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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Online Self-presentation and the Manipulation of Impression Management Techniques

Published: May 27, 2020


Tahir Nisar, Southampton Business School, University of Southampton; Isabel Taylor, Southampton Business School, University of Southampton


Impression management; Influencers; Hashtags


Our research contributes to the literature on impression management (IM) techniques used by advertisers on social networking sites (SNS). We address the question of whether female attitudes to influencer-sponsored SNS posts are affected by the manipulation of IM techniques, such as hashtags and emojis that derive recommendations for advertising companies. Several strands of research were identified following our review of the literature, and these formed the basis for the study’s research objectives. Three studies presented the IM techniques in the form of hashtags and emoticons, which were manipulated, and the effects on attitudes were measured and compared. Both proactive and defensive hashtags received more positive attitudes from females when compared to the control groups; however, this was not the case with emoticons. We thus deepen the understanding of hashtags and emoticons in sponsored influencers’ Instagram posts to understand which variation of techniques positively impact female’s attitudes.