An Investigation into Social-Media Travel Influencers’ Content Strategies

Main Article Content

Sutasinee Na Nakhon
Asst. Prof. Ilian Assenov, Ph.D


The advancement of technology—especially social media—has brought new opportunities for brands to collaborate with social media influencers who, as key opinion leaders, can help them promote products and services in a cost-effective manner. This study aims to explore how Thai social-media travel influencers (SMTIs), travel endorsers who are passionate about travelling, produce travel-related content and share it on their social media platform, organize their organic content and sponsored posts as well as investigate their interactions with their followers. The purposive sampling and a qualitative approach using semi-structured online interviews with 19 influencers were employed in combination with observation of the informants’ social-media accounts. The findings reveal that the core elements of the organization of organic content are photographs or videos, travel information, and interaction with followers. When it comes to paid content, the key strategies for organizing sponsored content generated by the influencers include posting time, number of product photographs, tie-in strategies, useful and interesting content, and implicit advertising words. The practical implications for both SMTIs and digital marketers are discussed further.

Article Details

How to Cite
Na Nakhon, S., & Assenov, I. (2024). An Investigation into Social-Media Travel Influencers’ Content Strategies. Journal of International Studies, Prince of Songkla University, 14(1), 16–32. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Sutasinee Na Nakhon, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus

Master’s Degree Student, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus

Asst. Prof. Ilian Assenov, Ph.D, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, Price of Songkla University, Phuket Campus





Abubakar, A. M., & Ilkan, M. (2016). Impact of Online WOM on Destination Trust and Intention to Travel: A Medical Tourism Perspective. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 5(3), 192-201.

Akehurst, G. (2009). User Generated Content: The Use of Blogs for Tourism Organizations and Tourism Consumers. Service Business, 3, 51-61.

Asan, K. (2021). Measuring the Impacts of Travel Influencers on Bicycle Travellers. Current Issues in Tourism, 25(6), 978-994. DOI:10.1080/13683500.2021.1914004

Audrezet, A., De Kerviler, G., & Moulard, J. G. (2020). Authenticity Under Threat: When Social Media Influencers Need to go Beyond Self‐Presentation. Journal of Business Research, 117, 557-569.

Campbell, C., & Farrell, J. R. (2020). More Than Meets the Eye: The Functional Components Underlying Influencer Marketing. Business Horizons, 63(4), 469-479.

Chan, K., Leung Ng, Y., & Luk, E. K. (2013). Impact of Celebrity Endorsement in Advertising on brand Image Among Chinese Adolescents. Young Consumers, 14(2), 167-179.

Chapple, C., & Cownie, F. (2017). An Investigation into Viewers’ Trust in and Response Towards Disclosed Paid-for-Endorsements by YouTube Lifestyle Vloggers. Journal of Promotional Communications, 5(2), 110-136.

Chatzigeorgiou, C. (2017). Modelling the Impact of Social Media Influencers on Behavioral Intentions of Millennials: The Case of Tourism in Rural Areas in Greece. Journal of Tourism, Heritage & Services Marketing, 3(2), 25-29. 10.5281/zenodo.1209125

Chen, Y. C., Shang, R. A., & Li, M. J. (2014). The Effects of Perceived Relevance of Travel Blogs’ Content on the Behavioral Intention to Visit a Tourist Destination. Computers in Human Behavior, 30, 787-799.

Childers, C. C., Lemon, L. L., & Hoy, M. G. (2018). #Sponsored #Ad: Agency Perspective on Influencer Marketing Campaigns. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 40(3), 258-274.

Cholprasertsuk, A., Lawanwisut, C., & Thongrin, S. (2020). Social Media Influencers and Thai Tourism Industry: Tourists’ Behavior, Travel Motivation, and Influencing Factors. Journal of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University, 20(2), 234-263.

Choudhury, S. R. (2020, 15 September). The Chinese version of TikTok now has 600 million daily active users. CNBC.

Dhanesh, G. S., & Duthler, G. (2019). Relationship Management Through Social Media Influencers: Effects of Followers’ Awareness of Paid Endorsement. Public Relations Review, 45(3), 101765.

Djafarova, E., & Trofimenko, O. (2018). ‘Instafamous’–Credibility and Self-Presentation of Micro-Celebrities on Social Media. Information, Communication & Society, 22(10), 1432-1446.

Du, X., Liechty, T., Santos, C. A., & Park, J. (2020). ‘I want to record and share my wonderful journey’: Chinese Millennials’ production and sharing of short-form travel videos on TikTok or Douyin. Current Issues in Tourism, 25(2), 1-13.

Evans, N. J., Phua, J., Lim, J., & Jun, H. (2017). Disclosing Instagram Influencer Advertising: The Effects of Disclosure Language on Advertising Recognition, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intent. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 17(3), 138-149.

Freberg, K., Graham, K., McGaughey, K., & Freberg, L. A. (2011). Who are the Social Media Influencers? A Study of Public Perceptions of Personality. Public Relations Review, 37(1), 90-92.

Glucksman, M. (2017). The Rise of Social Media Influencer Marketing on Lifestyle Branding: A Case Study of Lucie Fink. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 8(2), 77-87.

Greztel, U., Yoo, K. H., & Purifoy, M. (2007, February n.d.). Online Travel Review Study: Role and Impact of Online Travel Reviews. Tripadvisor.

Han, J. & Chen, H. (2022), Millennial Social Media Users' Intention to Travel: The Moderating Role of Social Media Influencer Following Behavior, International Hospitality Review, 36(2), 340-357.

Hennink, M., & Kaiser, B. N. (2022). Sample Sizes for Saturation in Qualitative Research: A Systematic Review of Empirical Tests. Social Science & Medicine, 292, 114523. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114523

Ibáñez-Sánchez, S., Flavián, M., Casaló, L. V., & Belanche, D. (2022). Influencers and Brands Successful Collaborations: A Mutual Reinforcement to Promote Products and Services on Social Media. Journal of Marketing Communications, 28(2), 1-18. DOI:10.1080/13527266.2021.1929410

IZEA Worldwide Inc. (2020, February 11). 67% of Social Media Consumers Aspire to be Paid Social Media Influencers. AP New.

Kang, M., & Schuett, M. A. (2013). Determinants of Sharing Travel Experiences in Social Media. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 30(1-2), 93-107.

Kay, S., Mulcahy, R., & Parkinson, J. (2020). When Less is More: The Impact of Macro and Micro Social Media Influencers’ Disclosure. Journal of Marketing Management, 36(4), 1-31.

Kyngäs, H. (2020). Inductive Content Analysis. In: Kyngäs, H., Mikkonen, K., Kääriäinen, M. (Eds), The Application of Content Analysis in Nursing Science Research. Springer International Publishing.

Kemp, S. (2023, February 13). Digital 2023: Thailand. Datareportal.

Lee, S., & Kim, E. (2020). Influencer Marketing on Instagram: How Sponsorship Disclosure, Influencer Credibility, and Brand Credibility Impact the Effectiveness of Instagram Promotional Post. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 11(3), 232-249.

Litvin, S. W., Goldsmith, R. E., & Pan, B. (2008). Electronic Word-of-Mouth in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Tourism Management, 29(3), 458-468.

Lou, C., & Yuan, S. (2019). Influencer Marketing: How Message Value and Credibility Affect Consumer Trust of Branded Content on Social Media. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 19(1), 58-73.

McGuire, W.J. (1985) Attitudes and Attitude Change. In: Lindzey, G. and Aronson, E., Eds., Handbook of Social Psychology, 3rd Edition, Vol. 2, Random House, New York, 233-346.

Munnukka, J., Uusitalo, O., & Toivonen, H. (2016). Credibility of a Peer Endorser and Advertising Effectiveness. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 33(3), 182-192.

Nadanyiova, M., Gajanova, L., Majerova, J., & Lizbetinova, L. (2020). Influencer Marketing and Its Impact on Consumer Lifestyles. Forum Scientiae Oeconomia, 8(2), 109-120.

Nielson (2017, March n.d.). Millennials on Millennials: A look at viewing behavior, distracting and social media stars. Nielsen.

Ohanian, R. (1990). Construction and Validation of a Scale to Measure Celebrity Endorsers’ Perceived Expertise, Trustworthiness, and Attractiveness. Journal of Advertising, 19(3), 39-52.

Pimpiset, P. (2020). Influencer Marketing Strategy: The Norm of Digitalization in Thailand. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology, 17(6), 12533-12546.

Pop, R. A., Săplăcan, Z., Dabija, D. C., & Alt, M. A. (2022). The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Travel Decisions: The Role of Trust in Consumer Decision Journey. Current Issues in Tourism, 25(5), 823-843.

Pornpitakpan, C. (2004). The Persuasiveness of Source Credibility: A Critical Review of Five Decades’ Evidence. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34(2), 243-281.

Stoldt, R., Wellman, M., Ekdale, B., & Tully, M. (2019). Professionalizing and Profiting: The Rise of Intermediaries in the Social Media Influencer Industry. Social Media + Society, 5(1), 205630511983258.

Thomas, D. R. (2006). A General Inductive Approach for Analyzing Qualitative Evaluation Data. American Journal of Evaluation, 27(2), 237-246.

Teng, S., Wei Khong, K., Wei Goh, W., & Yee Loong Chong, A. (2014), Examining the Antecedents of Persuasive eWOM Messages in Social Media. Online Information Review, 38(6), 746-768.

Tourism and Sports Ministry. (2019). Tourism Receipts from International Tourist Arrivals 2019.

Watts, S., Shankaranarayanan, G., & Even, A. (2009). Data Quality Assessment in Context: A Cognitive Perspective. Decision Support Systems, 48(1), 202-211.

Wellman, M. L., Stoldt, R., Tully, M., & Ekdale, B. (2020). Ethics of Authenticity: Social Media Influencers and the Production of Sponsored Content. Journal of Media Ethics, 35(2), 68-82.

Xu, X., & Pratt, S. (2018). Social Media Influencers as Endorsers to Promote Travel Destinations: an application of self-Congruence Theory to the Chinese Generation Y. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 35(7), 958-972.

Yu, G., Carlsson, C., & Zou, D. (2014). Exploring the Influence of User-Generated Content Factors on the Behavioral Intentions of Travel Consumers. 25th Australasian Conference on Information Systems. Auckland, New Zealand.

Zeng, B., & Gerritsen, R. (2014). What Do We Know About Social Media in Tourism? A review. Tourism Management Perspectives, 10(7), 27-36.