How Social Media Influencers Foster Relationships with Followers: The Roles of Source Credibility and Fairness in Parasocial Relationship and Product Interest
Author ORCID Identifier
Journal of Interactive Advertising
Via the unprecedented interactivity of social media, social media personae can build strong relationships with followers. Such relationships, which carry great marketing potential, appeal to corporations and brands. Based on the literature of source credibility and communication justice, this study investigated the determinants of the parasocial relationship between social media influencers and their followers, as well as their effects on followers’ interests in the products advertised by influencers. The results of an online survey showed that followers’ perceived attractiveness of influencers, similarity to influencers, procedural fairness, and interpersonal fairness of their interactions with influencers are positively related to the strength of their parasocial relationship with influencers, which further mediates the effect of the aforementioned factors on followers’ interests in influencer-promoted products. The findings of this study explicate the mechanism through which influencers foster relationships with followers and also provide practitioners with insights on orchestrating strategic influencer campaigns.
communication justice, Parasocial relationship, product interests, social media influencers, source credibility
Yuan, Shupei and Lou, Chen, "How Social Media Influencers Foster Relationships with Followers: The Roles of Source Credibility and Fairness in Parasocial Relationship and Product Interest" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 461.
Department of Communication