EXPLORE MEME MARKETING IN INSTAGRAM
Abstract - Various meme activities on social media are the potential marketing approach to communicate with consumers. However, few studies focus on the how to utilize the meme activity on social media for marketing promotion and thus there is an academic gap. Based on the two-step flow of communication theory, this research chooses Instagram as the research target to investigate the effects of meme activities on viral advertising. In this study, the results verify that the indirect effect of advertisement publisher (influencer vs. company) on consumers’ participation and engagement in meme activities via source credibility would be moderated by product category (hedonic vs. utilitarian). The findings provide several implications. (1) This research extends the two-step flow of communication theory to the context of meme activity on social media and confirms the mediating role of source credibility and moderating roles of verified badge and product category, (2) The different advertisement publishers have different effects on the source credibility, and when the publisher's account has the verified badge, it can improve the source credibility and further enhance consumers’ intentions of participation and engagement. (3) For practitioners, it is suitable to choose influencers as the publisher when promoting hedonic product. In contrast, it is more effective to broadcast viral advertising by official accounts when promoting utilitarian product.
Keywords - Meme Marketing, Source Credibility, Influencer, Instagram