A Call for Authenticity

Audience Responses to Social Media Influencer Endorsements in Strategic Communication

Essi Ilona Pöyry, Matilde Pelkonen, Emma Naumanen, Salla-Maaria Laaksonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Utilizing social media celebrities as a communication channel has become
a strategic practice for many organizations. By using the concepts of celebrity
endorsement and authenticity, the effect of celebrity and content characteristics
on followers’ attitudes towards the content and, in the case of sponsored
content, purchase intentions are scrutinized. Instagram followers (N = 592) of
45 celebrities responded to a survey on nine photos of the celebrities. The
results show that both the perceived authenticity and attractiveness of the
celebrity are positively related with photo attitudes, but only authenticity has
an effect on purchase intentions. Photos of social media influencers, people
who have become famous through social media, increase purchase intentions
more than photos of general celebrities. Congruence between the photo and
the celebrity has the strongest positive effect on photo attitudes and purchase
intentions. Sponsored photos are less favorably perceived than non-sponsored
photos, but, among sponsored photos, sponsor disclosure has no effect on
purchase intentions. The perceived authenticity of both the celebrity and her
content is said to explain favorable audience perceptions. The findings imply
that organizations should seek authentic matches between their message and
the endorsing celebrity and that the content should align with the usual style
of the celebrity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Strategic Communication
Volume13
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)336-351
Number of pages16
ISSN1553-118X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 518 Media and communications

Cite this

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title = "A Call for Authenticity: Audience Responses to Social Media Influencer Endorsements in Strategic Communication",
abstract = "Utilizing social media celebrities as a communication channel has becomea strategic practice for many organizations. By using the concepts of celebrityendorsement and authenticity, the effect of celebrity and content characteristicson followers’ attitudes towards the content and, in the case of sponsoredcontent, purchase intentions are scrutinized. Instagram followers (N = 592) of45 celebrities responded to a survey on nine photos of the celebrities. Theresults show that both the perceived authenticity and attractiveness of thecelebrity are positively related with photo attitudes, but only authenticity hasan effect on purchase intentions. Photos of social media influencers, peoplewho have become famous through social media, increase purchase intentionsmore than photos of general celebrities. Congruence between the photo andthe celebrity has the strongest positive effect on photo attitudes and purchaseintentions. Sponsored photos are less favorably perceived than non-sponsoredphotos, but, among sponsored photos, sponsor disclosure has no effect onpurchase intentions. The perceived authenticity of both the celebrity and hercontent is said to explain favorable audience perceptions. The findings implythat organizations should seek authentic matches between their message andthe endorsing celebrity and that the content should align with the usual styleof the celebrity.",
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author = "P{\"o}yry, {Essi Ilona} and Matilde Pelkonen and Emma Naumanen and Salla-Maaria Laaksonen",
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language = "English",
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journal = "International Journal of Strategic Communication",
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A Call for Authenticity : Audience Responses to Social Media Influencer Endorsements in Strategic Communication. / Pöyry, Essi Ilona; Pelkonen, Matilde; Naumanen, Emma; Laaksonen, Salla-Maaria.

In: International Journal of Strategic Communication, Vol. 13, No. 4, 2019, p. 336-351.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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T2 - Audience Responses to Social Media Influencer Endorsements in Strategic Communication

AU - Pöyry, Essi Ilona

AU - Pelkonen, Matilde

AU - Naumanen, Emma

AU - Laaksonen, Salla-Maaria

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Utilizing social media celebrities as a communication channel has becomea strategic practice for many organizations. By using the concepts of celebrityendorsement and authenticity, the effect of celebrity and content characteristicson followers’ attitudes towards the content and, in the case of sponsoredcontent, purchase intentions are scrutinized. Instagram followers (N = 592) of45 celebrities responded to a survey on nine photos of the celebrities. Theresults show that both the perceived authenticity and attractiveness of thecelebrity are positively related with photo attitudes, but only authenticity hasan effect on purchase intentions. Photos of social media influencers, peoplewho have become famous through social media, increase purchase intentionsmore than photos of general celebrities. Congruence between the photo andthe celebrity has the strongest positive effect on photo attitudes and purchaseintentions. Sponsored photos are less favorably perceived than non-sponsoredphotos, but, among sponsored photos, sponsor disclosure has no effect onpurchase intentions. The perceived authenticity of both the celebrity and hercontent is said to explain favorable audience perceptions. The findings implythat organizations should seek authentic matches between their message andthe endorsing celebrity and that the content should align with the usual styleof the celebrity.

AB - Utilizing social media celebrities as a communication channel has becomea strategic practice for many organizations. By using the concepts of celebrityendorsement and authenticity, the effect of celebrity and content characteristicson followers’ attitudes towards the content and, in the case of sponsoredcontent, purchase intentions are scrutinized. Instagram followers (N = 592) of45 celebrities responded to a survey on nine photos of the celebrities. Theresults show that both the perceived authenticity and attractiveness of thecelebrity are positively related with photo attitudes, but only authenticity hasan effect on purchase intentions. Photos of social media influencers, peoplewho have become famous through social media, increase purchase intentionsmore than photos of general celebrities. Congruence between the photo andthe celebrity has the strongest positive effect on photo attitudes and purchaseintentions. Sponsored photos are less favorably perceived than non-sponsoredphotos, but, among sponsored photos, sponsor disclosure has no effect onpurchase intentions. The perceived authenticity of both the celebrity and hercontent is said to explain favorable audience perceptions. The findings implythat organizations should seek authentic matches between their message andthe endorsing celebrity and that the content should align with the usual styleof the celebrity.

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