Chinese Influencer Marketing - Consumer Reasons for Interacting with Influencers' Sponsored Post on Social Media

By: Yashu Wang  

Nowadays, the challenge with influencer marketing is understanding what makes consumers interact with influencers when they post on social media. This study argued that the problematic aspect is the lack of more in-depth knowledge regarding consumer reasons for interacting with influencer marketing. Previous studies have focused on the role of influencers, rather than paying attention to the role of consumers even though they have gained more power on social media. The purpose of this study is to gain more profound insights into consumers’ reasons for communicating with influencer marketing in the Chinese context. The study focuses on the aspects that consumers consider important when deciding to interact with the influencer who posts a sponsored post on social media. By conducting twenty qualitative in-depth interviews, this study pointed out the importance of reciprocity to highlight that influencer marketing needs to focus on the relationships between the influencer and consumers, rather than only emphasizing the ability of influencers. Moreover, this study criticized the simplification binary link between commercial and inauthentic, and noncommercial and authentic, which pointed out that consumers not only focus on the objective authenticity, but also they may pay more attention to the subjective authenticity. The authenticity for the consumers is a projection of certain opinions, attitudes, and values onto the influencer. Lastly, the findings show that consumers interaction with influencer marketing is not merely a simple interaction, but more importantly, it is related to their online identity construction.

Influencer marketing, Self-presentation, Impression management, Chinese culture
Media Business
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Yashu Wang

Lund university , Student , Sweden