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Instagram Source Effects: The Impact of Familiarity and Likeability on Influencer Outcomes

Author(s): Susan Myers

Citation: Susan Myers, (2021) "Instagram Source Effects: The Impact of Familiarity and Likeability on Influencer Outcomes," Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, Vol. 15, Iss. 3,  pp. 50-55

Aricle Type: Research paper

Publisher: North American Business Press


Research confirms that over 70% of American adults actively engage on social media (Pew Research, 2019). As social media use grows, marketers continue to invest heavily in digital strategies including influencer marketing (Balilis, 2020). These influencers have created a new economy where brands pay to tap into the connections they have with followers. This study extends the source attractiveness model to top Instagram influencers using data from to measure familiarity and likeability of a sample of 82 top Instagram influencers with between 20 and 200 million followers. Findings suggest that these source characteristics impact the number of followers and engagement with content. Specifically, the results indicate that more familiar influencers had more followers but lower engagement while more likeable influencers had fewer followers but higher engagement. This indicates that familiarity and likeability may lead to different social media outcomes.