False Product Reviews on Social Media by Influencers: Lessons Learned from Five Magic Skin Products
This study has two objectives: 1) to investigate how false product reviews of Magic Skin products on social media were presented by influencers based on message components and approaches; and 2) to examine what type of influencers are involved in these false product reviews. Using both quantitative and qualitative content analysis of 73 false product reviews of five Magic Skin products (Fern Shi- No-Bi Vitamin, Fern Cleo, Slim Milk, Mezzo Serum, and Mezzo Facial Soap) by 59 Thai influencers on social media, the results of content analysis in terms of message component yield that these false product reviews were mainly in the forms of photo captions or Instagram comments presented in three patterns of a half body shot photograph of influencer(s) with the reviewed product and/or its package. As for message approach, the analysis results indicate that words associated with beauty ideal, product benefits, unique selling proposition (USP), testimonials, and product- as-hero were used by influencers in their reviews. Two types of influencers are involved in these false product reviews; conventional celebrities outnumbered the Internet idols. The findings offer not only valuable lessons for regulatory agencies and consumers, but also several future research topics for academics as well as useful managerial implications.
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