Social Media Influencers Effectiveness And Impact On Consumer Brand Preference Among Undergraduates Of Babcock University

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Social Media Influencers Effectiveness And Impact On Consumer Brand Preference Among Undergraduates Of Babcock University


Abstract


The introduction of the internet and social media has had a disruptive impact on the traditional marketing and communication sector. Influencers on social media have consequently emerged as powerful means of promoting brands and their products and services. However, the ingenuity of this mode of reaching out to consumers has been hampered by certain factors such as the prevalence of bots on social media platforms. There are limited studies on the effectiveness of Nigeria social media influencers. Moreover, the conventional means of rating the effectiveness of influencers base on the number of likes seems insufficient. Therefore, this study investigated the effectiveness of Nigerian social media influencers and the perception of student in Nigeria. Although Nigerians are faced with myriad challenges, they are avid users of social media. The study employed a quantitative approach incorporating 100 social media users, who were chosen through purposive sampling. Purposive sampling was used to ensure that the users are representative of major social media platforms in Nigeria. The questionnaire used was designed based on scales obtained from literature for measuring the variables involved, thus ensuring construct validity. Content validity was achieved through a pilot study prior to the main survey. Ethics was also considered through informed consent. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the collected data.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The advent of the internet and social media has emerged with disruptive ramifications for the marketing and communication industry. For example, the consumer’s role has shifted dramatically from that of a passive user of information provided by brands to that of a more active experiencer and creator of content (Srivastava and Sivaramakrishnan, 2020). The rate at which information is shared is at an all-time high (Ranjan, Patil and Kazi, 2020). Blogging, twittering, tagging, liking, and sharing are some of the features of social media that empower the consumer to engage brands and contents. This has led to the concept of social media marketing, which is simply the use of social media platforms to promote a product or service (Liguori, 2020). And because consumers can engage directly with content on social media, the data generated is more meaningful for marketing teams. Advertising, electronic word of mouth, customer relationship management, branding, consumer buying behaviour, and perception are all examples of Social Media Marketing practices used by businesses (Arora and Agarwal, 2020). The use of social media for marketing is currently more common than the use of traditional media, with which marketers may now target customers with greater precision than ever before (Kripesh, Prabhu and Sriram, 2020). Influencer marketing has gotten a lot of attention when it comes to marketing on social media (Gräve, 2019; Newlands and Fieseler, 2020).

Therefore, emergence of the internet and, more importantly, social media, has thus birth a new type of career. An influencer is the name given to this emerging occupation. A social media influencer is a person who, via personal branding, creates and maintains relationships with a large number of followers on social media and has the power to inform, entertain, and perhaps affect the views, attitudes, and actions of those followers (Dhanesh and Duthler, 2019). Influencers are comparable to opinion leaders in certain ways, but they must be addressed separately because their activity is solely focused on social media (Drigani, 2020). This means they interact with their audience on a regular basis, which is not the case with opinion leaders. Their influence comes from the fact that they can directly access large populations, provide original content, and have the confidence of their following. Influencers can effectively carry out marketing operations by presenting the product as organic content rather than commercial material. When a promotional message is perceived as a genuine message from an influencer, social media users are more likely to respond positively (Kim and Kim, 2020). However, their disruptive guerrilla marketing tactics can be very risky for brands when the message is not understood by consumers (Gökerik et al., 2018). Influencer marketing, as it is usually known, is a rapidly increasing trend in the world of social media marketing.

The influencer marketing industry is estimated to be worth $15 billion in 2022 (El Qudsi, 2022). Despite the fact that the concept of a social media influencer is still relatively new, the social media influencer economy appears to be gaining traction. Businesses expecting to profit from this trend are devising tactics to use social media, integrate mobile applications, and gain positive feedback. The rise of the industry is fuelling social commerce such that consumers are increasingly buying directly on social media networks. According to Stephen (2020), when it comes to reaching consumers, influencers with better social connectedness are preferred in reality and in literature, simply because they can reach more individuals than other marketing channels. Although this does not imply that the online world has made traditional mass media obsolete, the media landscape has clearly changed beyond recognition, and innumerable organizations no longer have to rely solely on traditional media sources to disseminate their message (Gies, 2019). However, there is no doubt that internet, and particularly social media, has challenged traditional media over the last two decades (Cooper, 2019). When it comes to internet advertising, consumers prefer less invasive commercials, thus they prefer influencer material, which is often more discreetly stylized and less obviously promotional than brand-created ads (Campbell and Farrell, 2020). Consequently, influencers are becoming the full marketing funnel as platforms push more for in-app shopping. As a result, social media influencers can be thought of as both a population and a marketing model (Sun et al., 2021).
In Nigeria, the use of social media to promote businesses and brands has grown increasingly significant. Nigeria is regarded as the sixth largest user of internet in the world after China, India, United States of America, Indonesia, and Brazil (Internet World Stats, 2021).

Therefore, from what can be seen of the phenomenon now, the future of social media marketing in Nigeria appears bright, as many Nigerians are now using social media platforms to market themselves. Since the introduction of Twitter, the influencer marketing industry in Nigeria has expanded to the point that nearly anyone with a large following may land deals with companies trying to expand their reach (Anyim, 2021). In recent years, lots of new social media influencers have arisen, many of whom are seen promoting pushing various companies across various social media platforms (Umukoro et al., 2020). A report on the Nigerian influencer marketing industry has shown TikTok was dominating other social media platforms in terms of content creation and consumption, with forty- four percent of advertiser using TikTok influencers for their marketing campaigns and having sixty-six percent success (DottsMediaHouse, 2022). Nigeria has fully embraced social media influencers, some of which include Dipo, Ebuka ObiUchendu, OloriSupergirl, Noble Igwe, TundeEdnut, KayodeAbass and Omojuwa (Jarrar, Awobamise and Aderibigbe, 2020).

It is therefore, important for the organization to determine the best possible method to influence consumers on the buying behavior of the brand or product, it is pertinent to note that the type of purchasing the product, (De Veirman, 2018).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Marketers have thus recognized the power and efficiency of influencer advertising on social networking sites as a result of the rapid growth of social media (SNS). These influential users are usually regarded as subject matter experts in their field, and other users can rely on them. Some influencers like Cristiano Ronaldo have followings that are bigger than countries. Despite a thorough grasp of influencers’ potential impact, the effectiveness of their reach to a big audience has yet to be addressed (Javed, Rashidin and Xiao, 2021). More also, Drigani (2020) particularly notes that fake influencers who buy followers, likes, comments, and other things abound on the internet. According to a study (Hickman 2019), 54 percent of UK Instagram accounts have engaged in illicit behaviour, such as buying mass followers and comments, deploying internet bots, and so on, an issue that is widespread around the world and across all social media platforms. Recognizing fake followers is one of the biggest issue for marketers (Mediakix, 2019), despite crackdown on illegal content. People can exaggerate their follower counts, even their engagement, thanks to the development of sellers offering bogus accounts. Sponsorships are obtained by fake influencers, although they have no impact in reality (Zenonos, Tsirtsis and Tsapatsoulis, 2018). Based on the foregoing, selecting the right influencer to work with is the biggest challenge that marketers and brands face in influencer marketing (YEC, 2021).

Influencer marketing is not just for large corporations with a lot of marketing budget. The term “marketing influencer” may conjure up images of well-known celebrities and athletes, who are often referred to as “macro-influencers” with a following of 10,000 or more on social media (Kemp, Randon McDougal and Syrdal, 2018). Many firms and organizations with limited marketing expenditures, on the other hand, have found success by utilizing “micro-influencers,” who are lesser-known online personalities and opinion leaders with 1,000 to 10,000 followers on a social media site. These micro-influencers allow businesses with smaller resources to reach narrow target markets in the same way that larger macro-influencer campaigns reach broader audiences. Brands can also become influencers on social media. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to become a social media influencer. Many aspire to be social media influencers, but only few succeed (Estables, Guerrero-Pico, and Contreras-Espinosa, 2019). Moreover, authenticity is an essential aspect in the success of influencer marketing that is difficult to establish on social media (Marroncelli and Braithwaite, 2020).

In order to advertise their products and services on social media, brands must have a significant presence in social media marketing. They can instead reach out to influential users in order to accomplish their marketing goals and objectives. However, according to Haenlein et al. (2020), the choice of which influencer to work with is not an easy one for marketers and brands. Choosing the right influencer has become more critical for brands and marketers who are at risk of not just losing their investment but also suffering from backlash and cancel culture. There are many factors that could influence the choice of influencers by brands and marketers. For example, this could involve the choice between micro or macro influencer. Influencers with large audiences (macro influencers) are not necessary the best options for marketers. In fact, it is often the case that influencers with small audiences (micro influencers) can engage their followers and be effective in ways that those with large audiences cannot. This has a lot to do with an influencer’s specific level of expertise on a given topic. There is currently a scarcity of empirical research on the effectiveness of social media marketing (Achen, 2019, De Jans et al., 2020; Kim and Phua, 2020; Winter, Maslowska and Vos, 2021). Few, if any, studies have attempted to establish a theoretical understanding of social media use that could explain how social media influencers in the Nigerian online community impact their followers’ political and social behaviour (Olaojo, 2020).

Therefore, this study will investigate the effectiveness of Nigerian social media with a view to uncovering factors that marketers and brands can use in making the choice of which influencer to work with in order to be effective.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall aim of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of Nigerian social media influencers in promoting brands and products.

The objectives of this research include the following:

  1. To investigate the effectiveness of Nigerian social media influencers in promoting brands and product/services.
  2. To investigate the most significant factors that determine the effectiveness of Nigerian social media influencers in promoting brands and products/services.
  3. To determine the perception of social media users in Nigeria towards the credibility of Nigerian social media influencers.

1.4 Research Questions

The overall aim of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of Nigerian social media influencers in promoting brands and products.

  1. How effective are Nigerian social media influencers in promoting brands and products?
  2. What are the most significant factors that determine the effectiveness of Nigerian social media influencers in promoting brands and products?
  3. What is users’ perception of the credibility of Nigerian social media influencers?

1.5 Hypothesis of the Study

In the context of these research questions, the study’s hypotheses include the following:

  • H1: There is a significant relationship between consumers’ perception of the credibility of Nigerian social media influencers and their effectiveness.
  • H2: There is a significant relationship between factors and the effectiveness of Nigerian social media influencers.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be of significance in the following ways, it will be of benefit to organizations on how they can adopt the use of influencers to effectively and successfully market their products or brands, this study will also enhance the knowledge of organizations on how the public perception of their brands or products, due to the feedbacks they will receive via the influencers, thereby prompting the organization to make modifications and adjustments where necessary, this study will also be of benefit to both the organizations and influencers on the type of advertisement contents the audience are attracted to, and how it can easily influence consumer preference over other related brands. This study will also be of benefit by adding to the already existing body of literature.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on examining the use of brand influencers effectiveness and impact on consumers brand preference, using a case study of Pepsi drink. This study adopts the use of quantitative form of research, to obtain the relevant data for this study, questionnaires are randomly distributed among respondents to elicit responses.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Motivation:

This the process through which individual are charged to increase their action or performance either by internal or external factors.

Influencers:

Influencers can be described as people who have access to a massive audience and can effectively persuade others to act based on their recommendations. Considerably an influencer is expected to have the tools and authenticity to captivate the attention of numerous audience consistently and can motivate others.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions And Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

Among other things, this study found that although the posts of Nigerian social media influencers draw the attention of some social media users, they are not effective in terms of promoting brands and products to users. This study also found that majority of users do not interact sufficiently with the posts of Nigerian social media users in terms of the number of likes. Furthermore, it was found that the posts of social media influencers do not generally generate the impact that brands seek in terms of users acting to search about brands and products contain therein. Consequently, the level of action generated by Nigerian social media influencers is considerably and disproportionately lower than the initial interest and attention generated. Moreover, this study also found that social media users are not eager to share the posts of Nigerian social media influencers. On the upside, this study found that Nigerian social media influencers performed better with reposts than original posts shared directly from their handles to users. This may not be unconnected to the next finding which shows that Nigerian social media influencers are not trustworthy. It was also found that they are usually not experts on the subject of their posts. Thus, this study found conclusively that Nigerian social media influencers are not credible. This study also found that there is a significant positive relationship between these credibility perception or social media users and the effectiveness of social media influencers. The most significant factors that determine the effectiveness of Nigerian social media influencers include interactivity, informativeness, trendiness and word-of-mouth. The ability of influencers to share the trendiest brands and products was the most significant factor the determine their effectiveness. Majority of respondents did not highly rate influencers’ efforts to provide highly personalized or customized content to their followers as an important factor determining effectiveness in promoting brands and products.


5.2 Conclusion

Conclusion here is given based on objectives of the study. The first objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of Nigerian social media influencers in promoting brands, products and services. With regard to this first objective and the results obtained herein, it can be concluded that Nigerian social media influencers are not effective. Although effectiveness in this regard with reposts improved, the results taken together shows ineffectiveness. The metrics used in this study to measure effectiveness transcends the use of likes, retweets and comments, metrics that can be faked and artificially generated by bots on social media platforms. The second objective of this stud is to investigate the most significant factors that determine the effectiveness of Nigerian social media influencers in promoting brands and products. Considering all the factors presented to respondents, this study concludes that the most significant factors include interactivity, defined by the ability of an influencer to keep users engaged, informativeness defined as the ability of an influencer to keep users informed, word-of-mouth defined by the ability of an influencer to appeal to users’ social cliques and trendiness defined by the ability of an influencer to offer users the latest trends. Trendiness was found to be the most significant factor. Therefore, it can be concluded that it is the most important for social media users with respite to this study. The third objective of the study is to determine the perception of users towards the credibility of Nigerian social media users. This study concludes that Nigerian social media influencers are not credible based on lack of trustworthiness and non-expertise on the information they share. From the hypotheses, this study concludes that there is a significant positive relationship between the credible perception of social media users and the effectiveness of social media influencers in promoting brands and products/services. This study also concludes that personalisation does not play a major role in determining the effectiveness of social media influencers.


5.3 Recommendation

This study has implications mainly for social media influencers and brands. Based on the findings and conclusions of this research, this study makes the following recommendations:

  1. Social media influencers need to be intentionally systematic about their effectiveness. Rather than relying on likes, shares and comments, they should evaluate their performance with more robust measures such as the dual AISAS model used herein. This will help in increasing their effectiveness. They can then improve their effectiveness by sharing trendy and informative posts. Furthermore, rather than locking comments, they are encouraged to engage with users in order to increase the effectiveness of their messages.
  2. Brands are admonished to select influencers that have high level of engagement with users. Moreover, brands are advised to based their choice of influencers based on consumer behavioural data from social media platforms. This can be further be based on trendiness of an influencer’s page and the quality of information that an influencer share.

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