Social media influencing as a business – it is all about curatorial logic
Authors: Bolat, E. and Wilkin, C.
Conference: Academy of Marketing 2018
Dates: 2-5 July 2018Abstract:
The rise of social media influencers (SMIs) across sectors and interest categories is ubiquitous. This is particularly true for lifestyle blogging linking to increased materialism and impact on consumption of fashion products and leisure services. SMIs are mostly defined by academic literature as opinion leaders who are “frequently able to influence others’ attitudes or behaviors” (Tuten and Solomon, 2014). However, SMIs, as opposed to celebrities, journalists and politicians, are ordinary people who have managed to cultivate a following base on a social media platform as a result of knowledge, skill or expertise, or simply passion for certain subjects of interest.
Not all SMIs but quite few today (numbers continue growing) are tuning passion for content creation and sharing into profit-making business. SMIs are therefore, entrepreneurial individuals who utlise social media to build a business. In branding literature SMIs are and have been studied as intermediary between audience and brands. However, to our knowledge no studies capture SMIs as business perspective. Hence, in this paper we aim to address this research gap by developing a substantive theory of curatorial logic. This working paper adopts a hybrid exploratory research methodology. Data analysis and discussion represent a work-in-progress phase of this study.