This summary is provided by the IPR Digital Media Research Center

Dr. Xiaofan Wei and colleagues examined influencers’ role in motivating online consumers to engage with brand-focused content which entails consuming, creating, or adding to branded content. The researchers analyzed how influencers align with brands and the relationship between influencers and their followers.

A survey of 390 Sina Weibo users was conducted online. 

Key findings include:
— Respondents felt that their relationship and trust in influencers strengthened their sense of belonging to the fan group.
— Influencer-follower parasocial interaction didn’t positively impact how users consumed online brand content that had been influencer-endorsed.
— The way people identify socially mediates the influencers they follow, how they interact as followers, and how they contribute to brand-related content.

Find the original research here.

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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