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Can Social Media Influencers Shape Corporate Brand Reputation? Online Followers' Trust, Value Creation, and Purchase Intentions.

1. Introduction

Social media influencers communicate their viewpoint in relation to products and brands via social media notices that are either funded by a brand, or are displayed as sincere advice. (Stubb and Colliander, 2019) The factual practicality of influencer-generated content, influencer's reliability, appeal, and resemblance to the followers favorably shape the latter's confidence in influencers' branded posts, therefore impacting brand awareness and shopping intention. (Lou and Yuan, 2019)

2. Conceptual Framework and Literature Review

Perceptions of influencer's receptivity and frankness may favorably impact influencer-follower connections, and behavioral results. (Dhanesh and Duthler, 2019) Consumers predisposed to Instagram celebrity's brand posts regard the source as more reliable, display more enthusiastic attitude in relation to the endorsed brand, experience more stable social presence, and are more resentful of the source than ones inclined to conventional celebrity's brand posts. (Jin et al., 2019) Details from public figures, social media influencers, and individuals whom they know personally determine consumers' shopping decisions. (Cooley and Parks-Yancy, 2019) Social media have articulated a new category of driven online marketers (Androniceanu and Dragulanescu, 2016; Campbell et al., 2017; Ciobanu et al., 2019; Havu, 2017; Jimenez, 2018; Koppel and Kolencik, 2018; Mitea, 2018; Otrel-Cass, 2018; Suojanen, 2018) by concomitantly stimulating and distorting commercial decisions. (Bizzi and Labban, 2019)

3. Methodology and Empirical Analysis

Building my argument by drawing on data collected from Activate, BI Intelligence, Captiv8, eMarketer, The Economist, Fullscreen, Linqia, Shareablee, Marketing-Charts, Mediakix, and Zine, I performed analyses and made estimates regarding the most/least important social media channels for influencer marketing (%), average earnings for influencer posts on selected social media platforms ($), primary social media platform used by social influencers worldwide for brand collaborations (%), tactics used by influencers worldwide for sponsored campaigns on Instagram (%), effective content formats for influencer marketing (%), top success metrics for influencer campaigns (%), and how U.S. adults feel about social media influencers (%). The structural equation modeling technique was used to test the research model.

4. Results and Discussion

There are three kinds of value generation noticeable in digital media produced by the influencers: as endeavors at celebritization, in narrating the development of the brand, and as portrayal of exemplification of aspirational consumer-citizenship. (Iqani, 2019) Public figures and social media influencers favorably shape the boost of product awareness (Bratu, 2017; Chijioke et al., 2018; Fielden et al., 2018; Hyers and Kovacova, 2018; Kirby et al., 2018; Mircica, 2018; Radulescu, 2018), but consumers yet rely upon recommendations from persons whom they thoroughly know, with reference to their shopping decisions. (Cooley and Parks-Yancy, 2019) Intense social media users tend to participate in online purchasing while being significantly impacted by online herding behavior. Social media information, bloggers, social network contacts, and influencers determine intense social media users' online purchasing behaviors. (Bizzi and Labban, 2019) (Tables 1-9)

5. Conclusions and Implications

Social presence facilitates the determining consequences (Avram, 2018; Balica, 2017; Carter and Yeo, 2017; Drugau-Constantin, 2018; Hayes and Jandric, 2017; Jouet, 2018; Mircica, 2017; Nica, 2017a, b; Peters, 2018) of celebrity type on reliability, brand attitude, and ill feeling. (Jin et al., 2019) The visual activity handled by social media influencers online is decisive to the creation of the value of international brands. (Iqani, 2019) Impartiality product posts are improbable to be identified as advertising in contrast to sponsored product posts or ones having no funding details, and consequently bring about more significant source and message trustworthiness. (Stubb and Colliander, 2019) Influencers constitute important sources of brand awareness. Perceived notoriety furthers brand involvement in self-concept, brand expected value, and shopping intention. (Jimenez-Castillo and Sanchez-Fernandez, 2019)

Funding

This paper was supported by Grant GE-1233748 from the Social Analytics Laboratory, Los Angeles, CA.

Author Contributions

The author confirms being the sole contributor of this work and approved it for publication.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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Sofia Bratu

sofiabratu@yahoo.com

Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania

Received 14 March 2019

Accepted 21 July 2019

doi:10.22381/RCP18201910
Table 1 The most important social media channels for influencer
marketing (%, select multiple)

Instagram    87
YouTube      67
Facebook     42
Blogs        39
Twitter      29
LinkedIn     17
Pinterest    12
Twitch        5
Snapchat      3
Other         1

Sources: Mediakix; my survey among 4,800 individuals conducted January
2019.

Table 2 The least important social media channels for influencer
marketing (%, select multiple)

Snapchat       56
LinkedIn       51
Twitch         42
Pinterest      36
Twitter        27
Facebook       15
Blogs           9
YouTube         4
Instagram       3

Sources: Mediakix; my survey among 4,800 individuals conducted January
2019.

Table 3 Average earnings for influencer posts on selected social media
platforms ($)

Followers  YouTube  Facebook  Instagram   Snapchat  Vine      Twitter

100k-500k   12,300    5,800     4,700       4,600     3,400    1,700
500k-1m     24,700   11,700     9,600       9,400     7,200    3,600
1m-3m      124,600   61,800    49,400      49,300    36,800   19,400
3m-7m      186,800   92,400    74,600      74,400    55,700   29,500
Over 7m    294,700  186,900   149,300     149,200   111,800   59,500

Sources: Captiv8; The Economist; my 2019 data.

Table 4 Primary social media platform used by social influencers
worldwide for brand collaborations (%)

Instagram   74
Blog        15
YouTube      7
Facebook     3
Pinterest    1

Sources: Zine; eMarketer; my survey among 4,800 individuals conducted
January 2019.

Table 5 Tactics used by influencers worldwide for sponsored campaigns
on Instagram (%)

Instagram Stories                                    46
Instagram Story highlights                           17
Instagram Polls                                      11
Instagram Swipe Up feature                           10
Refraining from posting organic content to give       8
sponsored content primary exposure on your feed
Instagram Live                                        6
Other                                                 1
None of the above                                     1

Sources: Activate; eMarketer; my survey among 4,200 individuals
conducted January 2019.

Table 6 Effective content formats for influencer marketing (%, select
multiple)

Instagram Post         74
Instagram Stories      69
YouTube Video          52
Instagram Video        49
Blog Post              33
Facebook Post          19
Facebook Video         18
Tweet                  14
Facebook Live          11
YouTube Live            7
Other                   4
Twitch Livestream       3

Sources: Mediakix; my survey among 4,200 individuals conducted January
2019.

Table 7 How do you determine which influencers to work with? (%, select
multiple)

Quality of content                 78
Target audience                    74
Engagement rate                    68
On-brand messaging or aesthetic    51
Budget                             46
Location                           39
Follower count                     38
Previous sponsorship performance   27
Buzzworthy or trending             20
Referral                           11
Other                               2

Sources: Mediakix; my survey among 4,800 individuals conducted January
2019.

Table 8 Top success metrics for influencer campaigns (%)

Engagement           87
Traffic/Clicks       54
Reach                46
Conversions          51
Product sales        42
Audience sentiment   27
Other                 1

Sources: Linqia; BI Intelligence; my survey among 4,400 individuals
conducted January 2019.

Table 9 How U.S. adults feel about social media influencers (%)

They are honest about their beliefs and opinions         57
They seem knowledgeable about the topics they discuss    52
We share the same passion/interests                      44
They feel real/authentic in the way they communicate     39
Their recommendations are accurate                       26
They are transparent about working with brands           21
They seem like they could be my friend                   14

Sources: Fullscreen; Shareablee; MarketingCharts; my survey among 4,800
individuals conducted January 2019.
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Author:Bratu, Sofia
Publication:Review of Contemporary Philosophy
Date:Jan 1, 2019
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