Impact of the Type of a Post on the Engagement Rate of It | pp. 134-142 | PDF

Marija Vorkule
University of Latvia 

Abstract. Within the last six years, influencer marketing market has grown by 700%, and within the last two years sales have doubled. Absolute majority of marketing professionals consider it effective. The main target audience of marketers using influencer marketing in Europe is youth, since 90% of them are actively using social networks. A steady growth can also be observed among those who use it as a news outlet and source to find out more about products and services. At the same time, not many digital content creators are honest with their audience, openly labelling collaboration. There are still the ones hiding it. The situation with influencers mainly followed by adolescents is especially dangerous, as the level of advertising literacy is not yet sufficiently advanced, and they are more easily impressed than adults. One of the possible reasons for hiding the fact that the content is actually an advertisement, is the fact that influencers are afraid that their engagement rate will decrease, which is detrimental, since the engagement rate is one of the criteria demonstrating the success of cooperation. The purpose of this study is to analyse whether advertorial posts really cause fewer reactions than regular posts. For this purpose, Latvian influencers who had more than 1500 followers and whose followers at the time of the performance of study were mostly adolescents (11–18 years old) from Latvia were selected. During 2021, the posts on the social media platform Instagram mentioning brands and/or having the relevant labelling regarding cooperation with the brand were selected. The engagement rate for 654 posts was compared with the engagement rate for regular posts. As a result, it was found that the difference varies from 1% to 2%. Since the difference is considered insignificant, we can conclude that there is no reason to hide paid collaboration from the audience.

Keywords: advertising literacy, artificial intelligence, children and adolescents, disinformation, social media, social media influencer

In: Media and Society, 2022. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Mediji un sabiedrība, 2022. Rakstu krājums. Riga, University of Latvia, 2023. 173 p.