Do Social Media Influencers Impact Purchasing Intent?

August 12, 2018 / James Hughes

Many people struggling with a purchasing decision turn to social media to get more information. But do social media influencers actually help impact consumers decision to buy, and if so, do all social media influencers have this ability, or just a few? These are the questions that a team of Brazilian researchers attempted to answer, in a comprehensive study of influencers’ impact on purchasing behaviors.

Nunes et al. (2017) found that when searching for more information, consumers evaluate social media pitches on two dimensions: acceptance of information and attitude. In other words, “do I believe this person?” and “is this person recommending the product or not?”. While this may seem simple or obvious, it has significant implications: researchers found that a persuasive pitch from social media influencers did increase purchasing behaviors of consumers. This shows that social media influencers can be an important part of word-of-mouth marketing campaigns.

Implications for Managers:

The researchers highlighted three important implications for managers:

  1. Associate your brand with social media influencers, and help those influencers develop more credible and persuasive pitches to their followers

  2. Word-of-Mouth campaigns are as significant in modern marketing as older, traditional marketing. Developing stronger campaigns on social media is more appropriate in today’s internet-based society than developing print or TV ads

  3. Social Media influencers have a lot of power in creating more persuasive pitches by controlling the amount of information in their posts, as well as fine-tuning the timing, relevance, and experiences to match what their followers want

Thanks for reading,

James Hughes


Huhn Nunes, R., Sabino de Freitas, A., & Leão Ramos, F. (2018). The effects of social media opinion leaders' recommendations on followers' intention to buy. Revista Brasileira De Gestão De Negócios, 20(1), 57-73. doi:10.7819/rbgn.v20i1.3678