Modern-day socialization agents
The connection between social media influencers, materialism, and purchase intentions of Finnish young people
Keywords:materialism, purchase intention, social media influencer, adolescents, consumer socialization
This paper investigates how following social media influencers is associated with Finnish adolescents’ materialistic attitudes and purchase intentions. Although the interlinkages between social media, materialism, and purchase intentions have been presented in previous studies, little is known about how following social media influencers is connected to their followers’ materialistic values and purchase intentions. Cultivation theory and consumer socialization theory were applied to understand the cultivation process in young people’s materialism and the antecedents of their purchase intentions. Finnish participants (n = 800), aged 15-19 were interviewed by phone. The sample was based on a nationally representative sample by age (by one year), gender, and area of residence. Regression analysis was used as our statistical model. Frequent following of Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok influencers was positively related to materialism. Active followers of YouTubers had higher purchase intentions, but they were no more materialistic than their peers. This is one of the earliest studies, which has underlined the role of different influencers as disseminators of materialistic values, and measured the influence capability of an individual influencer on the followers’ purchase intentions.
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