The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between influencer worship and consumers' self-connection with the brands promoted by the influencer in social media contexts. Data from 698 active social media users who follow influencers were collected to test the conceptual framework. The findings support the positive link between influencer worship and consumers' self-connection with the brands promoted by the influencer on social media and suggest that this relationship is mediated by the activation of benign envy. The results also confirm the positive moderating effect of trait competitiveness on this relationship. Specifically, the effect is stronger for individuals with a higher level of competitive orientation. The findings contribute to the understanding of the relationship between influencers and their followers through computer-mediated environments. Theoretical contributions and managerial implications are presented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Computer Science Applications