This empirical research investigated the structural relationships between social media influencer attributes, perceived friendship, psychological well-being, loyalty, and perceived social responsibility of influencers, focusing on the perspective of social media users. More specifically, this study conceptually identified social media influencer attributes such as language similarity, interest similarity, interaction frequency, and self-disclosure and examined the respective effects of each dimension on perceived friendship and psychological well-being, consequently resulting in loyalty toward social media influencers. The authors collected and analyzed data from 388 social media users in the United States via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk with multivariate analyses to test the hypothesized associations among the variables in this study. The findings indicated that perceived friendship was significantly influenced by language similarity, interest similarity, and self-disclosure, but did not have a significant impact on psychological well-being. Additionally, perceived friendship significantly affected psychological well-being and loyalty, and psychological well-being significantly influenced loyalty. Lastly, social media influencers’ social responsibility moderated the path from psychological well-being to loyalty. Based on these findings, this study proposes theoretical and managerial implications for the social media influencer marketing context.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, v. 19, issue 4, 2362.

© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Related Content

The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to privacy reasons.