Intimacy issues : a content analysis of intimacy levels and engagement rates between celebrities and influencers.

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The development of social media marketing has amplified the value of peer recommendations, leading brands to utilize the inclusive nature of Instagram to employ celebrity endorsement and/or influencer techniques. Though the two strategies are different, individuals outside the industry often confuse them, resulting in lower engagement rates and credibility. The purpose of this research is to establish the type of relationships celebrities and influencers have with their followers and to recognize their differences. By using Consumer-Brand Relationship Theory, Social Influence Theory and Para-Social Interaction Theory, the researcher identified key components of online intimacy and analyzed Instagram content from three celebrities (Kendall Jenner, Ariana Grande and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) and three influencers (Miranda Sings, Lilly Singh and Tyler Oakley). The researcher examined N=320 Instagram posts to determine the presence of intimacy and calculate engagement rates.

consumer-brand relationship theory, social influence theory, para-social interaction theory, intimacy, perceived interconnectedness, celebrity endorsement, influencer marketing, social media marketing, independent t-test