*Masrura Ahmed Tanha
Social media has and continues to provide ordinary people ubiquitous access to influence others and in the process, achieve online celebrity status. Not surprisingly, micro-celebrities on digital media have become the new promotional tool for product endorsements. Companies too are increasingly shifting from traditional celebrity endorsers to famous online influencers. However, concerns regarding the self-presentation and credibility of these insta-celebrities remain. This study combines the theoretical framework of the self-representation theory related to Goffman and Ohanian’s source credibility model which comprises the three facets of attractiveness, trustworthiness and expertise leading to purchase intention. This research attempts to examine the connections between online presentation and source credibility of micro-celebrities on Instagram to develop a modified source credibility model in the context of current digital media. Interpretive paradigm via in-depth interviews with 46 active Bangladeshi Instagram users were used to explore the dimensions of source credibility and self-presentations of micro-celebrities that influence the purchase decision of the users. The findings show that credibility can be achieved among the followers if the micro-celebrities follow certain criteria in terms of online behaviour presented in the modified framework of source credibility.
Keywords: micro-celebrity, Instagram, social media, source credibility, self-presentation