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EMAC 2023 Annual

An exploratory study of the impact of gender congruence, self-esteem, and type of message in consumers' perception of content produced by digital influencers

Published: May 24, 2023


Fabio Sandes, Universidade Lusófona; Paula Lopes, Universidade Lusófona; Rui Estrela, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias (CICANT)


This study discussed the effects of influencer marketing in social media on consumers' perception, considering their self-esteem. We conducted an exploratory survey and an experiment to test the impact of the message type and gender congruence on the perception of messages posted on social media. Our results show that consumers spend almost three hours per day accessing social media, and 35% of the content they see comes from digital influencers. More than half of consumers buy products these influencers recommend. Our results also showed that consumers with low self-esteem present a higher addiction to Instagram and a lower Narcissistic behavior than consumers with normal or high self-esteem. The type of message influences whether consumers appreciate the post and the perception of merit to the influencer's achievements. Gender congruence is relevant to women that perceive female influencers as more deserving of happiness than male influencers.