Given the prevalence of social media usage among consumers in China and the rise of social media endorsements, it is important to understand the effects of social media influencers and their product endorsements on consumers. The present study explores the effects of self-influencer congruence on brand attitude, brand engagement, and purchase intention in China’s dynamic social media context. The perceived motive of social media influencer’s endorsement behavior, parasocial identification with social media influencers, and their roles in the endorsement process were examined. The results of this study suggest that a high degree of congruence between the image of a social media influencer and the consumer’s ideal self-image leads to effective endorsement outcomes. Parasocial identification was found to mediate the relationship between self-influencer congruence and endorsement outcomes while perceived endorser motive was found to moderate the effects of self-influencer congruence on such outcomes through parasocial identification.
International Journal of Advertising, 39:5, 590-610