Purpose: Drawing on insights from social influence theory, the MAIN model of digital media affordances and the literature on the attention economy, this study aims to investigate how social media influencers’ community and content strategy contribute to follower engagement behavior in the presence of competition. Design/methodology/approach: This study used a web-scraped data set of Instagram influencers. It measured community strategy using influencers’ number of followers, number of following and breadth of interest; content strategy using modality type and number of posts; competition using number of influencers operating in the same primary domain of interest; and follower engagement behavior using number of likes and comments. A negative binomial regression model was estimated to test the proposed hypotheses. Findings: The findings reveal that elements of influencers’ community and content strategies, such as number of followers, modality type and number of posts, influence follower engagement behavior. Similarly, competition significantly influences follower engagement behavior both independently and by interacting with influencers’ community and content strategy. Practical implications: The findings offer insight for brands to identify suitable influencers for partnerships. For instance, brands can judge influencers’ suitability for partnership based on how many followers they have, how many posts they share and how many competitors they have. Further, the findings offer insight for influencers on how they can drive follower engagement behavior by managing their social media community and content. Originality/value: This study develops an integrated model of factors that determine follower engagement behavior for social media influencers. The findings emphasize influencers’ strategy as the primary driver of follower engagement behavior. Extant studies focus on followers’ motivation and perception to explain follower engagement behavior while the role of influencers’ strategy is underplayed.
- Social media
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management of Technology and Innovation