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The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Purchase Intention and the Mediation Effect of Customer Attitude


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Social media influencers are first explored in the advertising field, particularly to create buzz in the younger markets and further expand social media coverage in businesses. This study is designed to investigate the effectiveness of social media influencers, focusing on source credibility, source attractiveness, product match-up, and meaning transfer. Consumer attitude is proposed to mediate between both the exogenous and endogenous relationships. Data collection was designed using the purposive sampling method and the dataset of 200 respondents was then analysed using PLS-SEM technique. All hypotheses are found to be supported except for source credibility. Mediating effects of consumer attitude are also determined. Implications, limitations, and suggestion for recommended research are further discussed.
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Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 19
Asian Journal of Business Research
Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017
ISSN 2463-4522 e-ISSN 1778-8933
DOI: 10.14707/ajbr.170035
The Impact of Social Media Influencers on
Purchase Intention and the Mediation Effect of
Customer Attitude
Xin Jean Lim
Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Aifa Rozaini bt Mohd Radzol
Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Jun-Hwa Cheah (Jacky)
Azman Hashim International Business School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mun Wai Wong
Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of Technology
Melbourne, Australia
Social media influencers are first explored in the advertising field, particularly to
create buzz in the younger markets and further expand social media coverage in
businesses. This study is designed to investigate the effectiveness of social media
influencers, focusing on source credibility, source attractiveness, product match-up,
and meaning transfer. Consumer attitude is proposed to mediate between both the
exogenous and endogenous relationships. Data collection was designed using the
purposive sampling method and the dataset of 200 respondents was then analysed
using PLS-SEM technique. All hypotheses are found to be supported except for
source credibility. Mediating effects of consumer attitude are also determined.
Implications, limitations, and suggestion for recommended research are further
Keywords: Influencer Marketing, Social Media Influencers, Source Credibility,
Source Attractiveness, Product Match-up, Meaning Transfer, Purchase
Intention, PLS-SEM
Lim, Radzol, Cheah and Wong, 2017
Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 20
Influencer marketing emphasises the use of influencers to drive a brand’s message to
reach the target segment (Smart Insights 2017). In the age of ubiquitous Internet,
social media influencers have emerged as a dynamic third party endorser (Freberg et
al. 2011). Leveraging on a plethora of social media platforms such as Facebook,
Instagram, Twitter and Youtube, social media influencers are aptly used to publicise
product information and latest promotions to online followers (Markethub 2016).
Social media influencers typically engage with their followers by regularly updating
them with the latest information (Liu et al. 2012).
In marketing, endorsement plays a significant role in achieving a company's good
reputation and business goals. In recent years, social media influencers have
established themselves as potential endorsers by generating a range of buzzwords as
compared to other marketing strategies (i.e., celebrity endorsement), and are deemed
to be the most cost-efficient and -effective marketing trends (Harrison 2017; Patel
2016; Talaverna 2015). Additionally, social media influencers can also showcase
compelling outcome in both media coverage and consumer persuasion (Booth and
Matic 2011). Nevertheless, research on social media influencers is still relatively
scant (Godey et al. 2016).
Based on the tenets of influencer marketing, companies generally invite social media
influencers such as bloggers with thousands of followers in their social media
accounts as their brand ambassador (Tapinfluence 2017). Messages proclaimed by
social media influencers are often perceived as more reliable and compelling to
consumers, and have been substantiated by 82% of followers' polls, in which
consumers are reported to be more likely to follow their favorite influences'
recommendations (Talaverna 2015). Compared to celebrity endorsement promotion
strategy, the use of social media influencers are regarded as more credible,
trustworthy and knowledgeable due to their amiability in building rapport with
consumers (Berger et al. 2016), especially for businesses that target the younger
According to a Neilsen marketing survey, influencer marketing yields “returns on
investments” (ROI) 11 times higher as compared to digital marketing (Tapinfluence
2017). In contrast, celebrity endorsement are more instrumental in raising brand
awareness among consumers, whilst social media influencers play a highly significant
role in driving product engagement and brand loyalty (Tapinfluece 2017) as they are
more capable of communicating to a niche segment. Organisations believe that
endorsement can warrant the factuality of product information (Amoateng and Poku
2013; Sassenberg et al. 2012). Echoing this popular believe, social media influencers
as a brand endorser has grown more sought-after especially among new and small
online businesses. Media Kix marketing reported that approximately 80% of online
marketers claimed that social media influencers are potential endorsers who boost
their online businesses to higher levels (Forbes 2017). These statistical evidences can
validate the effectiveness of social media influencers in stimulating consumers'
purchase intention. Recent influencer marketing reports also demonstrated an
estimated 50% of the brands earmarked an uptick fund allocation in hiring social
media influencers to promote their brands (Forbes 2017). Moreover, social media
Lim, Radzol, Cheah and Wong, 2017
Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 21
influencers are perceived as more sincere in delivering and demonstrating the
endorsed product to their followers (Tapinfluece 2017).
This research further seeks to understand the notion of social media influencers by
examining the effect on consumers' attitude and purchase intention. Morwitz (2014)
interprets purchase intention as a widely-used marketing tool to estimate the
effectiveness of a marketing strategy, which can be used to predict sales and market
share. This study provides a comprehensive understanding towards measuring social
media influencers' effectiveness by using four constructs which are: source credibility
(Hovland and Weiss 1951), source attractiveness (McGuire 1985), product match-up
(Till and Busler 1998), and meaning transfer (McCracken 1989). Therefore,
identifying the effectiveness of social media influencers (i.e., source credibility,
source attractiveness, product match-up, and meaning transfer) on purchase intention
through customers' attitude could potentially offer valuable insights to marketing
practitioners, whereby they can develop promotional strategies to shape positive and
impactful customers' decision-making towards their product and services.
Underpinning Theory
Social learning theory by Bandura (1963) has been widely applied in academic
research, particularly in communication and advertising fields (Bush et al. 2004). It
acts as a theoretical framework to provide ideas of socialization agents that can
predict consumption behaviours (King and Multon 1996; Martin and Bush 2000).
Social learning theory justifies that an individual derives motivation and consequently
exhibits favourable attitude from socialisation agents via either direct or indirect
social interaction (Subramanian and Subramanian 1995; Moschis and Churchill
1978). Previous marketing studies have adopted this theory to understand consumer
consumption behaviour through various socialisation agents such as celebrities,
family, or peers (North and Kotze 2001; Clark et al. 2001; Martin and Bush 2000).
For instance, Makgosa (2010) revealed that social learning theory can convincingly
explain the impact of celebrities on consumption behaviours. Aligned with Makgosa's
assertion, social learning theory is proposed as a contextual foundation in
understanding social media influencers as they represent a novel type of independent
third-party endorser (i.e., the concept is somehow similar to celebrity endorsement),
who can shape audience attitudes and decision-making through the use of social
media. Thus, social learning theory posits that an individual’s intention to purchase
products is highly influenced by the respondents' attitude and effectiveness of social
media influencers (i.e., source credibility, source attractiveness, product match-up and
meaning transfer) in promoting the products (see Figure 1).
Hypotheses Development
Source Credibility
Source credibility is widely used to analyse the effectiveness of endorsement
(Hovland and Weiss 1951; Taghipoorreyneh and de Run 2016). Specifically, a
credible endorser generally exhibits positive effect towards consumers’ perception
(Goldsmith et al. 2000). Trustworthiness and expertise are two elements that are
discussed within source credibility. Information presented by a credible source (e.g.
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Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 22
social media influencers) can affect consumers’ beliefs, opinions, attitudes and
behaviours (Wang et al. 2017). Additionally, influencers who have been viewed as
experts tend to be more persuasive (Aaker and Myers 1987) and capable of driving
consumer purchase intention (Ohanian 1991). Till and Busler (2000) stressed that
expertise has a positive influence on both attitude and purchase intention.
Trustworthiness represents an endorser's dignity, believability, and honesty (Erdogan
1999). Metzger et al. (2003) noted that an endorser who is perceived as highly
trustworthy and expertise would lead to consumers' indifference towards the
advertising message, resulting in higher acceptance of the delivered message.
Relatively, social media influencers who are held with high expertise and
trustworthiness are viewed as being more influential on their followers' behaviours.
As a result, the following hypotheses are proposed:
H1: There is a positive relationship between source credibility and
purchase intention.
H2: There is a positive relationship between source credibility and
consumer attitude.
Source Attractiveness
Physical attractiveness of social media influencers is perceived to have a high
tendency in driving the acceptance rate of advertising. Source attractiveness focusses
on an endorser's physical attributes or characteristics (Erdogan 1999). Numerous past
research have discovered a positive correlation between relationship between source
attractiveness and consumer attitude as well as purchase intention are positively
correlated (Petty et al. 1983; Erdogan 1999). McGuire (1985) noted that source
attractiveness directly influences the effectiveness of an endorsement. An attractive
social media influencer is able to affect consumers with positive outcomes. Endorsers
with attractive features can exert a positive attitude on consumers subsequently with a
purchasing intention (Till and Busler 2000). Social media influencers with amazing
appearance are more inclined to capture followers' attention. Hence, this study posits
the following hypotheses:
H3: There is a positive relationship between source attractiveness and
purchase intention.
H4: There is a positive relationship between source attractiveness and
consumer attitude.
Product Match-up
Congruency between an endorser and the product is vital to achieve excellent results.
The match-up hypothesis explores the fit between an endorser and the brand (Kamins
1990). Establishing an appropriate fit between an endorser and the brand may serve as
a successful marketing strategy (Till and Busler 1998). A significant match-up
relation often arises with emergence of a strong association between an endorser with
the product (Misra and Beatty 1990). In other words, social media influencers as the
spokesperson for a brand must exhibit an appropriate match with the product features.
An ideal match-up will result in positive attitude towards the endorsed brand (Kamins
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Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 23
and Gupta 1994). Shimp (2008) stressed that a match-up between an endorser and the
brand is the most fundamental goal in achieving consumers' purchase intention. Thus,
a perfect match between social media influencers and the product will significantly
strengthen the advertising results. Therefore, the hypotheses generated are as follow:
H5: There is a positive relationship between product celebrity match-up
and purchase intention.
H6: There is a positive relationship between product celebrity match-up
and consumer attitude.
Meaning Transfer
McCracken (1989) recommended that an endorsement effect is driven through
meaning transfer process, whereby an endorser's effectiveness often relies on his
abilities to convey product meanings alongside the endorsement process (McCracken
1989). This construct frames endorsement as a movement of meaning, which is
transferred from the endorser's personal and professional world to a particular product
and is consequently influential in building consumers' self-image through
consumption (McCracken 1989). Marketers believe that consumers tend to consume
products which are endorsed by their idol (Fowles 1996). In this study, social media
influencers integrate with products, leading to effects that will result on product’s
perception. There is a distinct positive relationship between consumers' purchase
intention towards brands endorsed through meaning transfer (McCracken 1986).
Empirical study has validated that meaning transfer exhibits a correlation on
consumer attitude and also influences purchase intentions (Peetz et al. 2004). Thus,
the following hypotheses are put forward:
H7: There is a positive relationship between meaning transfer and
purchase intention.
H8: There is a positive relationship between meaning transfer and
consumer attitude.
Consumer Attitude
Marketing researchers have shown interest in consumers' attitude, which is an
important knowledge for developing a successful marketing operation (Solomon et al.
2010). Attitude and purchase intention exhibit a parallel relationship in consumer
studies (Ting and de Run 2015; Tarkiainen and Sundqvist 2005). Relatively, Chen
(2007) proposed that favourable attitude towards a specific product is a dominant
predictor that can lead to consumers' purchase intention. Similarly, a favourable
attitude towards product endorsed by social media influencers will impact on higher
chance of purchase intention. Based on these, the following hypothesis is generated
H9: There is a positive relationship between consumer attitude and
purchase intention.
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Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 24
Mediating Role of Consumer Attitude
In this study, consumer attitude relates to both favourable and unfavourable beliefs
(Phelps and Hoy 1996) towards social media influencers. Laroche et al. (1996)
highlighted that endorsers can alter consumer preferences and inevitably create a
sense of willingness-to-purchase. Source credibility is credited with improving
consumer attitudes (Brinol et al. 2004), leading to an increase in product purchase
intentions (Harmon and Coney 1982). Evidently, there is a positive correlation
between attitude and credible endorsers as well as purchase intention (Chan et al.
2013). Consumers who harbour positive attitude towards the social media influencers'
credibility have a relatively higher purchase intention. Hence, the hypothesis
generated is as follows:
H10: Consumer attitude mediates the relationship between source
credibility and purchase intention.
In addition, consumer attitude towards a celebrity's endorsement can be enhanced
through the endorser's attractiveness (Bardia et al. 2011). In other words, a charming
and well-liked endorser plays an influential role as a brand spokesperson (Atkin et al.
1984; Freiden 1984) who can stimulate consumers' positive belief which in turn,
results in a desire to purchase decision. Kahle and Homer (1985) asserted that
advertisements which are being endorsed by an attractive source could incur a change
in consumers' attitude and purchase intention. This phenomenon is reflected in the
context of this study, whereby, consumer attitude can be highly influenced by the
attractiveness of social media influencers.
H11: Consumer attitude mediates the relationship between source
attractiveness and purchase intention.
The perfect match-up between a product's characteristics and an endorser's image is a
critical decision in the endorsement process, as Choi and Rifon (2012) revealed that
an endorser and product congruence can generate an indirect positive effect on
consumers' attitude towards an advertisement. Identically, Pradhan et al. (2016) also
asserted that match-up hypothesis has a positive correlation with consumer attitude
and it will result in a significant influence on purchase intention. So, the following
hypothesis is presented:
H12: Consumer attitude mediates the relationship between product
celebrity match-up and purchase intention.
Goldsmith et al. (2000) also affirmed that endorsers are regarded as a dominant
mechanism in promoting a product, as they can transfer their image to a specific
product by transforming an unknown into a recognised product by driving positive
feelings and purchase intention among the consumers. This clearly shows that
consumers are able to exert higher purchase intention when they are invariably
imbued with a favourable sense towards the endorsement's delivered meaning
(Thwaites et al. 2012). Eventually, the following hypothesis is offered:
H13: Consumer attitude mediates the relationship between meaning
transfer and purchase intention.
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Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 25
Figure 1: Research Framework
Sampling and Data Collection
Survey questionnaires were distributed to respondents for data collection. In this
study, the purposive sampling technique was adopted by selecting current public
university students in Malaysia. G-Power software calculated that the minimum
sample size required for this study was 129 samples (Faul et al. 2007). Yet, in order to
minimise errors in completing the questionnaires, a total of 200 questionnaires were
distributed. Frequency of respondents’ profile is displayed in Table 1. Respondents in
this study comprised of 56.5% females and 43.5% males, predominantly millennial
(90%) whose ages were between 21-30 years old. In terms of education level, 85.5%
of the respondents possessed a basic degree, 8.0% with a master education, and 4.50%
currently had PhD qualifications. The least in the distribution accounted for a mere
2% which consisted students at diploma level.
Table 1: Respondents’ Demographic Profiles
20 years old and below
21-30 years old
Education Level
Basic Degree
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Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 26
Questionnaire and Measurements
Demographic profile constituted the first section of the questionnaire, followed by the
proposed abstract variables in this study. All latent variables were measured based on
previously validated measurements. Firstly, dimension of source credibility namely
expertise (α=0.89) and trustworthiness (α=0.92) as well as source attractiveness
(α=0.88) is adopted from study conducted by Ohanian (1990). Secondly, product
match-up (α=0.85) is adopted from the research of Ohanian (1990). Thirdly, both
measurements for meaning transfer (α=0.83) and customer attitude (α=0.87) are
adopted from the study of Goldsmith et al. (2000). Lastly, measurement for purchase
intention (α=0.92) is adopted from Kumar's (2010) study.
As one of the procedural remedies to reduce the common method variance issue and
avoid respondents' consistent answers in pattern result, a different likert scale was
used to measure the variables. All the exogenous variables (i.e.: source credibility,
source attractiveness, product match-up, and meaning transfer) were measured using a
5-point likert scale, whereas a 7-point likert scale was executed for endogenous
variable (purchase intention) and mediator (consumer attitude).
Data Analysis
Common Method Variance
Common Method Variance analysis was conducted prior to other analysis tests. Based
on Harman’s Single Factor technique (Podsakoff et al. 2003), the largest variance
explained by the first factor was 46.272% of the total variance. These results indicated
that no general factor emerged from the factor analysis, thus indicating that common
method bias was not significant in this data set (Podsakoff and Organ 1986).
Measurement Model
Structural Equaling Modelling (SEM) software was used for data analysis throughout
this study. SEM is also known as a second-generation technique that offers
simultaneous modeling of relationships among multiple independent and dependent
constructs (Gefen et al. 2000). In comparison to CB-SEM, PLS-SEM was chosen to
comply with the predictive oriented objective of this study (Hair et al. 2017).
The measurement model assessment results are displayed in Table 2. All five
reflective constructs in this study fulfilled the requirements, whereby the loading
exceeded value of 0.708, composite reliability (CR) were above the minimum
threshold of 0.7 and AVEs (Average Variance Exacted) were greater than 0.5 (Hair,
Hult, Ringle and Sarstedt 2017). As a result, all constructs met the reliability and
convergent validity requirements. Discriminant validity was assessed using
Heterotrait-Monotrait (HTMT) ratio of correlations technique (Henseler et al. 2015).
As shown in Table 3, all values for reflective constructs passed the threshold value of
HTMT <0.85 (Kline 2010) and HTMT<0.90 (Gold et al. 2001), thereby indicating
that discriminate validity of the measurement model was ascertained.
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Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 27
Table 2: Measurement Model for Reflective Constructs
Product Match-up
Meaning Transfer
Table 3: Discriminant Validity using Heterotrait-Monotrait (HTMT) Criterion (2015)
1. CA
3. MT
4. PM
5. PI
6. SA
7. SC
8. TW
Note: CA (Consumer Attitude), EXP (Expertise), MT (Meaning Transfer), PM (Product Match-up), PI
(Purchase Intention), SA (Source Attractiveness), SC (Source Credibility) and TW (Trustworthiness)
Formative Measurement (Measurement Model)
Convergent validity was assessed using redundancy analysis to validate the formative
measures (Chin 1988). In Table 4, all formative measures that yielded a path
coefficient 0.778 (>0.70) signified that all formatively measured constructs have
sufficient degrees of convergent validity (Sarstedt, Wilczynski and Melewar 2013).
Sub-dimension (expertise and trustworthiness) yielded a VIF 1.649 (<5), indicating
that multicollinearity issue was inexistent in this model. There was demonstrated a
significant result for all the formative sub-dimensions.
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Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 28
Table 4: Measurement Properties for Formative Construct
LOC Dimension
i) Expertise
ii) Trustworthiness
Note: Higher-Order Component (HOC); Lower-Order Component (LOC);
*p< 0.05; **p<0.01; HOC (High order construct), LOC (Low order construct)
Structural Model
Prior to evaluating the structural model, collinearity issue was first assessed. The VIF
values in the extent of 1.961 to 3.036, which were below the threshold value of 5
(Hair et al. 2014) did not indicate any lateral collinearity issues in this model.
Following this, path-coefficient was assessed to examine the significance of
hypotheses using the bootstrap re-sampling technique (5000 re-sample). Based on
results in Table 5, six out of nine direct relationship hypotheses were supported. The
results illustrated that source attractiveness (β=0.193, t=2.567, p<0.005), product
match-up (β=0.199, t=2.557, p<0.005), meaning transfer (β=0.295, t=3.567, p<0.005)
exhibited a positive relationship with consumer attitude, thus H4, H6, and H8 were
supported. Subsequently, product match-up (β=0.206, t=2.722, p<0.005), meaning
transfer (β=0.132, t=2.043, p<0.005) and consumer attitude (β=0.572, t=9.905,
p<0.005) showed a positive correlation with purchase intention, whereby H5, H7 and
H9 were significant. In contrast, there was an insignificant relationship between
source credibility and purchase intention (β=0.004, t=0.074, p>0.005), source
credibility and consumer attitude (β=0.108, t=1.395, p>0.005) and source
attractiveness and purchase intention (β=0.029, t=0.527, p>0.005), therefore H1, H2
and H3 were rejected.
Table 5: Path-coefficient Assessment
Std. Beta
Std. Error
SC -> PI
Not Significant
SC -> CA
Not Significant
SA -> PI
Not Significant
SA -> CA
PM -> PI
PM -> CA
MT -> PI
MT -> CA
CA -> PI
Note: CA (Consumer Attitude), MT (Meaning Transfer), PM (Product Match-up), PI (Purchase
Intention), SA (Source Attractiveness), SC (Source Credibility)
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Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 29
Bootstrapping procedures were also applied to examine the mediation effect (Preacher
and Hayes 2008). Results displayed in Table 6 indicated that indirect effect for H11,
H12, and H13 were supported. These hypotheses resulted in an indirect effect of
β=0.110, β=0.114, β=0.169 and with t-values of 2.404, 2.461 and 3.349 respectively.
In addition, mediation effects were present when the 95% bootstrap confidence
interval did not straddle a 0 between the upper and lower intervals (Preacher and
Hayes 2008). This condition was relevant for H11 (0.041, 0.190), H12 (0.042, 0.193)
and H13 (0.092, 0.253) where 0 was not straddled in between, indicating that
mediation effects existed in these three hypotheses. In other words, H11, H12 and
H13 were supported except H10.
Table 6: Hypothesis Testing For Indirect Relationship
(-0.012, 0.138)
Not Supported
(0.041, 0.190)
(0.042, 0.193)
(0.092, 0.253)
Note: CA (Consumer Attitude), MT (Meaning Transfer), PM (Product Match-up), PI (Purchase
Intention), SA (Source Attractiveness), SC (Source Credibility)
Level of R2 (Co-efficient of determination) were subsequently assessed. Source
credibility, source attractiveness, product match-up, and meaning transfer construct
accounted for 49% of the variance in explaining consumer attitude. Meanwhile,
consumer attitude accounted for 70.80% of variance in purchase intention. Hence, the
R2 score was considered substantial in the explanatory power, as the R2 value was
greater than 0.26 (Cohen 1988). The ensuing analysis examined the effect size to
evaluate changes in the R2 when an exogenous was removed from the structural
model. In explaining consumer attitude, source attractiveness (0.030), product match-
up (0.032), and meaning transfer (0.060) showed a small effect size whereas source
credibility (0.011) indicated a trivial effect size. Consequently, in term of purchase
intention, consumer attitude (0.571) showed a large effect size, product match-up
(0.058), and meaning transfer (0.020) exerted a small effect size, followed by source
credibility (0.000), source attractiveness (0.001) with trivial effect size.
Lastly, predictive relevance was evaluated using Stone-Geisser’s (Geisser 1974;
Stone 1974). The Q² values for consumer attitude (0.363) and purchase intention
(0.598) were larger than 0, thus indicating the model's predictive relevance and
This study revealed the effects of source credibility, source attractiveness, product
match-up, and meaning transfer on consumer’s attitude and purchase intention.
Firstly, source credibility of social media influencers was found to have an
insignificant relationship with attitude and purchase intention (H1 and H2 were
rejected). In this study, respondents acknowledged social media influencers' lack of
credibility towards the product that they endorsed. The main reason was identified as
social media influencers' inadequate expertise knowledge about the endorsed product.
Similarly, Evans (2013) discovered that endorsers who were beyond their respective
expertise fields could indirectly impair consumers’ perceived images, causing
Lim, Radzol, Cheah and Wong, 2017
Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 30
ultimate negative purchase intentions. From consumers' perspectives, it was
challenging for them to exert positive attitude towards social media influencers'
credibility, especially with unsocial media influencers who were completely
unaffiliated with the information that they shared.
Secondly, source attractiveness of social media influencers failed to influence
consumers' purchase intention (H3 was rejected). The result was consistent with a
prior study by Ohanian (1991), which revealed that source of attractiveness did not
have any impact on consumers' purchase intention. Parallel to Obanian's study, Till
and Busler (1998) also argued that attractiveness is not a powerful dimension to
generate purchase behavior due to a substantially weak logical link between an
attractive endorser and purchasing intention. Despite the failure of social media
influencers' attractiveness to influence purchase intention, the influencers remained
significant to stimulate respondents' positive attitude (H4).
Next, social media influencers’ product match-up was found to be significant with
purchase intention and consumer attitude (H5 and H6). Product match-up hypothesis
proved that product-related messages conveyed by an endorser should be congruent to
establish an effective advertising outcome (Kamins and Gupta 1994). Moreover,
numerous endorsement literatures had highlighted the importance of congruence
between a product or brand and its endorser as a key criteria for advertising success
(Carrillat, d'Astous and Lazure 2013; Fleck, Korchia and Le Roy 2012; Gurel-Atay
and Kahle 2010; Lee and Thorson 2008). Likewise in this study, millennials perceived
congruency between social media influencers and product can highly impact their
purchase intention.
Subsequently, the results revealed that meaning transfer of social media influencers
has a positive relationship in illustrating consumer attitude and purchase intention (H7
and H8). Consumers who connect the symbolism associated with endorsers and the
endorsed brands can inevitably interpret and transfer the brand meanings, resulting in
higher purchases of the particular brands (Escalas and Bettman 2005). This research
exemplified that respondents were more likely to accept meanings from brands
endorsed by social media influencers, with whom they perceived as a resemblance to
themselves or whom they admired.
Moreover, a positive relationship hypothesis between customer attitude and purchase
intention was valid (H9). The ultimate intention to influence purchasing a particular
product is highly subjective to a person’s belief (Ha and Janda 2012). Results in this
study suggested that respondents with a favorable attitude towards social media
influencers would generally harbour an intention to purchase the influencers' endorsed
product. Similarly, this outcome matched with previous studies by Ha and Janda
(2012) and pez Mosquera et al. (2014) which proved the positive impact of
attitudes on purchase intention.
Lastly, consumer attitude was proven to be significantly mediate the relationship
between source attractiveness, product match-up, and meaning transfer (H11 to H13).
In this study, attractiveness of social media influencers would form a highly
favourable attitude among respondents towards a brand or product, resulting in
purchase intention. This phenomenon is justifiable in the context of social media
influencers, where attitude plays a significant role in mediating the fit between a
Lim, Radzol, Cheah and Wong, 2017
Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 31
product, the celebrity and purchase intention for a advertised product. The mediating
finding was also similar with McCracken's (1989) study, in which he proposed that
meaning transfer would affect consumer attitudes as well as consumption of an
endorsed product.
Implication of the Study
In the extent of theoretical implication in this study, the researcher applied the social
learning theory from marketing field to strengthen the understanding of relationship
between effectiveness of social media influencers towards consumer purchase
intention. Compelling social media influencers were found to exert a positive impact
on consumers' purchase intention. The social learning theory proposes that behaviours
are learned from the environment through observational learning process (Bandura
1963), hence it aptly supported findings in this study. Underlying the social learning
theory in this study, four variables were used, namely source credibility, source
attractiveness, product match-up, and meaning transfer which could influence
consumers' attitude and consequent purchase intention. Hence, the outcome of this
study validated the mediating effect findings of consumer attitude between the
effectiveness of social media influencers (i.e., Meaning Transfer, Product Match-up,
and Source of Attractiveness) and purchase intention.
From a managerial implication perspective, this study offered marketers several
practical considerations in selecting a social media influencer, tailored for an
advertisement to gain competitive advantages in the market. It is the marketer's
prerogative and discretion to select a social media influencer who can attract targeted
audience and captivate them with an impressive advertising message. Based on the
data analysis, consumer attitude has the most influential effect size towards purchase
intention. Therefore, marketers should pay attention on selecting an appropriate social
media influencer to increase consumer attitude as well as influence purchase
Limitations and Future Research
In this study, the data should primarily be based on a larger sample size to explore this
topic and ultimately produce highly extensive results. The respondents' backgrounds
were also a restricting factor, as they were predominantly teenagers with minimal
income. Therefore, they may not be a good predictor of purchasing power. Future
studies should expand to a wider range of millennial consumers, and potentially other
generation cohorts to achieve a set of more credible findings. In addition, respondents'
questionnaire answers were generally based on their prior purchasing experiences. As
an example, respondents with previous positive or negative purchasing experience
could inevitably influence their attitudes and purchase intentions. This could lead to
high probability of bias in the questionnaire answers, hence highly impacting the
collected data.
Future research can consider administering a fictitious brand or social media
influencers to eliminate the potential bias that could influence the respondents'
questionnaire answers. Similarly, communication can be added as another construct in
the model, as Jaworski and Kohli (2006) explained that communication is the first
interaction between companies and consumers in the value creation process. It is
Lim, Radzol, Cheah and Wong, 2017
Asian Journal of Business Research, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017 32
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... Digital marketing positively affects sales performance and provides access to foreign markets (Rafiq and Javeid, 2018;Islami et al., 2020;Jamil et al., 2020;Nuseira and Aljumahb, 2020). Social media as a digital marketing tool has a positive impact on purchase intention (Balakrishnan et al., 2014;Laksamana, 2018;Lim et al., 2017;Manzoor et al., 2020;Oghazi et al., 2021), brand loyalty and awareness (Huang et al., 2018;Nisar and Whitehead, 2016;Pentina et al., 2013;Zeqiri et al., 2020). ...
... Perceived usefulness has been adapted as a variable independent of the TAM model for online purchasing intention in the context of COVID-19 Ishfaq and Mengxing (2021). In this line, studies by Balakrishnan et al. (2014), Laksamana (2018), Lim et al. (2017) and Manzoor et al. (2020) confirm that the perceived usefulness of social media has a positive impact on online purchase intention. The perceived risk of delivery in time from online shopping is considered a subjective factor and is confirmed by researchers that it impacts the online purchase intention (Ashoer and Said, 2016;Sulaiman et al., 2017). ...
... Through social media, companies develop eWom (Barreda et al., 2015); eWom promotes purchase intention (Xie et al., 2016). Studies argue that social media promotes purchase intention as consumers see perceived benefits from these online tools (Balakrishnan et al., 2014;Laksamana, 2018;Lim et al., 2017;Manzoor et al., 2020). Studies also argue that older consumers are loyal to social media based on the perceived benefits (Hruska and Maresova, 2020). ...
Purpose This study aims to investigate the online purchase intention of an older-aged group in Kosovo. Very few studies have analyzed the online purchase intention of these age groups in emerging countries including Kosovo, during the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to an increased usage of online shopping among older adults. Design/methodology/approach The study used a quantitative methodology and a structured questionnaire was used for collecting the data. Structural equation modeling (SEM) using partial least squares (PLS) was used to analyze 262 responses from an older-aged group of consumers from Kosovo. Findings The findings of this study showed that COVID-19 as a perceived risk affected online purchase intention. In addition, panic from perceived risk, perceived usefulness of social media and delivery in time also positively impacted the online purchase intention of this group of generations. Originality/value The study provides theoretical implications to consumer behavior literature during pandemics and how certain age groups behave during their purchase intention. The study also provides insight into other studies in emerging countries to see similarities and differences in online purchase behavior.
... Este proceso se ve intensificado porque los influencers son vistos como «amigos cercanos, próximos» (Meyers, 2017), lo que refuerza la idea de que cualquiera puede alcanzar la popularidad de los influencers (Silva et al., 2021), un sentimiento especialmente extendido entre los niños y las niñas. De este modo, es más probable que su audiencia siga sus recomendaciones al entender que el mensaje proclamado es más fiable y atractivo, unos valores que también se transfieren a los productos y marcas que patrocine (Lim et al., 2017). ...
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Fecha de recepción del artículo: 18/12/2021 Fecha de aceptación definitiva: 22/02/2022 RESUMEN En crisis sanitarias como la de la COVID-19, en la que aumenta el consumo de YouTube por parte de la audiencia preescolar y empeoran sus hábitos alimenticios, resulta primor-dial mantener un mayor control de la publicidad que consume este público en esta red social. Este artículo tiene como propósito identificar y analizar la publicidad de marcas de alimentos ultra procesados emitida por los populares youtubers infantiles Vlad y Niki durante el estado de alarma por la COVID-19. Se realizó un análisis de contenido de 802 marcas detectadas en 249 vídeos publicados en el canal en español desde su apertura (diciembre de 2018) hasta enero de 2021. Se encontró que durante la COVID-19 los youtubers promocionaron un mayor número de marcas de alimentos ultra procesados sin revelar el vínculo con el anunciante en un lugar visible y comprensible, y que expre-saron emociones positivas al consumirlos. Esto pone en riesgo la salud del colectivo al constatar en estudios previos que existe una relación entre este tipo de publicidad y la obesidad infantil.
... As the Millennial and Generation-Z consumers are mainly targeted by SMI marketing (Lim et al., 2017), it is essential to understand their characteristics and motivations to discuss this marketing tool properly. To predict the direction of SMI marketing, an analysis of its predecessor, the blogger and the way it enabled the rise of SMI is also discussed. ...
Purpose In spite of the rise of social media influencers observed in the 2010s, the direction and future of influencers are ambiguous. This popular yet overused marketing tool has shown certain problems and limitations such as a decrease in perceived authenticity and market saturation. Additionally, the outbreak of COVD-19 has amplified the significance of these factors and made many companies and influencers reconsider their involvement in influencer marketing. Within this context, this paper aims to explore whether influencers were impacted by diminishing perceived authenticity, market saturation or the prolonged pandemic. Also, the authors aim to investigate influencers’ perception of the future of influencer marketing post-pandemic. Design/methodology/approach To gain insight into trends in influencer marketing from the influencer’s perspective, this paper uses qualitative research in the form of interviews with influencers and industry professionals. Findings The findings highlight the importance of perceived authenticity for success in influencer marketing. Most interviewees indicated that they had noticed a boom in social media influencer marketing before the pandemic, yet provided mixed views regarding the market during the pandemic. Several believe that influencers will continue to be relevant in the increasingly digital world (e.g. increasing digital marketing spend and e-commerce), whereas an expectation of new digital platforms and innovations was also observed. In the long term, saturation and decreased effectiveness were predicted by several interviewees. Originality/value This under-researched topic is of relevance especially to consumer goods companies, as social media marketing and influencer marketing are currently highly effective and popular tools. To refine marketing strategies designed around influencers, understanding the limitations, in the context of COVID-19, is crucial.
... Although some Traditional western research were discovered to learn and even clarify about this part of study, you may still find minimum materials, specially in Malaysia, that will centered on area regarding SMIs as well as results around the buying motives plus devotion of shoppers. Particularly, a number of research had been carried out previously to understand within the part associated with SMIs within brand name changing (Gulamali and Persson, 2017); the particular effect involving SMIs about obtain purpose together with customer mindset (Lim, Radzol, Cheah and Wong, 2017); enhancing SME's competition simply by using Instagram changer marketing plus eWOM (Konstantopoulou, Rizomyliotis, Konstantoulaki as well as Badahdah, 2018); utilizing social networking in order to form the particular usage tradition amongst Malaysian youngsters (Nur Leila, Andrea Yvonne and Nurzihan, 2018) and much more. ...
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Once we improvement in to digitisation, the particular creation of social networking offers moved the particular brand name conversation scenery, where every thing gets cellular plus online simple access in addition to deliverance. Business owners are right now using social media marketing systems to put, advertise promote their own manufacturers with regard to higher presence and even product sales. Nevertheless , using the bombardment associated with ads within the over loaded marketplace, typically the blockage in order to social networking area makes an issue where customers often overlook marketing promotions by making use of advertising blockers. Therefore, business owners noticed the need to get option methods within getting consumers' focus on create buy intention together with devotion. Because people are positively engrossed within social media marketing in order to connect, research before you buy, and purchase items on the internet, there exists a developing stress for any a lot more customised social internet marketing. Lately, the particular rudimentary; beginning associated with Insta-famous social networking influencers is visible important inside producing brand name buzz, advertising, wedding plus cultivating associations along with customers. Even though quantity of social websites influencers will be increasing within Malaysia, typically the knowing around the effect of the impact upon consumer's obtain purpose plus commitment continues to be hard to find, since the trend is recognized as brand new in the united states. Therefore, this particular papers is designed to be able to disentangle exactly how Insta-famous social networking influencers are usually sneaking past brand name connection throughout attaining customer-brand partnership, resulting in company dedication. Particularly, this specific conceptual papers is depending on books evaluations within date purchase about social internet marketing, social media marketing influencers, in addition to their own usefulness inside buy purposes and even devotion. The conceptual platform was produced within identifying the particular part regarding social media marketing influencers throughout order purpose together with faithfulness. Furthermore, this kind of research discovered earlier research around the effect involving social networking influencers amongst Malaysian individuals are nevertheless insufficient, appropriately, the research suggests typically the performance associated with content material evaluation within the recommendation posts associated with social websites influencers within Instagram plus specific selection interviews with all the customers to find out their particular impact within starting buy intention in addition to commitment.
... In the age of content marketing, the market rapidly expanded as influencer types proliferated, with influencers filling every conceivable niche and subniche interest (Trivedi & Sama, 2020). Influencers influenced consumer's online purchasing decisions and positive attitudes towards brands, which in turn led to a higher online purchase intention (Lim et al., 2017). Consequently, consumer's attitudes towards such intentions have become significant for brands and their marketing strategies. ...
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This empirical research study aimed to examine factors influencing consumer's behavioral intentions to purchase products via live-streaming services. This study proposed four key factors, namely customer perception, marketing mix, content marketing, and influencer, and tested their relationships with the perceived value and attitude through consumer's behavior. At the same time, the path analysis of the perceived value and attitude was conducted to reveal the relationships with consumer's behavioral intentions through consumer's online purchase intention. The proposed theoretical model comprised relevant variables developed from the current literature on digital marketing disciplines under three theoretical strands, where the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) was established as the main theory. The study tested the structural model using cross-sectional data. Purposive sampling was used to administer a questionnaire to 198 participants who had experience with live-streaming online shopping, and the data was analyzed using the Partial Least Squares (PLS) approach and regression analysis. The findings showed that customer perception and marketing mix had significant positive impacts on perceived value. Content marketing and influencer marketing also had positive relationships with consumer's attitudes. Moreover, consumer's perceived value and attitudes influenced their behavior and actions. These results reaffirmed the positive role of consumer's behavioral intentions in their online purchase intentions.
... Here, trust is about the existence of a closely associated brand-influencer match. Open Journal of Business and Management This is supported in the literature by Lim et al. (2017) and Schouten et al. (2020), where SMI endorsements are regarded as genuine by consumers, when there is a trustworthy fit between them and the product. In social media, this means the extent to which the posts of an influencer reflect and are congruent with, the values and image of the brand they are endorsing (Fritz et al., 2017;Bruhn et al., 2012). ...
From a consumer viewpoint, this paper analyses the factors that constitute an authentic SMI when they endorse products on Instagram. The method is exploratory and qualitative, where focus groups were asked to examine the posts of key influencers. Findings have resulted in the authentic influencer model, composed of four explanatory features. Firstly, trustworthiness. The values of the brand and those of the influencer must be closely aligned. Secondly , the SMI must be transparent. Endorsers must be open about their paid connection to a sponsor. Thirdly, there must be relatability between the SMI and the consumer. Fourthly, the SMI must possess expertise in the product. Whilst previous work has been carried out on corporate brand authenticity in social media, relatively little research has so far been conducted on the SMI and consumer perceived authenticity. Consequently, this work assists in filling a gap, where the analysis could be utilised to develop strategies to enhance the authenticity of the SMIs personal brand, and that of the endorsed organisation. The model here could also help spur research, both qualitative and quantitative, in this important area of business and social media marketing.
... Wiedmann and Von Mettenheim (2020) demonstrated a positive and significant effect from an SMI's trustworthiness and physical attractiveness on brand satisfaction, brand trust, and brand image, and a small, but significant, positive effect from expertise on brand satisfaction. However, Lim et al. (2017) found no significant relationship between SC attributes (expertise, trustworthiness, and attractiveness) and purchase intention. The authors also found no significant correlation between source expertise, trustworthiness, and consumer attitude toward SMIs, but they did find a positive significant relationship between SMI attractiveness and consumer attitude toward SMIs. ...
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.
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.
There has been an increase in lesbian and gay-themed advertisements in mainstream media in South Africa. This suggests that brands are starting to acknowledge LGBTQ consumers as an important consumer market needing representation in advertisements. However, to date little empirical research has examined the response of heterosexual consumers to lesbian and gay-themed advertisements. Therefore, this study examined the impact of tolerance of homosexuality on attitudes towards lesbian and gay-themed advertisements and brands. The findings revealed that participants with a high tolerance towards homosexuality have more positive attitudes towards advertisements and brands. The attitudes towards the advertisements have a significant positive influence on the attitude towards the brand. In addition, the study revealed that heterosexual men exposed to lesbian and gay-themed advertisements tend to have negative attitudes towards advertisements compared to heterosexual women. Managerial implications are discussed.
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Provides a nontechnical introduction to the partial least squares (PLS) approach. As a logical base for comparison, the PLS approach for structural path estimation is contrasted to the covariance-based approach. In so doing, a set of considerations are then provided with the goal of helping the reader understand the conditions under which it might be reasonable or even more appropriate to employ this technique. This chapter builds up from various simple 2 latent variable models to a more complex one. The formal PLS model is provided along with a discussion of the properties of its estimates. An empirical example is provided as a basis for highlighting the various analytic considerations when using PLS and the set of tests that one can employ is assessing the validity of a PLS-based model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The persuasive impact of source credibility is examined in two situations. A highly credible source was more effective than a moderately credible source when the communication recommended buying a product, an advocacy which message recipients viewed unfavorably. The moderately credible source was more persuasive when the message advocated leasing the product, a position subjects generally supported. These findings are interpreted in terms of cognitive response theory. Practical implications of the research are suggested.
The results of a large-scale study of adolescent consumer socialization are presented. A general conceptual framework of socialization is outlined to serve as a blueprint for discussing variables and hypotheses in the specific context of consumer socialization. The authors then examine the development of several consumption-related skills as a function of variables derived from sociological and developmental theories of socialization.
To achieve product differentiation, airlines spend millions of dollars annually in signing celebrities to endorse their brands’ endorsement contracts, as source effects that play an important role in persuasive communications. Based on source credibility theory and product differentiation theory, this study examines the causal relationship between endorser credibility, brand attitude, brand credibility and purchase intention of air transportation services provided by airlines that adopt a celebrity endorsement strategy. Meanwhile, endorser credibility was tested as a second-order construct of the proposed model. The results indicate that positive relationships exist between all the hypothesized constructs. Therefore, in addition to having a favorable celebrity to endorse a customer oriented advertisement, the credibility of the celebrity is as important in enhancing brand attitude, brand credibility and purchase intention.
A generalized form of the cross‐validation criterion is applied to the choice and assessment of prediction using the data‐analytic concept of a prescription. The examples used to illustrate the application are drawn from the problem areas of univariate estimation, linear regression and analysis of variance.
Scant evidence is available on of how social media marketing activities influence brand equity creation and consumers' behavior towards a brand. This research explores these relationships by analyzing pioneering brands in the luxury sector (Burberry, Dior, Gucci, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton). Based on a survey of 845 luxury brand consumers (Chinese, French, Indian, and Italian), who follow the five brands studied on social media, the study develops a structural equation model that helps to address gaps in prior social media branding literature. Specifically, the study demonstrates the links between social media marketing efforts and their consequences (brand preference, price premium, and loyalty). The study measures brands' social media marketing efforts as a holistic concept that incorporates five aspects (entertainment, interaction, trendiness, customization, and word of mouth). Another contribution of the study is that it finds that SMMEs have a significant positive effect on brand equity and on the two main dimensions of brand equity: brand awareness and brand image.
Technological capabilities and features of the Internet and World Wide Web have prompted concerns about the verity of online information, the credibility of new media, and the new responsibilities placed on media consumers. Reflecting these concerns, scholars have shown a renewed interest in the credibility of sources, their messages, and the media that carry them. Nonetheless, researchers who are currently reengaging the issue of information credibility have yet to take full advantage of the rich heritage left by credibility research conducted over the last half century. The primary aim of this chapter is to show how past research can inform present attempts to understand credibility in the new media environment, focusing particularly on Web-based information. Toward that end, this chapter reviews, synthesizes, and integrates the substantial literature on source, message, and media credibility; addresses issues of credibility conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement; suggests strategies to ...