The communication landscape has significantly changed with the emergence of modern technologies and this has boosted the popularity of social media over the last decades. A popular marketing practice that companies use to adapt to these changes is referred to as influencer marketing. However, since more consumers are aware of the collaborations between influencers and brands, the credibility of influencers is questioned. A multitude of scientific research has been conducted to test the effectiveness of influencers’ reviews; however, it is still unclear whether the influencers are more effective in comparison to regular users in enhancing message credibility and purchase intention. Also, research on message sidedness in social media is still lacking. Especially in Chinese social media, message sidedness has not been examined yet. This thesis used a quantitative experimental design, aiming to investigate the effects of the source of information (product review from influencers and product review from regular users) and message sidedness (one-sided message and two-sided message) on message credibility and consumer’s purchase intention on Weibo, the leading Chinese social media platform. The findings of this thesis provided some interesting new insights. The results confirmed that regular users’ reviews were more effective on both the message credibility and purchase intention than influencers’ reviews. However, although one-sided messages are perceived as less credible, it seems that consumers still search for the perfect product and respond favorably to reviews of this product. In addition, the negative information in a two-sided message makes this message more credible. However, credible two-sided messages do not necessarily result in higher purchase intention. It appears that negative information is weighted more and is more likely to be linked to a product’s low quality. These findings can serve as a foundation for future studies.

Additional Metadata
Keywords media, business, Influencer marketing, online reviews, message credibility, message sidedness, purchase intention
Thesis Advisor C. Billedo
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/50061
Series Media & Business
Citation
S. Xiao. (2019, June 24). Whose online reviews to trust? Investigating the effects of source of information and message sidedness on consumer’s purchase intention via message credibility on Weibo. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/50061