Young adults’ motivations for following social influencers and their relationship to identification and buying behavior

Emmelyn Croes*, Jos Bartels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The main focus of this study is to understand why young people buy the products endorsed by social influencers on social media platforms. Specifically, the first aim of this study was to investigate the motivations young adults have for following social influencers. The second aim was to analyze social identification as a possible underlying mechanism in the relation to these motivations and young adults’ online advertisement clicking and buying behavior. To achieve these aims, we employed an online questionnaire among 415 individuals between 16 and 25 years old. Respondents were asked to choose a social influencer whose social media account they recently visited, and keep that influencer in mind when responding to the survey questions. The results of the survey confirmed that there are six primary factors that motivate young adults to follow their selected social influencers, namely information sharing, cool and new trend, relaxing entertainment, companionship, boredom/habitual pass time, and information seeking. Furthermore, our findings showed that the importance of the motivations for following influencers differed between age groups, genders and educational backgrounds. Finally, social identification played an important role in the relationship between all six motivations and online advertisement clicking and buying behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106910
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume124
Early online date12 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Motivations
  • Online buying behavior
  • Social identification
  • Social identity theory
  • Social influencers
  • Uses & gratifications

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