Netnographic exploration of the characteristics of emerging e-influencers on social media
In the digital era, communication through social media is at the heart of companies' overall strategies, including influencer marketing, a new promotional trend based on recommendations from influential individuals known as "opinion leaders" or commonly referred to as "influencers." Indeed, scholars have long been interested in the phenomenon of opinion leadership, and the concept has been the subject of several studies, leading to the emergence of three main research currents. However, to date, there is no general consensus on the characteristics and profile of opinion leaders/influencers.
To deeply analyze the profile of Moroccan e-opinion leaders and identify the most relevant characteristics, a netnographic study was conducted on Facebook. This study investigated the profile of Moroccan influencer, their interactions with other internet users, and their content sharing over a period of six months. Following a multi-method approach, the netnographic study was complemented by semi-structured interviews with the page followers.
The analysis revealed 10 characteristics of the influencer which are perceived expertise, competence in interpersonal relationships, social capital, exhibitionism, perceived trustworthiness, innovativeness, care in profile presentation, and openness. The study shed light on the profile of an e-opinion leader and also identified certain variables that can moderate their impact on followers, including perceived homophily and consumer expertise.
Keywords: Influencers, social media, netnography, opinion leadership, influencer marketing
Classification JEL : L82, Z10, L13, L15, L86, D43, D83, F23, M21, D91, L26, M3
Paper type: Empirical Research
Copyright (c) 2023 Fatima Ezzahra KHOUIAMMI, Chakib HAMADI
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.