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Perceived authenticity of social media influencers: scale development and validation

Perceived authenticity of social media influencers: scale development and validation Public perceptions of the authenticity of social media influencers (SMIs) are a key driver of the latter's persuasiveness as brand endorsers. Despite its importance, no measurement scale currently exists for perceived authenticity of social media influencers (PASMIs). This prevents practitioners from effectively assessing consumers' perceptions of an influencer's authenticity prior to a potential partnership. To provide better guidance, this research develops and validates a scale of PASMI as well as examines the relationships between the underlying dimensions of the scale and key consumer behavior variables.Design/methodology/approachThe current research consists of two studies: the first study constructs a scale; the second validates it. In Study 1, items were generated from existing scales as well as from qualitative responses. These items were revised based on feedback provided by an independent group of reviewers. Furthermore, an online survey was conducted to purify the items. In Study 2, the scale was validated with a new sample.FindingsResults suggest that perceived SMI authenticity is a multidimensional construct consisting of sincerity, truthful endorsements, visibility, expertise and uniqueness. Each of the five dimensions has varying effects on consumers' evaluation of an SMI, willingness to follow an SMI, and intention to purchase products that SMIs recommend.Originality/valueThis research extends theoretical work on authenticity by developing and validating a scale as well as delving into the construct of perceived SMI authenticity. Practical implications are provided for marketers and SMIs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing Emerald Publishing

Perceived authenticity of social media influencers: scale development and validation

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-7122
DOI
10.1108/jrim-12-2020-0253
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Public perceptions of the authenticity of social media influencers (SMIs) are a key driver of the latter's persuasiveness as brand endorsers. Despite its importance, no measurement scale currently exists for perceived authenticity of social media influencers (PASMIs). This prevents practitioners from effectively assessing consumers' perceptions of an influencer's authenticity prior to a potential partnership. To provide better guidance, this research develops and validates a scale of PASMI as well as examines the relationships between the underlying dimensions of the scale and key consumer behavior variables.Design/methodology/approachThe current research consists of two studies: the first study constructs a scale; the second validates it. In Study 1, items were generated from existing scales as well as from qualitative responses. These items were revised based on feedback provided by an independent group of reviewers. Furthermore, an online survey was conducted to purify the items. In Study 2, the scale was validated with a new sample.FindingsResults suggest that perceived SMI authenticity is a multidimensional construct consisting of sincerity, truthful endorsements, visibility, expertise and uniqueness. Each of the five dimensions has varying effects on consumers' evaluation of an SMI, willingness to follow an SMI, and intention to purchase products that SMIs recommend.Originality/valueThis research extends theoretical work on authenticity by developing and validating a scale as well as delving into the construct of perceived SMI authenticity. Practical implications are provided for marketers and SMIs.

Journal

Journal of Research in Interactive MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 15, 2021

Keywords: Authenticity; Social media influencers; Influencer marketing; Instagram; Consumer behavior; Exploratory

References