The widespread popularity of social media influencers (SMIs) has prompted a resurgence of scholarly interest in opinion leadership on social media. Guided by the social identity theory of leadership and using the contentious issue of nuclear energy development, this study serves as the first empirical assessment of SMIs’ attitudinal and behavioral influences on YouTube. In total, 251 Singapore citizens and permanent residents from an online survey panel participated in this 3 (Attitude similarity: Similar vs. mixed vs. dissimilar) x 2 (Social group status: Ordinary YouTube user vs. SMI) between-subjects factorial experiment. Attitude similarity predicted participants’ attitudes toward the YouTube video, their attitude strength toward nuclear energy development, and their willingness to share the YouTube video. Attitude similarity also interacted with social group status to influence participants’ willingness to share the YouTube video. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as directions for future research were discussed.
|Publication status||Published - 20 May 2020|
|Event||ICA 2020 - 70th Annual International Communication Association Conference: Open Communication - Virtual, Australia|
Duration: 20 May 2020 → 26 May 2020
|Conference||ICA 2020 - 70th Annual International Communication Association Conference|
|Period||20/05/20 → 26/05/20|