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Advertising and Consumer Behaviors: Evaluating Microinfluencers on Social Media
Julianne Eubanks, Dept. of Psychology, with Dr. Jennifer Joy-Gaba, Dept. of Psychology
In advertising, social media networks such as Instagram have become opportunities for brands to advertise their products. Celebrities, with their millions of followers, often serve as brand ambassadors. As well, smaller accounts with more niche, engaged followings referred to in this study as “micro-influencers” also endorse products. The current study aims to determine if participants will (1) perceive micro-influencers as more trustworthy and authentic than name-brand celebrities and if participants will (2) be more likely to purchase a product when advertised by a micro-influencer. Participants viewed advertisements posted by celebrities and micro-influencers. Participants then rated each image for 1) how trustworthy and likable the influencer/celebrity appears, 2) how often the influencer/celebrity uses the product and 3) how likely the participants are to buy the product. We hypothesized that participants will rate the micro-influencers as more trustworthy and authentic than celebrities; as a result, we hypothesized that participants will be more likely to want to purchase the products advertised by micro-influencers.
Jennifer Joy-Gaba, Ph.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
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