Who are Portuguese followers of social media influencers (SMIs), and their attitudes towards SMIs? An exploratory study

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Abstract

Influencers serve as crucial role models, influencing the behavior, aesthetics, and ideologies of their followers. This cross-sectional study aims to explore the perspectives of Portuguese social media users toward influencers. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire from 759 participants obtained through snowball sampling. The majority (75.5%) were female, averaging 26 years in age. Descriptive statistics, mean comparisons, and correlations were utilized for analysis. Portuguese followers of social media influencers, primarily consisting of young women with lower formal education, are active on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. They spend considerable time on social media, engaging with influencers through actions such as liking or tagging friends. Fashion and beauty influencers are particularly favored. Followers value influencers who interact with them, appreciate personal posts and disclosures, and form parasocial relationships with influencers. While many express a willingness to purchase products promoted by influencers, a noteworthy portion hasn't made such purchases. Participants express uncertainty about the guaranteed quality of products endorsed by influencers, yet 36.5% acknowledge the significance of influencers in discovering new products or trends.This study provides valuable insights for influencers and brands targeting a specific audience. It also underscores potential concerns for followers, emphasizing the link between excessive social media use and problematic behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-576
Number of pages21
JournalManagement and Marketing
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Followers
  • Social media
  • Social media influencers
  • Trust

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