Research Perspectives on Social Media Influencers and their Followers argues that the brands that find the most success on social media are the ones that acknowledge the real key to social media marketing—it’s all about the followers. This collection, edited by Brandi Watkins, explores how social media has shifted power dynamics away from brands and toward the consumers themselves—the social media users who choose to like, share, and engage with brands online. This dynamic has paved the way for the rise of the social media influencer (SMI); a unique category of social media user who has a large platform and compelling content that attracts a number of loyal and devoted followers.. It’s the followers that make SMI relevant and appealing to brands as a marketing strategy. Contributors discuss emerging trends in research related to the SMI and their followers; as the influencer marketing industry continues to grow and evolve, they argue, so too should our understanding of the influencer-follower relationship that makes this marketing strategy successful. Each chapter of this collection presents a variety of research perspectives, questions, and methodologies that can be used to analyze this trend. Scholars of media studies, communication, technology studies, celebrity studies, marketing, and economics will find this book particularly useful.
Brandi Watkins is associate professor in the School of Communication and Digital Media at Virginia Tech.
List of Figures and Tables
Brandi Watkins, Ph.D.
Chapter 1: The Science of Social Media Influencer Marketing
Kelli S. Burns, Ph.D.
Chapter 2: #FitnessGoals and Brands on Instagram: Influencers and Digital Dialogic Communication
Alison N. Novak, Ph.D.
Chapter 3: #MarketingFaith: The Megachurch Pastor as Social Media Influencer
Elizabeth B. Jones, Ph.D.
Sydney O. Scheller
Chapter 4: Become an #AcademicInfluencer: A Blueprint for Building Bridges between the Classroom and Industry
Carolyn Kim, Ph.D., APR
Karen Freberg, Ph.D.
Mitchell Friedman, Ed.D., APR
Amanda J. Weed, Ph.D., APR
Chapter 5: Social Media Influencers in Africa: An Analysis of Instagram Content and Brand Endorsements
Nicole M. Lee, Ph.D.
Chapter 6: It’s a Whole New World: The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Type-1 Diabetics’ Attitudes About, and Behaviors Regarding, Insulin Pump Therapy
Corey Jay Liberman, Ph.D.
Chapter 7: You “Can’t Put Concealer on This One”: Crisis Management in an Influencer Context
Chelsea Woods, Ph.D.
Chapter 8: Ethical Responsibilities for Social Media Influencers
Jenn Burleson Mackay, Ph.D.
Chapter 9: The Case of Dina Tokio: Using Symbolic Theory to Understand the Backlash
Chapter 10: Connecting via Social Media for Weight Loss: An Exploration of Social Media Influencers in a Weight Loss Community
Carrie S. Trimble, Ph.D.
Nancy J. Curtin, Ph.D.
Chapter 11: Influenced by My Lifestyle Net Idols (#Contentcreators): Exploring the Relationships between Thai Net Idols and Followers
Vimviriya Limkangvanmongkol, Ph.D.
About the Contributors
This edited collection offers thorough, multipronged approaches to understanding social media influencers. The perspectives in the 11 chapters range from science to faith and fitness to fashion across different international and ethical contexts. Editor Watkins presents a research-focused perspective more tailored to academic readers but still offers practical information in a number of fields. Books on social influence are abundant in the popular press, with many taking a more practical approach. Watkins’ compilation adds an important academic perspective to this vital new marketing sensation. Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty and professionals.