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    ‘To trust or not to trust’: the impact of social media influencers on the reputation of corporate brands in crisis

    Singh, J. and Crisafulli, Benedetta and Quamina, L.T. and Xue, M. (2020) ‘To trust or not to trust’: the impact of social media influencers on the reputation of corporate brands in crisis. Journal of Business Research 119 , pp. 464-480. ISSN 0148-2963.

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    Corporates often partner with social media influencers to bolster brand image after crises. Although existing evidence suggests that influencers have a largely positive effect on brands, yet there is paucity of research on the role of influencers in corporate crisis communications. Across two studies, we examine the impact of influencers on consumers’ perception of corporate brand in crisis. Drawing on persuasion knowledge theory, we identify pitfalls associated with influencers, such as inferences of manipulative intent, which negatively affect perceived trustworthiness and corporate reputation. The downside of engaging influencers in crisis communications can, however, be offset by influencer and the brand communicating values-driven motives of their partnership. Our findings imply that corporate brands should respond to crises through a bolstering strategy that promotes existing corporate goodwill, without influencer’s involvement. When leveraging on influencers’ support, however, brands should endeavor to inoculate manipulative inferences by communicating the values-driven motives behind the brand-influencer partnership.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Corporate reputation, Corporate brand crisis, Influencer marketing, Persuasion knowledge, Crisis communications, Experiment
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Benedetta Crisafulli
    Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2020 10:32
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:59


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