All Users Are Equal, but Some Users Are More Equal Than Others: Exploring the Psychology of Users That Follow Social Media Influencers

All Users Are Equal, but Some Users Are More Equal Than Others: Exploring the Psychology of Users That Follow Social Media Influencers

Carla Sofia Ribeiro Murteira, Ana Cristina Antunes
Copyright: © 2024 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/979-8-3693-0551-5.ch004
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The study of social influence in social media settings has gained significant importance in the last years due to the advent of the internet and the increase of social media users and followers of social media influencers (SMI). This chapter focuses on the followers' psychological experience by reviewing how SMIs are perceived by followers and what moves the users to follow SMIs. Users follow SMI in an attempt to obtain information, inspiration, and entertainment, therefore brands have the chance to promote their products and services based on an appealing communication that can be provided by the SMI. However, the SMIs' perceived credibility, trustworthiness, authenticity, and expertise can impact not just the interaction with followers but also the brand image. It is recommended that brands conduct a continuous and careful assessment of SMIs' communication style and followers' perceptions to improve followers' attitudes towards the brands and their purchase intentions.
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Influencer Marketing And Brands Digital Marketing Strategy

According to the latest data from Influencer Marketing Hub Benchmark Report (2023), which gathered information from more than 3500 marketing agencies, brands, and other professionals all over the world, influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth $21.1 billion in 2023. Moreover, more than 80% of them intended to dedicate a budget to influencer marketing in 2023, while 67% intended to increase their influencer marketing spending in 2023. There are several reasons behind this huge brand investment in influencer marketing, which according to Influencer Marketing Hub (2023) has been growing steadily in the last years.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Attitude: Evaluation of an object that impacts the way individuals feel, think, and behave.

Social Influence: Social process where the presence of imaged presence of others impacts individuals’ behavior, believes, or attitudes.

Perception: Subjective and personal interpretation of reality.

Social Media Influencer: Digital content creator who disseminates compelling content on a regular basis.

Motivation: Reasons underlying individuals’ behavior to reach a predetermined goal.

Persuasion: Influencing process to change individuals’ beliefs and behaviors.

Consumerism: Conscious consuming behaviour that is based on economic, social, cultural, and environmental responsibility.

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