United States Consumers’ Social Media Influencer Source and Message Frame Preferences for Receiving Beef Nutrition Information



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Social media are a highly successful and powerful tool for brand marketing and communications within the agricultural industry. Many businesses and organizations find value in partnering with third-party, external content creators, such as social media influencers, to generate brand awareness and product promotion. These influencers shape the way consumers think, feel, and behave, and, ultimately, they can help drive product demand. For commodity organizations, there is a unique opportunity to partner with social media influencers to help motivate consumers’ attitudes and purchasing decisions. Research has noted that when it comes to nutrition and health, consumers’ attitudes and eating habits are shaped by the advice they receive from social media influencers. To elicit the most favorable attitudes among consumers, commodity organizations need to find the best social media influencer and message frame to reach consumers. This study used a 3 X 2 framework to test the influence of different social media sources (registered dietitian, fitness coach, or beef industry advocate) and message frames (evidence-based message or advice-based message) on consumers attitudes toward beef nutrition messages on Instagram. A nationwide survey was distributed to 733 United States adult consumers through Qualtrics, an opt-in sampling platform. Through a series of pre- and post-test questions, researchers were able to determine the influence of social media source and message frame on consumers’ attitudes toward source credibility and beef nutrition. The results indicated consumers had stronger attitudes toward beef nutrition, source credibility, and message recall when they received information in an evidence-based message frame and from a registered dietitian social media source. These findings suggest that when consumers are receiving nutrition and health information, they prefer to receive advice from a credentialed health professional. Additionally, evidence-based messages developed with research, statistics, and evidence, may have helped consumers feel more confident in the advice they received. Future research should explore the impact of other social media sources or message frames on consumers’ attitudes toward agricultural topics.



beef, social media, social meida influencer, agriculture, nutrition, health, communications, Instagram, beef nutrition