Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

Communication, MA

Committee Chair

Freberg, Karen

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Heinecken, Dawn

Committee Member

Heinecken, Dawn

Committee Member

Ashlock, Mary

Author's Keywords

influencer marketing; social media; influencers; TikTok


Influencer marketing is a growing industry on social media platforms, like TikTok. Influencers have the power and authority to control the purchases and habits of their audiences, however, the communities of these followers can be just as influential. According to TikTok For Business (2021), “part of the excitement of [TikTok] is derived from people having the power to choose the spaces they want to be part of, and the content they want to interact with.” The purpose of this study is to determine if social media influencers alter their image and self-presentation based on their community. The study examines the TikTok accounts of two popular social media influencers who use TikTok to post video content for fun and share brand deals with their followers. Each of these influencers is 21 years old or younger and has an audience of mostly girls between the ages of 13 and 24. To determine if being an influencer means altering personal image on social media, researchers will examine their TikTok posts and comments to gather a deeper understanding of the SMIs when they began posting, how their content has changed, and what actions could have affected those changes.