Travel-Related Influencer Content on Instagram : How Social Media Fuels Wanderlust and How to Mitigate the Effect

Faculty/Professorship: Operations Management and Logistics  
Author(s): Asdecker, Björn  
Title of the Journal: Sustainability
ISSN: 2071-1050
Publisher Information: Basel : MDPI
Year of publication: 2022
Volume: 14
Issue: 2, 855
Pages: 1-20
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.3390/su14020855
Tremendous efforts will be required in the coming decades to limit the harmful effects of climate change. This includes travel behavior, which not only has a significant impact on climate but also affects the perceived justice and trust necessary to manage the transition to net zero successfully. Technologies such as social media can promote behavioral change; unfortunately, also for the negative. Drawing on social comparison theory, social identity theory, and the theory of planned behavior, this study uses a PLS-SEM model to investigate if and under which circumstances exposure to travel-related content posted by professional influencers affects their followers’ travel intentions. It extends previous studies by explicitly focusing on influencers that use Instagram to make a living and considers the effect of pro-environmental attitudes. On the one hand, it shows that influencers are not only responsible for their travel behavior. Their content stimulates their audiences’ wanderlust through benign envy. On the other hand, the study suggests that reinforcing pro-environmental attitudes can help mitigate the negative climate effects of imitating influencer travel behavior.
GND Keywords: Online-Marketing; Influencer; Instagram; Reiseverhalten; Sozialer Vergleichsprozess; Soziale Identität
Keywords: social media content, influencer marketing, Instagram, benign envy, pro-environmental attitude, social comparison theory, social identity theory
DDC Classification: 650 Management & public relations  
RVK Classification: QP 650   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Open Access Journal: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 17. January 2022