An influencer like me: Examining the impact of the social status of Influencers

Do Yuon Kim, Minjung Park, Hye Young Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the rise of social media influencers with ordinary, approachable lifestyles, there is a lack of studies that investigate the mechanism. This study examines the impacts of the social status of influencers on marketing outcomes. Study 1 investigated how intimacy and admiration resulting from the social status of influencers (similar vs. higher) affect marketing outcomes (i.e., product attitude, willingness to purchase, and loyalty to the influencer) using an online survey. The results showed that admiration is a stronger predictor of marketing outcomes than intimacy regardless of the influencers’ social status. This study also demonstrated the interplay between the social status of influencers and the social comparison orientation of social media users in a 2 (similar vs. higher social status) x 2 (low vs. high social comparison orientation) experimental design. This research contributes to knowledge by examining the effects of the social status of influencers (similar vs. higher) based on the social comparison process. This study provides theoretical and practical implications that admiration is a key factor in influencer marketing and social media users with high social comparison orientation should be targeted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • admiration
  • influencer
  • intimacy
  • social comparison
  • Social media
  • social status

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