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Understanding the impact of influencers’ responses to negative follower comments on the persuasiveness of sponsored Instagram posts

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Abstract
While social media influencers have been enjoying increasing accolades from followers and brands, they also suffer from criticisms or harassments from some followers. Extant research has not yet examined the efficacy of response strategies adopted by influencers when addressing negative comments. This study is to fill the research gap. An online experiment has been conducted among followers of an actual influencer to examine how influencers' response strategies (i.e. defensive vs. accommodative) to followers' negative comments (i.e. an objective complaint of product failure vs. a subjective dislike) affect the persuasiveness of influencer-sponsored content. The results of this study reveal that a defensive response harms influencer trustworthiness more than an accommodative response when it concerns a subjective disliking of the endorsed product. This lowered trustworthiness further leads to followers' decreased perceived product quality and less favourable brand attitudes. When it concerns an objective comment on product failure, an influencer's defensive response does not differ from accommodative response in affecting influencer trustworthiness. These findings indicate that an accommodative strategy may be an efficient way to cope with a negative follower comment, especially in case of a subjective product disliking.
Keywords
Marketing, Communication, Influencer marketing, crisis management, negative comments, response strategy, trustworthiness

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MLA
Hudders, Liselot, et al. “Understanding the Impact of Influencers’ Responses to Negative Follower Comments on the Persuasiveness of Sponsored Instagram Posts.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, vol. 41, no. 1, 2022, pp. 178–204, doi:10.1080/02650487.2021.1963554.
APA
Hudders, L., Lou, C., & de Brabandere, M. (2022). Understanding the impact of influencers’ responses to negative follower comments on the persuasiveness of sponsored Instagram posts. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 41(1), 178–204. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2021.1963554
Chicago author-date
Hudders, Liselot, Chen Lou, and Marloes de Brabandere. 2022. “Understanding the Impact of Influencers’ Responses to Negative Follower Comments on the Persuasiveness of Sponsored Instagram Posts.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING 41 (1): 178–204. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2021.1963554.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Hudders, Liselot, Chen Lou, and Marloes de Brabandere. 2022. “Understanding the Impact of Influencers’ Responses to Negative Follower Comments on the Persuasiveness of Sponsored Instagram Posts.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING 41 (1): 178–204. doi:10.1080/02650487.2021.1963554.
Vancouver
1.
Hudders L, Lou C, de Brabandere M. Understanding the impact of influencers’ responses to negative follower comments on the persuasiveness of sponsored Instagram posts. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING. 2022;41(1):178–204.
IEEE
[1]
L. Hudders, C. Lou, and M. de Brabandere, “Understanding the impact of influencers’ responses to negative follower comments on the persuasiveness of sponsored Instagram posts,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 178–204, 2022.
@article{8725350,
  abstract     = {{While social media influencers have been enjoying increasing accolades from followers and brands, they also suffer from criticisms or harassments from some followers. Extant research has not yet examined the efficacy of response strategies adopted by influencers when addressing negative comments. This study is to fill the research gap. An online experiment has been conducted among followers of an actual influencer to examine how influencers' response strategies (i.e. defensive vs. accommodative) to followers' negative comments (i.e. an objective complaint of product failure vs. a subjective dislike) affect the persuasiveness of influencer-sponsored content. The results of this study reveal that a defensive response harms influencer trustworthiness more than an accommodative response when it concerns a subjective disliking of the endorsed product. This lowered trustworthiness further leads to followers' decreased perceived product quality and less favourable brand attitudes. When it concerns an objective comment on product failure, an influencer's defensive response does not differ from accommodative response in affecting influencer trustworthiness. These findings indicate that an accommodative strategy may be an efficient way to cope with a negative follower comment, especially in case of a subjective product disliking.}},
  author       = {{Hudders, Liselot and Lou, Chen and de Brabandere, Marloes}},
  issn         = {{0265-0487}},
  journal      = {{INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING}},
  keywords     = {{Marketing,Communication,Influencer marketing,crisis management,negative comments,response strategy,trustworthiness}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{178--204}},
  title        = {{Understanding the impact of influencers’ responses to negative follower comments on the persuasiveness of sponsored Instagram posts}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2021.1963554}},
  volume       = {{41}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}

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