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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Internet Commerce

For a Special Issue on
Social Media Influencer Marketing

Manuscript deadline
01 December 2021

Cover image - Journal of Internet Commerce

Special Issue Editor(s)

Kian Yeik Koay, Sunway University
[email protected]

Fandy Tjiptono, Victoria University of Wellington
[email protected]

Chai Wen Teoh, Sunway University
[email protected]

Mumtaz Ali Memon, National University of Sciences and Technology Islamabad
[email protected]

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Social Media Influencer Marketing

In 2020, there are more than 3.8 billion social media users around the world and the numbers are expected to grow, according to WeAreSocial’s recent report (Kemp, 2020). Many companies have started to realize the potential and importance of using social media as a platform to advertise their products or services and to engage with consumers, especially using social media influencers. Essentially, social media influencers are paid to post favourable social media content about a company’s products, services, or brands (Corrêa et al., 2020; Freberg et al., 2011). Due to a high number of followers, social media influencers can greatly affect potential consumers’ purchase decision by spreading their opinions about the products and services of a company or a brand. Consumers may follow the recommendations of social media influencers whom they admire (Folkvord et al., 2019; Jin et al., 2019). In the U.S., for instance, almost a third of daily Instagram users purchase similar products and services as those endorsed by a blogger or an influencer (Newberry, 2019). It is reported that almost 80% of the marketing agencies and brands have a budget for influencer marketing and 87% use Instagram (InfluencerMarketingHub, 2020). It is also estimated that brands will be spending about US$15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022 (Schomer, 2019), with a rising tendency. There are abundant studies on endorsements by traditional celebrities as influencers (Bergkvist and Zhou, 2016; Erdogan, 1999), but not many studies have been conducted to understand how social media influencers play a role in consumers’ decision-making process.

A number of studies have been conducted in the field of social media influencer marketing, focusing on a) finding the most influential bloggers (Khan et al., 2017), b) examining the impact of advertising disclosure (Coco and Eckert, 2020; Weismueller et al., 2020), c) investigating the role of source credibility, parasocial-interaction, and homophily (Sokolova and Kefi, 2020), d) determining the effectiveness of YouTube vlogendorsements (Munnukka et al., 2019), and some other issues. However, this research area is still at its infancy stage as many research questions remained unsolved given the constant changes in the field of social media influencer marketing due to the rapid advancement of technologies opening up many possibilities. For instance, there are several types of social media influencers, including nano, micro, macro, and mega influencers (White, 2019). To date, it is still unclear how the types of social media influencers play a role in affecting consumers’ purchase behaviour. Furthermore, the current top five social media platforms for influencer marketing are Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook (Jarboe, 2020), each of which attracts different types of users, thereby gratifying different needs. Therefore, it is timely to systematically examine the role, determinants, and consequences of social media influencer marketing using a variety of theoretical perspectives. Comparisons of theories, social media platforms, cultural contexts, and types of business are also worth investigating.


This special issue invites empirical, conceptual, or systematic review papers that offer a sound theoretical basis, integrative frameworks, and models, important reviews, or debate ideas within the field of social media influencer marketing. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The antecedents and consequences of social media influencer marketing
  • Social media influencer sponsorship
  • Social media influencers as human brands
  • Traditional celebrities versus social media influencers
  • Cross-cultural influencer marketing
  • Content Marketing (social media influencers)
  • Social media influencers from different platforms (e.g., Facebook and Instagram)
  • Ethical concerns related to social media influencer marketing
  • The dark side of social media influencer marketing
  • Novel approaches/methods to measure the effectiveness of social media influencers
  • Other potential topics related to social media influencer marketing

Papers are expected to have substantial theoretical contributions to the social media influencer marketing literature. We welcome scientific papers that address (but are not limited to) the following research questions:

  • Using source credibility theory, how do consumers’ perceptions of source credibility toward social media influencers differ from traditional celebrities and affect their decision-making process by including potential mediators or moderators?
  • Drawing on human brand theory, how social media influencers can serve as a human brand?
  • Which types of social media influencers (e.g., nano, micro, macro, and mega influencers) have more influence on consumers’ decision-making process? How and why?
  • Drawing on reactance theory, how social media influencers’ sponsored content or posts would affect consumers’ decision-making process?
  • Do social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, and Twitter) matter in social media influencer marketing? If yes, how and why?
  • Does the quality of influencers’ content matter? Which types of advertising appeals (e.g., rational vs emotional) are more effective?
  • How many brands should influencers collaborate with? Based on associative learning theory, does frequently promoting products and services for too many brands negatively influence the reputation of the influencers and/or the brands?
  • How effective is social media influencer marketing compared to traditional celebrity endorsement? Why?
  • Other interesting research questions related to social media influencer marketing

Submission Instructions


Submissions to the special issue should be sent electronically through the “Journal of Internet Commerce” Editorial Manager System. The manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines for authors given on the journal's page. Authors need to clearly indicate in their submission information and letter that their manuscript is for the Special Issue on “Social Media Influencer Marketing” All submissions will be subject to a double-blind review process followed by the “Journal of Internet Commerce”. All manuscripts must be original, unpublished works that are not concurrently under review for publication elsewhere. Questions about this special issue may be directed to the guest editors.

Interested authors are welcome to discuss their research ideas in the form of an extended abstract by contacting the guest editors. The idea of proposing an abstract is to share preliminary feedback to the interested authors.


Open for Submissions: October 1st, 2021

Submission Due Date: December 1st, 2021

First Round Reviews: February 1st, 2022

Final Editorial Decision: October 1st, 2022

Expected Publication: First half of 2023

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