Advertising effectiveness, Social media influence, and Para-social relationships; an analysis of Greenfluencing Intentions on social media users
Keywords:Advertising effectiveness, Social media influence, Para-social relationships;
Due to the practice of greenwashing, consumers' trust in green advertising has been reduced. Consequently, when confronted with green advertising appeals, individuals often infer ulterior motives, do not purchase sustainable products and are less inclined to behave pro-environmentally. Based on their success in regular advertising campaigns, social media influencers (SMIs) have been recommended as endorsers for green products to increase advertising effectiveness and sustainable behavior, but no empirical evidence supports these suggestions. An online study with a two-level between-subjects experimental design (N = 145) was employed to validate the positive impact of green advertising on SMIs' followers compared to non-followers. Results indicate that followers, who have established an intense para social relationship with the SMI, believe them to be more trustworthy and consequently attribute affective rather than calculative motives. The attribution of an affective motive, in turn, increased green advertising effectiveness. Furthermore, para social relationships enhanced pro-environmental intentions regarding sustainable behavior.
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