Exploring the impact of social media influencers on customers’ purchase intention: A sequential mediation model in Taiwan context
Objective: The objective of the article is to investigate the impact of social media influencers (SMI) on Taiwanese customers’ intent to buy, using sequential mediating effects of parasocial interaction, perceived value, and brand image.
Research Design & Methods: The study focused on Taiwan and 384 samples were gathered using a convenience-based sampling technique. Variance-based structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to evaluate the sequential mediating effects through Smart PLS 3.0 statistical software.
Findings: The study’s findings suggested that social media influencers’ credibility has a statistically significant impact on generating a parasocial relationship with the audience, leading to positive perceived quality and brand image that eventually results in purchase intention.
Implications & Recommendations: The full sequential mediating model reflected that brand managers should choose the right social media figure who can connect with consumers and who simultaneously acts as a catalyst for the advertising industry.
Contribution & Value Added: This study contributes in anticipating consumer behaviour and understanding the role of social media influencers credibility in developing a sense of intimacy with the audience and examining its antecedents in one conceptual model in the form of the comprehensive and sequential model, which is a novel theoretical insight for media figures and consumer purchase behaviour literature.
Social-media influencers, Parasocial Interaction, Perceived Quality, Brand Image, Purchase Intention.
Aaker, D. A. (2014). Aaker on branding. New York, NY: Morgan James Publishing.
Adetunji, R. R., Sabrina, M. R., & Sobhi, I. M. (2017). User-Generated Contents in Facebook, Functional and Hedonic Brand Image and Purchase Intention. SHS Web of Conferences, 33, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20173300084
Alalwan, A. A., Dwivedi, Y. K., Rana, N. P., & Simintiras, A. C. (2016). Jordanian consumers’ adoption of telebanking: Influence of perceived usefulness, trust and self-efficacy. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 34(5), 690-709. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBM-06-2015-0093/FULL/XML
Aljafari, D. (2019). Examining the Effects of Parasocial Interaction and Identification with Social Media Influencers on Collaborating Brands (Unpublished doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis). Quatar University.
Ananda, A. S., Hernández-García, Á., & Lamberti, L. (2016). N-REL: A comprehensive framework of social media marketing strategic actions for marketing organizations. Journal of Innovation and Knowledge, 1(3), 170-180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jik.2016.01.003
Asgarpour, R., Hamid, A. B. A., & Sulaiman, Z. (2014). A Review on Customer Perceived Value and Its Main Components. GATR Global Journal of Business Social Sciences Review, 1(2), 632-640. https://doi.org/10.35609/gjbssr.2014.2.2(1)
Ballantine, P. W., & Martin, B. A. S. (2005). Forming Parasocial Relationships in Online Communities Forming Parasocial Relationships in Online Communities. Advances in Consumer Research, 32(32), 197-201.
Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173-1182. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-35220.127.116.113
Barroso, C., Carrión, G. C., & Roldán, J. L. (2010). Applying Maximum Likelihood and PLS on Different Sample Sizes: Studies on SERVQUAL Model and Employee Behavior Model. In Espositio Vinzi V., Chin, W.W., Henseler, J, & Wang, H. (eds.), Handbook of Partial Least Squares (pp. 427-447). Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-32827-8_20
Bond, B. J. (2018). Parasocial Relationships with Media Personae: Why They Matter and How They Differ Among Heterosexual, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adolescents. Media Psychology, 21(3), 457-485. https://doi.org/10.1080/15213269.2017.1416295
Byrne, E., Kearney, J., & MacEvilly, C. (2017). The Role of Influencer Marketing and Social Influencers in Public Health. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 76(OCE3), E103. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0029665117001768
Campbell, C., & Farrell, J. R. (2020). More than meets the eye: The functional components underlying influencer marketing. Business Horizons, 63(4), 469-479. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2020.03.003
Chatterjee, P. (2011). Drivers of new product recommending and referral behaviour on social network sites. International Journal of Advertising, 30(1), 77-101. https://doi.org/10.2501/IJA-30-1-077-101
Chen, S. C., & Quester, P. G. (2006). Modeling store loyalty: Perceived value in market orientation practice. Journal of Services Marketing, 20(3), 188-198. https://doi.org/10.1108/08876040610665643
Chin, W. W. (1998). The partial least squares approach to structural equation modelling. In Marcoulides, G. A. (ed.). Modern Methods for Business Research (pp. 295-336), Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
Chopra, A., Avhad, V., & Jaju, S. (2021). Influencer Marketing: An Exploratory Study to Identify Antecedents of Consumer Behavior of Millennial. Business Perspectives and Research, 9(1), 77-91. https://doi.org/10.1177/2278533720923486
Cosenza, T. R., Solomon, M. R., & Kwon, W. suk. (2015). Credibility in the blogosphere: A study of measurement and influence of wine blogs as an information source. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 14(2), 71-91. https://doi.org/10.1002/cb.1496
DeVeirman, M., Cauberghe, V., & Hudders, L. (2017). Marketing through instagram influencers: The impact of number of followers and product divergence on brand attitude. International Journal of Advertising, 36(5), 798-828. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2017.1348035
Dibble, J. L., Hartmann, T., & Rosaen, S. F. (2016). Parasocial Interaction and Parasocial Relationship: Conceptual Clarification and a Critical Assessment of Measures. Human Communication Research, 42(1), 21-44. https://doi.org/10.1111/hcre.12063
Dinev, T., & Hart, P. (2004). Internet privacy concerns and their antecedents -measurement validity and a regression model. Behaviour and Information Technology, 23(6), 413-422. https://doi.org/10.1080/01449290410001715723
Djafarova, E., & Rushworth, C. (2017). Exploring the credibility of online celebrities’ Instagram profiles in influencing the purchase decisions of young female users. Computers in Human Behavior, 68, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.11.009
Dwivedi, A., & Johnson, L. W. (2013). Trust-commitment as a mediator of the celebrity endorser-brand equity relationship in a service context. Australasian Marketing Journal, 21(1), 36-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ausmj.2012.10.001
Erdogan, B. Z. (1999). Celebrity Endorsement: A Literature Review. Journal of Marketing Management, 15(4), 291-314. https://doi.org/10.1362/026725799784870379
Febriyantoro, M. T. (2020). Exploring YouTube Marketing Communication: Brand awareness, brand image, and purchase intention in the millennial generation. Cogent Business and Management, 7(1), 1787733. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311975.2020.1787733
Funk, T. (2013). Advanced social media marketing: How to lead, launch and manage a successful social media program. Berlin: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4302-4408-0
Geyser, W. (2022, March 2). The State of Influencer Marketing 2022: Benchmark Report. Influencer Marketing Hub. Retrived from: https://influencermarketinghub.com/influencer-marketing-benchmark-report/ on January 2021.
Godey, B., Manthiou, A., Pederzoli, D., Rokka, J., Aiello, G., Donvito, R., & Singh, R. (2016). Social media marketing efforts of luxury brands: Influence on brand equity and consumer behavior. Journal of Business Research, 69(12), 5833-5841. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.04.181
Gong, W., & Li, X. (2017). Engaging fans on microblog: the synthetic influence of parasocial interaction and source characteristics on celebrity endorsement. Psychology and Marketing, 34(7), 720-732. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21018
Gorry, G. A., & Westbrook, R. A. (2009). Winning the internet confidence game. Corporate Reputation Review, 12(3), 195-203. https://doi.org/10.1057/crr.2009.16
Hair, J. F., Ringle, C. M., & Sarstedt, M. (2011). PLS-SEM: Indeed a silver bullet. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 19(2), 139-152. https://doi.org/10.2753/MTP1069-6679190202
Hair, J. F., Risher, J. J., Sarstedt, M., & Ringle, C. M. (2019). When to use and how to report the results of PLS-SEM. European Business Review, 31(1), 2-24. https://doi.org/10.1108/EBR-11-2018-0203
Hair, J. F., Sarstedt, M., Hopkins, L., & Kuppelwieser, V. G. (2014). Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM): An emerging tool in business research. European Business Review, 26(2), 106-121. https://doi.org/10.1108/EBR-10-2013-0128
Hair, J. F., Sarstedt, M., Ringle, C. M., & Gudergan, S. P. (2017). Advanced Issues in Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Hayes, A. F. (2009). Beyond Baron and Kenny: Statistical mediation analysis in the new millennium. Communication Monographs, 76(4), 408-420. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637750903310360
Hayes, A. F. (2018). Introduction to Mediation, Moderation, and Conditional Process Analysis, Second Edition: A Regression-Based Approach. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Hermanda, A., Sumarwan, U., & Tinaprilla, D. N. (2019). The Effect of Social Media Influencer on Brand Image, Self-Concept, and Purchase Intention. Journal of Consumer Sciences, 4(2), 76-89. https://doi.org/10.29244/JCS.4.2.76-89
Hu, L., Min, Q., Han, S., & Liu, Z. (2020). Understanding followers’ stickiness to digital influencers: The effect of psychological responses. International Journal of Information Management, 54, 102169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2020.102169
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 37-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2009.09.003
Kemp, S. (2021, February 11). Digital in Taiwan: Global Digital Insights. Data Reportal. Retrieved from: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2021-taiwan on January 2021.
Khamis, S., Ang, L., & Welling, R. (2017). Self-branding, ‘micro-celebrity’ and the rise of Social Media Influencers. Celebrity Studies, 8(2), 191-208. https://doi.org/10.1080/19392397.2016.1218292
Kim, H., Ko, E., & Kim, J. (2015). SNS users’ para-social relationships with celebrities: social media effects on purchase intentions. Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science, 25(3), 279-294. https://doi.org/10.1080/21639159.2015.1043690
Latan, H. (2018). PLS Path Modeling in Hospitality and Tourism Research: The Golden Age and Days of Future Past. In F. Ali, S.M. Rassolimanesh, & C. Cobanoglu (eds.), Applying Partial Least Squares in Tourism and Hospitality Research (pp. 53-83). Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78756-699-620181004
Ledden, L., Kalafatis, S. P., & Samouel, P. (2007). The relationship between personal values and perceived value of education. Journal of Business Research, 60(9), 965-974. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2007.01.021
Lee, J. S. (2017). The impact of celebrity endorser attachment and endorser-product match-up on credibility, attitude, and purchase intent. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama.
Leite, F. P., Pontes, N., & Baptista, P. de P. (2022). Oops, I’ve overshared! When social media influencers’ self-disclosure damage perceptions of source credibility. Computers in Human Behavior, 133, 107274. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.CHB.2022.107274
Lien, C. H., Wen, M. J., Huang, L. C., & Wu, K. L. (2015). Online hotel booking: The effects of brand image, price, trust and value on purchase intentions. Asia Pacific Management Review, 20(4), 210-218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmrv.2015.03.005
Lin, C. A., Crowe, J., Pierre, L., & Lee, Y. (2021). Effects of Parasocial Interaction with an Instafamous Influencer on Brand Attitudes and Purchase Intentions. The Journal of Social Media in Society Spring 2021, 10(1), 55-78.
Liu M.T., Liu, Y., & Zhang, L. L. (2019). Vlog and brand evaluations: The influence of parasocial interaction. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 31(2), 419-436. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-01-2018-0021
Liu, S., Jiang, C., Lin, Z., Ding, Y., Duan, R., & Xu, Z. (2015). Identifying effective influencers based on trust for electronic word-of-mouth marketing: A domain-aware approach. Information Sciences, 306, 34-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ins.2015.01.034
Lou, C., & Kim, H. K. (2019). Fancying the New Rich and Famous? Explicating the Roles of Influencer Content, Credibility, and Parental Mediation in Adolescents’ Parasocial Relationship, Materialism, and Purchase Intentions. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 2567. https://doi.org/10.3389/FPSYG.2019.02567/BIBTEX
Lou, C., & Yuan, S. (2019). Influencer Marketing: How Message Value and Credibility Affect Consumer Trust of Branded Content on Social Media. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 19(1), 58-73. https://doi.org/10.1080/15252019.2018.1533501
Lueck, J. A. (2015). Friend-zone with benefits: The parasocial advertising of Kim Kardashian. Journal of Marketing Communications, 21(2), 91-109. https://doi.org/10.1080/13527266.2012.726235
Magno, F. (2017). The influence of cultural blogs on their readers’ cultural product choices. International Journal of Information Management, 37(3), 142-149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2017.01.007
Mao, Y., Lai, Y., Luo, Y., Liu, S., Du, Y., Zhou, J., Ma, J., Bonaiuto, F., & Bonaiuto, M. (2020). Apple or Huawei: Understanding Flow, Brand Image, Brand Identity, Brand Personality and Purchase Intention of Smartphone. Sustainability, 12(8), 3391. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083391
Momtaz, N. J., Aghaie, A., & Alizadeh, S. (2011). Identifying Opinion Leaders for Marketing by Analyzing Online Social Networks. International Journal of Virtual Communities and Social Networking, 3(1), 43-59. https://doi.org/10.4018/jvcsn.2011010105
Munnukka, J., Uusitalo, O., & Toivonen, H. (2016). Credibility of a peer endorser and advertising effectiveness. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 33(3), 182-192. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-11-2014-1221
Neuman, W. L. (William L. (2014). Social research methods : qualitative and quantitative approaches (seventh). London: Pearson New International Edition.
Pamela Lukito, L., & Yustini, R. (2019). The Mediation Effect of Customer Perceived Value and AttitudeToward Advertisement on Social Media Influencer’s Credibility on Purchase Intention. JMBE Journal Of Management and Business Environment, 1(1), 36-60.
Pang, A., Yingzhi Tan, E., Song-Qi Lim, R., Yue-Ming Kwan, T., & Bhardwaj Lakhanpal, P. (2016). Building effective relations with social media influencers in Singapore. Media Asia, 43(1), 56-68. https://doi.org/10.1080/01296612.2016.1177962
Pöyry, E., Pelkonen, M., Naumanen, E., & Laaksonen, S. M. (2019). A Call for Authenticity: Audience Responses to Social Media Influencer Endorsements in Strategic Communication. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 13(4), 103-118. https://doi.org/10.1080/1553118X.2019.1609965
Rubin, A. M., Perse, E. M., & Powell L, R. A. (1985). Loneliness, Parasocial Interaction, and Local Television News Viewing. Human Communication Research, 12(2), 155-180. https://doi.org/10.1111/J.1468-2958.1985.TB00071.X
Saima, & Khan, M. A. (2020). Effect of Social Media Influencer Marketing on Consumers’ Purchase Intention and the Mediating Role of Credibility. Journal of Promotion Management, 27(4), 503-523. https://doi.org/10.1080/10496491.2020.1851847
Schiffman, L., & Kanuk, L. (2000). Consumer behavior. Hoboken: Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliff.
Schlecht, C. (2003). Celebrities’ Impact on Branding. Center on Global Brand Leadership. New York: Colombia Business School.
Schramm, H., & Wirth, W. (2010). Testing a Universal Tool for Measuring Parasocial Interactions Across Different Situations and Media: Findings from Three Studies. Journal of Media Psychology, 22(1), 26-36. https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-1105/a000004
Sekhon, T., Bickart, B., Trudel, R., & Fournier, S. (2015). Being a likable braggart: How consumers use brand mentions for self-presentation on social media. In C.V. Dimofte, C.P. Haugtvedt, & R.F. Yalch (eds.), Consumer Psychology in a Social Media World (1st ed., pp. 23-39). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315714790
Sharma, S. (2016). Beauty Under the Influence. Global Cosmetic Industry. Retrieved from: https://www.gcimagazine.com/brands-products/news/article/21850259/beauty-under-the-influence on January 2021.
Sokolova, K., & Kefi, H. (2020). Instagram and YouTube bloggers promote it, why should I buy? How credibility and parasocial interaction influence purchase intentions. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 53, 101742. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2019.01.011
Song, J. H., & Zinkhan, G. M. (2008). Determinants of perceived Web site interactivity. Journal of Marketing, 72(2), 99-113. https://doi.org/10.1509/jmkg.72.2.99
Statistia (2021). Social media in Taiwan. Retrived from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/966613/taiwan-social-media-use-by-platform/ on January 2021.
Sudha, M., & Sheena, K. (2017). Consumer Decision Process: Impact of Influencers in the Fashion Industry. SCMS Journal of Indian Management, 93(3), 14-30.
Taber, K. S. (2018). The Use of Cronbach’s Alpha When Developing and Reporting Research Instruments in Science Education. Research in Science Education, 48(6), 1273-1296. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-016-9602-2
Ur Rehman, S., Bhatti, A., & Chaudhry, N. I. (2019). Mediating effect of innovative culture and organizational learning between leadership styles at third-order and organizational performance in Malaysian SMEs. Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, 9(1), 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1186/S40497-019-0159-1
Uzunoǧlu, E., & Misci Kip, S. (2014). Brand communication through digital influencers: Leveraging blogger engagement. International Journal of Information Management, 34(5), 592-602. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2014.04.007
Vendemia, M. A. (2017). When do consumers buy the company? Perceptions of interactivity in company-consumer interactions on social networking sites. Computers in Human Behavior, 71, 99-109. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.01.046
Walsh, G., Shiu, E., & Hassan, L. M. (2014). Replicating, validating, and reducing the length of the consumer perceived value scale. Journal of Business Research, 67(3), 260-267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.05.012
Wang, Y., & Yu, C. (2017). Social interaction-based consumer decision-making model in social commerce: The role of word of mouth and observational learning. International Journal of Information Management, 37(3), 179-189. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.IJINFOMGT.2015.11.005
Wetzels, M., Odekerken-Schröder, G., & VanOppen, C. (2009). Using PLS path modeling for assessing hierarchical construct models: Guidelines and empirical illustration. MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems, 33(1), 177-195. https://doi.org/10.2307/20650284
Woods, S. (2016). # Sponsored: The Emergence of Influencer Marketing # Sponsored : The Emergence of Influencer Marketing. Retrieved from: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/%23Sponsored%3A-The-Emergence-of-Influencer-Marketing-Woods/7083976c5569a48bc074cba5f87f6e3d2ec81606 on January 2021.
Yang, Z., & Peterson, R. T. (2004). Customer perceived value, satisfaction, and loyalty: The role of switching costs. Psychology and Marketing, 21(10), 799-822. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.20030
Yuan, L., & Dennis, A. R. (2019). Acting Like Humans? Anthropomorphism and Consumer’s Willingness to Pay in Electronic Commerce. Journal of Management Information Systems, 36(2), 450-477. https://doi.org/10.1080/07421222.2019.1598691
Yuan, S., & Lou, C. (2020). How Social Media Influencers Foster Relationships with Followers: The Roles of Source Credibility and Fairness in Parasocial Relationship and Product Interest. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 20(2), 133-147. https://doi.org/10.1080/15252019.2020.1769514
Yuksel, M., & Labrecque, L. I. (2016). “Digital buddies”: parasocial interactions in social media. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 10(4), 305-320. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-03-2016-0023
Zeithaml, V. A. (1988). Consumer Perceptions of Price, Quality, and Value: A Means-End Model and Synthesis of Evidence. Journal of Marketing, 52(3), 2-22. https://doi.org/10.1177/002224298805200302
Zhang, Y., Moe, W. W., & Schweidel, D. A. (2017). Modeling the role of message content and influencers in social media rebroadcasting. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 34(1), 100-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijresmar.2016.07.003
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a CC BY-ND licence that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are asked to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) only the final version of the article, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access). We advise using any of the following research society portals: