Following the Fashionable Friend: The Power of Social Media By: Alley McDowell

Article Summary- Following the Fashionable Friend: The Power of Social Media
  • The main focus of this article/study was to determine the effectiveness of brand publicity in the traditional digital media such as online magazines versus the nontraditional social media. Example: the New York Times reported that a popular blog endorsement had helped one company grow its sales from $100,000 to $4 million in a year. How much of this growth had to do with using the blog as the medium?
  • The authors placed the same piece of text on 7 blogs and in 7 online magazines then measured the follow up of the brand covered in the text
  • The authors concluded greater publicity effectiveness of social media highly due to PSI
What is Para Social Interaction?

Parasocial interaction can be simply described as a one sided relationship with a media figure whether it be an online blogger, an actor/actress, a musician or your favorite radio host.

The Fashionable Friend
  • On blogs, readers are exposed to the personal life of the blogger and they watch interaction take place through comment features with online visitors. These interactions have been demonstrated to generate parasocial interaction in online forums and blogs.
  • PSI is reinforced by several encounters with the performer (blogger) and stronger parasocial feelings are formed.
  • Especially related to blogs because they are updated several times a day in contrast to online magazines which are much less frequent lessening the chances that a PSR will form.
  • After repeated exposure on a blog, a relationship develops and the readers my consider the blogger as their friend.
  • This leads to the conclusion that online blogs are more effective for brand publicity due to the PSR consumers form with online bloggers.
Image from Article
Strengths and Weaknesses

1. I really like this article because I think it is very easy to relate to my own life. Even if I don't feel that I have a strong parasocial relationship with a blogger, I still feel more connected to this form of media versus a traditional magazine.

2. The study could have reviewed more types of media instead of only using online magazines and fashion blogs for a more well rounded study. For example: video blogs are really popular in the promotion of products (probably more popular than fashion blogs)

Discussion Questions
  • Have you ever been in a parasocial relationship? Has this ever influenced you to purchase a certain item?
  • Would you be more likely to purchase items after seeing them featured in an online blog in comparison to an online magazine?
  • How do you think the effects of parasocial interaction will changed the way online magazines/ the traditional media operates?
  • Other questions?
Created By
Alley McDowel

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.