This study examines the relationship between social media influencers and their followers, focusing on the impact of follower knowledge on paid sponsorships.

This study examines the relationship between social media influencers and their followers, focusing on the impact of follower knowledge on paid sponsorships. Their focus group, consisting of college-aged female students from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), through an online survey, explored various aspects of social media usage, such as awareness of these paid endorsements, ad recognition and relationships with influencers and followers. The findings revealed a surprisingly positive relationship between followers’ knowledge of paid support and the ability to identify influencer advertising products. Despite these correlations, an interesting insight emerged from the study: followers heightened awareness does not drive followers to engage in Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) or any intentions to purchase endorsed products. Although clarity can influence the relationship between followers and influencers, it may not affect how followers respond to influencer marketing on social media.

I find this research very interesting as someone who has worked with social media influencers in the fashion and beauty industry. This study questioned some common trends in influencer marketing and I thought it was surprising and fascinating that this study focused on the UAE as the makeup industry has boomed there over the last seven years. I can’t help but wonder how the research will differ from our current landscape of TikTok influencers and how their ad placement might impact current marketing strategies. I appreciate that the author highlighted how the study focused on a specific demographic and how these findings cannot be generalized to the broader social media context. Of course, considering the Western view of influencers, the results might be different.

Reference: 

Dhanesh, G. S., & Duthler, G. (2019). Relationship management through social media influencers: Effects of followers’ awareness of paid endorsement. 
Public Relations Review
45(3), 101765


Please pick two out of the three questions to answer

1.Delve into the study’s approach to measuring influencer-follower relationships. Are the four dimensions (trust, commitment, satisfaction, and control mutuality) comprehensive enough to capture the complexity of these relationships? Discuss potential additional dimensions that could be relevant in understanding the dynamics between influencers and followers. In your answer, cite at least one example/quote from the course.

2. In an era where skepticism towards online content is prevalent, how can influencers strike the balance between authenticity and commercial interest? From a business perspective, what are the implications of this research for companies that collaborate with influencers and how can their strategies be adapted to reflect these findings? In your answer, cite at least one example/quote from the course.

3. Considering the multicultural nature of social media and the reference to UAE social media culture, how can cultural differences affect outreach and what implications does this have for a global influencer marketing strategy? In your answer, cite at least one example/quote from the course.

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