Paper Number

1756

Paper Type

Short

Description

Social media influencers endeavour to attract, retain, and engage their followers, which drives a prevalent issue of problematic engagement of followers. However, scant research has examined followers’ problematic engagement with influencers, and little is known about how followers may respond to their problematic engagement. In this study, we propose a research framework to fill this gap. Drawing from coping theory, we propose that three facets of problematic engagement (cognitive, affective, and behavioral) would lead to followers’ coping responses (emotion-focused and problem-focused) via the mediation of followers’ situational appraisal (perceived threat). Moreover, we suggest that two key factors in social media influencing, i.e., social identification with influencers and perceived opinion leadership, would moderate the effect of perceived threat on followers’ coping responses. Two waves of online survey will be conducted to test the hypotheses. Results will provide useful insights to social media users as well as influencers.

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Dec 12th, 12:00 AM

Better or Worse: Responding to Problematic Engagement with Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers endeavour to attract, retain, and engage their followers, which drives a prevalent issue of problematic engagement of followers. However, scant research has examined followers’ problematic engagement with influencers, and little is known about how followers may respond to their problematic engagement. In this study, we propose a research framework to fill this gap. Drawing from coping theory, we propose that three facets of problematic engagement (cognitive, affective, and behavioral) would lead to followers’ coping responses (emotion-focused and problem-focused) via the mediation of followers’ situational appraisal (perceived threat). Moreover, we suggest that two key factors in social media influencing, i.e., social identification with influencers and perceived opinion leadership, would moderate the effect of perceived threat on followers’ coping responses. Two waves of online survey will be conducted to test the hypotheses. Results will provide useful insights to social media users as well as influencers.

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