues of the review party affect the evaluation and classification process [the later positive potential (LPP) component]. These results indicate that when the review party has a high degree of professionalism, its popularity has less influence on consumers' review adoption intention. On the contrary, when the level of professionalism is low, high popularity will promote consumers' review adoption intention. Compared to professionalism, popularity is a higher risk cue for consumers.
... They allow consumers to immerse themselves in an alternate reality based on the real world (Dill-Shackleford et al., 2016). For consumers, this immersion serves as a unique social interaction as conversations can alter the virtual influencer's behavior and lead to perceptions of a mutual connection (Hwang & Zhang, 2018). Virtual influencers are therefore capable of building rapport, increasing feelings of connectedness, helping to meet social interaction needs, providing support, and mitigating stress and self-esteem issues (Felnhofer et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Influencer marketing has become a dominant and targeted means for brands to connect with consumers, but it also brings risks associated with influencer transgression and reputation damage. In recent years, virtual influencers have gained popularity and given rise to falsity, or artificially created and manipulated influencers that are revolutionizing the field of influencer marketing. A virtual influencer is an entity—humanlike or not—that is autonomously controlled by artificial intelligence and visually presented as an interactive, real-time rendered being in a digital environment. As brands increasingly seek to engage virtual influencers to connect with and sell to audiences, we take a step back and discuss the opportunities and challenges they present for firms and managers. To help marketers understand this emerging field, we first document the rise of virtual influencers. Next, we discuss consumer reactions to virtual influencers before unpacking their associated opportunities and challenges for brands and marketers. Finally, we conclude with an overview of implications and future considerations.
... Individuals who follow digital celebrities are more likely to experience feelings of friendship for them than for traditional celebrities owing to similarities and familiarity with parasocial relationships (Hwang & Zhang, 2018). When women trust the recommendations made by social media celebrities, in spite of the effects of social comparison, they start to believe in the improvement that the recommended products would make to their facial appearance, which increases their selfesteem. ...
Article
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Research is needed to identify novel ways to influence Generation Z female consumers' behavior when they interact with various technologies. This study investigates how experiences of using augmented reality, artificial intelligence‐enabled chatbots, and social media when interacting with beauty brands affect body image, self‐esteem, and purchase behavior among female consumers in Generation Z. Through three studies, we propose and test a model drawing on social comparison theory. In Study 1, a survey was completed by Generation Z women (n = 1118). In Study 2 and Study 3, two laboratory experiments were conducted with Generation Z women in Malaysia (n = 250 and n = 200). We show that (1) Generation Z women's perceived augmentation positively affects their body image, self‐esteem, and actual purchase behavior; (2) although trust in social media celebrities positively affects Generation Z women's body image and self‐esteem, the addictive use of social media does not have significant effects; (3) the chatbot support type (assistant vs. friend) has a significant impact on these women's experience; and (4) brand attachment, reputation, and awareness do not have significant effects. This article provides important implications for theory and practice on the behavior of Generation Z females when interacting with various technologies.
... With social media accessible to everyone, adolescents can witness influencer marketing campaigns and often create parasocial relationships with influencers and even see them as their friends (Hwang & Zhang, 2018). With adolescents thinking that they have an excellent parasocial relationship with these people, they would not expect ulterior motives. ...
Article
Influencer Marketing has become a trend recently. Influencers have loyal fan bases who trust their taste in products and support them through their endorsements. With the rising number of start-up businesses in the country, this study was conducted to discover whether or not Influencer Marketing affects the brand awareness and reputation of start-up businesses and the consumer's purchasing behavior. The study focused on five Influencer Marketing factors: influencer's online presence, influencer's expertise, content attractiveness, consumer's desire to mimic, and consumer's preferred platform. Using a quantitative research method, the study revealed that all five factors are essential to consumers and have a low to moderate positive relationship with one another. However, only three have a significant impact on increasing the brand awareness and reputation of start-up businesses: Influencer's Online Presence, Consumer's Desire to mimic, and Consumer's Preferred Platform.
Article
Scholars around the world have studied electronic word of mouth (eWOM) heavily in the past decade. However, despite extensive knowledge of the effect of eWOM on consumer behavior, there is still a lack of understanding of how the eWOM source shapes those behaviors. There are many sources of eWOM, the influence of which may have different outcomes when it comes to consumers’ purchase intentions. Moreover, most studies have measured social tie strengths (strong/weak) as one variable. Weak-tie eWOM (W-tie) and strong-tie eWOM (S-tie) are always studied in contrast to each other. The versus characteristics of these two constructs have been considered in almost all studies; however, they may work together via different mechanisms. This study split social ties into two separate constructs, W-tie and S-tie, while adding another source of eWOM (celebrities eWOM), and investigated how W-tie moderated the effect of S-tie and celebrity eWOM on purchase intention, as well as the mediation effect of perceived value/perceived enjoyment on purchase intention. A total of 726 valid responses were analyzed using SPSS and AMOS. The results showed that all direct relationships in the model were supported. Moreover, perceived value mediated only the effect of celebrity eWOM on purchase intentions and did not successfully convey the effect of S-tie on purchase intentions. On the other hand, perceived enjoyment mediated both relationships. W-tie did not moderate the relationship between S-tie and perceived value, perceived enjoyment, or purchase intention. In contrast, W-tie moderated the positive relationship of celebrity eWOM with perceived value, perceived enjoyment, and purchase intention, while it also moderated the positive relationship of perceived value and perceived enjoyment with purchase intention. This research illuminates how different eWOM sources and social ties on social media platforms affect purchase intentions.
Article
Practitioners and academics have increasingly paid attention to how influencers communicate and engage with their followers. This research explored how social media influencers' intimate self-disclosure (SMIs' ISD) can shape perceptions of their credibility. An experiment examines how followers' relatedness need fulfillment and source credibility are affected. In general, people perceived high levels of SMIs' ISD as more damaging to their credibility than low levels of intimate self-disclosure. Boundary conditions are identified in the appropriateness of self-disclosure. That is, when participants felt that SMIs' ISD was appropriate, perceptions of SMIs' credibility were enhanced through the underlying mechanism of followers' relatedness need fulfillment. Results contribute to a better understanding of the application of intimate self-disclosure in digital marketing and advance our knowledge of the boundary conditions that affect the disclosure of high levels of intimacy by SMIs in a social media consumption context. The findings are also of direct relevance to companies attempting to enhance the persuasiveness of product promotions via followers’ relatedness need fulfillment and source credibility. >>>>>> Feel free to download the full article via the link below! (50 days' free access) https://lnkd.in/eznxVWZq
Chapter
As influencer marketing is growing, research related to the field is following suit. The relationship between influencers and their followers, most often referred to as parasocial relationships, has become of particular interest as it holds the ability to affect the influencer’s career, followers’ responses and the success of influencer-brand collaboration. Consequent to secondary research and an empirical study conducted in South Africa, this opinion paper concludes with five lessons for influencers and strategic marketers. The lessons emanate from the power of parasocial relationships and are viewed as fundamental principles to be considered prior to the tactical implementation of influencer-brand collaborations.
Article
Social media influencers (SMI) have grown in importance as a promotional channel. However, little is known about how they build reputational capital and thus endorsement effectiveness, particularly compared to traditional celebrity endorsers. From a consumers' perspective, this research investigates both types of endorsers in different stages of the Celebrity Capital Life Cycle (CCLC). Across three studies, we find that parasocial relationships and interactions with consumers are paramount for SMIs reputational capital and endorsement effectiveness, yet not critical for traditional celebrities. Further, a consumer's perceived weak parasocial relationship/interaction with SMIs can be detrimental to their effectiveness yet has little impact on traditional celebrities' influence. We find that the positive effect of a SMI with high parasocial relationship/interaction with consumers on Word of Mouth (i.e., endorsers effectiveness) is mediated by expectation fulfillment and brand endorsers' credibility (i.e., reputation capital). This research discovers how important parasocial relationships with consumers are for SMIs in comparison to traditional celebrities; importantly this is the first research that empirically identifies how SMIs can gain and maintain reputation capital and subsequently be more effective as brand endorsers. Our findings have important implications for marketing professionals who are managing SMIs.
Article
The year 2021 is one of the most significant years for live streaming commerce, since numerous sectors and businesses have begun to sell their items in the form of live broadcast influence. Especially in China, Taobao live streaming often promotes an event by inviting internet celebrities to cooperate with brands to broadcast the products. For many brands, that is a very successful technique for increasing conversion rates. Researchers have lately grown interested in investigating the factors influencing the purchase decisions of Chinese consumers in the context of Taobao live streaming commerce with online celebrities. The present study is the first to theoretically combine three primarily literature-based disciplines, including source credibility, match-up hypothesis, and parasocial relationship theory, into a unified framework to bridge the research gaps. In this study, the quantitative method was employed through the use of partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). The SmartPLS 3.0 software was applied to examine the proposed model. The data were obtained from 454 Chinese consumers who have ever purchased a cosmetic product from a famous internet celebrity on Taobao live streaming. The results indicated that the positive impact of a celebrity endorsers’ perceived expertise was the powerful antecedent that affected purchase intentions, while celebrity endorsers’ perceived attractiveness and trustworthiness had no significant effect. A good match-up between celebrity and product can improve the celebrity endorsers’ perceived attractiveness, trustworthiness, and expertise. Moreover, it was found that the celebrity endorsers’ perceived expertise acted as a mediator of the relationship between celebrity-product congruence and purchase intentions. Finally, the findings showed that parasocial relationships have vital mediating effects on increasing purchase intentions.
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Günümüzde, tüketicilerin sosyal medyada geçirdiği sürenin artması, sosyal medya fenomenlerinin takipçileri üzerindeki etkisini arttırmaktadır. Bu çalışmada, bir mesaj kaynağı olarak görülen Instagram fenomenlerinin, çekicilik, güvenilirlik ve uzmanlık özelliklerinin, tanıtmış oldukları markaya karşı tutum ve satın alma niyeti oluşturmaya yönelik etkisi test edilmiştir. Araştırmanın evrenini, Instagram üzerinden ürün tanıtan en az bir fenomeni takip eden Karabük Üniversitesi öğrencileri oluşturmaktadır. Bu evrenden kolayda örnekleme yöntemiyle elde edilen 343 veri yapısal eşitlik modellemesi kullanılarak analiz edilmiştir. Analiz sonuçlarına göre, fenomenin tanıtmış olduğu markaya yönelik tutum üzerinde, fenomenin uzmanlık ve güvenilirlik özelliklerinin, pozitif yönde anlamlı etkisi bulunmuştur. Markaya yönelik satın alma niyeti üzerinde ise fenomenin çekicilik özelliğinin ve markaya karşı oluşan tutumun anlamlı ve pozitif bir etkisinin olduğu görülmüştür. Bu nedenle, reklam verenler, markaya karşı tutum oluşturmak için tercih edecekleri fenomenleri, alanında uzman ve güvenilir olarak algılanan kişilerden seçmeye dikkat etmelidir. Satın alma niyeti oluşturmak için ise çekici olarak algılanan fenomenler ile çalışmayı tercih edebilirler.
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zet Güney Kore popüler kültür ürünü olan K-Pop grupları tüm dünyada sosyal medya kanalları aracılığıyla gençler üzerinde görüntü ve müziklerindeki değişiklikle hayranlık uyandırmakta ve hayran kitleleri günden güne artmaktadır. "Âşık olunacak ideal erkeklik imajları" ile ön planda olan K-Pop gruplarının, sosyal medya ağları sayesinde dünya genelinde tanınırlığı hızla yükselmektedir. Medya kullanıcısının takip ettiği ve hayranı olduğu medya karakteri ile etkileşimini içeren parasosyal etkileşim kavramının, K-Pop gruplarını sosyal medya kanallarında takip eden hayran kitleyi tanımlamada kullanılabileceği düşünülmektedir. Parasosyal etkileşim süreci geleneksel olarak tek yönlü etkileşimi içermektedir. İletişim teknolojilerindeki gelişmeler geleneksel medya araçlarındaki tek yönlü iletişimin yerini günümüzde kullanıcılarının da sürece dâhil olduğu yeni medya teknolojilerine bırakmaktadır. Böylelikle parasosyal etkileşim süreci geleneksel tek yönlü yapısından farklılaşmaktadır. İletişim teknolojisindeki yenilikler sonucu hayranı olunan gruptan gelen geri bildirimlerle hayran ve grup arasındaki etkileşimin boyutu daha da artmaktadır. Sosyal medya kanalları parasosyal etkileşimin yaşanmasında etkin rol oynamaktadır. Günümüzde hayran topluluklarına ulaşma artık sosyal medya ağları vasıtasıyla çok daha hızlı ve kolay olmaktadır. Çalışmada tüm dünyada bilinen popüler K-Pop gruplarından BTS'in Twitter ve YouTube kanallarını aktif olarak takip eden fanlarının (ARMY) sosyal medyadaki paylaşım ve görüntülerinden yararlanılarak BTS grubuyla nasıl "özdeşleştiği" ve "parasosyal etkileşim"e girdiği gösterilmeye çalışılacaktır. Genç hayran kitlelerinin sosyal medya ağları vasıtasıyla online topluluklara katılmaları ve bu topluluklar aracılığıyla kurdukları parasosyal etkileşim süreci, günümüz gençliğinin sosyal ağlardan gerçek hayata uzanan hayranlık süreçlerini anlamada önemli bir noktadır. Parasosyal etkileşim süreci yaratılırken BTS grubunun ve online hayran topluluklarının süreçte nasıl rol oynadıkları bu çalışmada ortaya konulmaya çalışılacaktır. Çalışma sonunda ARMY'nin BTS grubuyla kitle iletişim teknolojileri sayesinde interaktif olarak parasosyal etkileşime girdiği, BTS grubunun bu sayede hayran kitlelerinin duygularına, düşüncelerine kolaylıkla hitap ederek hayran grubu üzerinde kuvvetli bir bağlılık oluşturduğu ve bunun sonucunda gruba olan hayranlığın daha da pekiştiği anlaşılmıştır. Abstract K-Pop groups, which are popular culture products of South Korea, are admired by the changes in their images and music over the world through social media channels and their fan base is increasing day by day. K-pop groups, which are prominent with ideal manhood images to fall in love with, is rapidly increasing all over the world by means of their social media networks. It is thought that the concept of parasocial interaction, which includes the interaction of the media user with the media character that she/he is a fan of, can be used to define the fan audience following the k-pop groups on social media channels. The monetary social interaction process traditionally includes one-way interaction. Developments in communication technologies are replaced by one-way communication in traditional media tools, to new media technologies that users are also involved in today. Thus, the process of parasocial interaction differs from its traditional one-way structure. As a result of innovations in communication technology, the feedback from the admired group increases the size of the interaction between the fan and the group. Social media channels play an active role in experiencing the parasocial interaction.
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