The influencer trend, where people are often paid by brands to use, talk about and otherwise promote their products on social media has become increasingly popular. This study examines the potential interplay of perceived homophily with, perceived authenticity of an influencer and the reasons people may follow an influencer on subsequent purchase intentions of items the influencer has showcased on their Instagram account. Key findings suggest that the type of perceived homophily one shares with their favorite influencer is linked to the reasons they follow that influencer, and that following an influencer because they are trendy when a person also indicated perceived status homophily (e.g., similarities in size) did lead to increased purchase intent. However, influencers that are followed because they are unique and share morals and values with a follower (i.e., ‘value homophily’) do not encourage purchase intent. We find that an influencer who is perceived as more ‘authentic’ will mediate the relationship between perceptions of homophily and subsequent purchase intent.
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