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EMAC 2023 Annual

Preaching to the Choir: Do Green Influencers Make a Difference?

Published: May 24, 2023


Erik Maier, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management; Sarah König, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management


Green influencers are considered an important means of promoting a more sustainable lifestyle to a wider audience of consumers. If they were mainly “preaching to the choir” of likeminded green followers, however, then their behavioral effect might be limited, as these consumers already have sustainable lifestyle. Conversely, the effect of green influencers might be stronger among audiences that do not (yet) share their green attitudes. The present research, therefore, examines the communication practices of (green) influencers and their followers, with two field studies revealing that both groups are similar in that they mostly talk about green topics, indicating comparable green attitudes. Next, two experiments show that the effect of green influencer posts on consumers’ usage intention is stronger when these posts reach a non-green audience (i.e., low green attitudes), whereas consumers with similar green attitudes react less strongly to influencers’ green posts.