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2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Session 1A [clear filter]
Saturday, July 29
 

11:00

Session 1A: Influencers
Moderators
avatar for Alicia Wanless

Alicia Wanless

Director of Strategic Communications, SecDev Foundation
Alicia researches how we shape — and are shaped — by a changing information space. As the Director of Strategic Communications at The SecDev Foundation, Alicia develops campaigns and strategies for engaging beneficiaries in outreach and behavioural change. Her work includes developing... Read More →

Saturday July 29, 2017 11:00 - 12:30
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4

11:01

Call To Retweet: Negotiated Diffusion Of Strategic Political Messages [FULL]
Authors: Jeff Hemsley, Sikana Tanupabrungsun and Bryan Semaan

Abstract: Twitter allows political candidates to broadcast messages directly to the public, some of which spread virally and potentially reach new audiences and supporters. During the 2014 U.S. gubernatorial election, 74 candidates posted 20,580 tweets, of which, 10,946 were retweeted a total of 139,315 times. Using content analysis, automated classification and regression analysis, we show that actors with different levels of network influence tend to promote different types of election content, but that the convergence of their choices and actions lead to information flows that reach the largest audiences. We also show that actors with middle-level influence, in terms of the number of followers they have, tend to be the most influential in the diffusion process. Our work provides empirical support for the theoretical framework of negotiated diffusion, which suggests that information flows are the result of the convergence of top-down forces (structures and powerful gatekeepers) and bottom-up forces (collective sharing of actors with varying degrees of influence).

Saturday July 29, 2017 11:01 - 12:30
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4

11:01

Exploring The Perception Of Influencers Vs. Traditional Celebrities: Are Social Media Stars A New Type Of Endorser? [WIP]
Authors: Jan-Frederik Gräve

Abstract: The growing popularity of social media networks enables more and more individuals to acquire large audiences of up to several million people on these platforms. Companies are starting to recognize this potential especially for young target groups and hire these so-called influencers as endorsers in social media and sometimes even instead of traditional celebrities in corporate advertising. Therefore, the question arises whether there is a difference in perception between these two types of endorsers and if so, which moderators influence these perceptions. In the present study we explore consumers’ general perception of social media influencers compared to traditional celebrities. We conduct an online survey with 590 respondents who were asked to rate 14 influencers and traditional celebrities in pairwise comparisons regarding their similarity. We apply multidimensional scaling (MDS) and find substantial differences in perceptions between the two groups. Additionally, we apply property fitting with evaluations regarding six different characteristics determining endorser effectiveness. While in total traditional celebrities are evaluated more favorable, this difference diminishes for high levels of familiarity and even reverses for perceived trustworthiness and similarity to oneself. The results indicate that managers should carefully distinguish between influencers and traditional celebrities for endorsements, as systematic differences in perceptions between the groups are likely to have an impact on endorser effectiveness. Further research is needed to investigate which moderators (e.g. advertising type, product category) influence the perception and subsequently the endorsement effectiveness of the two types of endorsers.

Saturday July 29, 2017 11:01 - 12:30
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4

11:01

How Celebrities Feed Tweeples With Personal And Promotional Tweets [WIP]
Authors: Sanchari Das, Javon Goard and Dakota Murray

Abstract: In contemporary United States culture, celebrities compete for attention and publicize their work through social media tools. Twitter is a popular platform that celebrities use to print a wide range of content, however little is known about the potency of these different types of content to draw audience attention and participation. In this paper, we outline a scheme for classifying content created by celebrity users on Twitter and analyze the audience engagement to these diverse types of tweets. We find that different types of content produce different levels of audience engagement and that celebrity’s everyday usage of Twitter (selfies, photos of travels, humor, etc.) produces the most engagement, followed by self-endorsement and commentary about society. But these patterns vary slightly between celebrities, and audiences are not identical in their response to the content. We likewise find that there is some other source of unexplained variation, likely resulting from Twitter’s recommendation algorithms.

Saturday July 29, 2017 11:01 - 12:30
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4

11:01

Measured Beauty: Exploring The Aesthetics Of Instagram’s Fashion Influencers [WIP]
Authors: Emily Hund

Abstract: This paper draws upon a sample of Instagram images posted by the fashion industry’s top “digital influencers” to explore what kinds of visuality succeeds in a social media environment increasingly dominated by metrics and commercialization. It argues that influential beauty on Instagram is “measured” in two ways: it is quantified and delivered to advertisers, and it is non-threatening. This dual nature allows influencers’ Instagram feeds to become useful spaces onto which a range of aspirations can be projected and new technologies for monetization can be tested.

Saturday July 29, 2017 11:01 - 12:30
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4