Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 5-27-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Honors Designation


Program of Study

Communication - Corporate Communication



First Advisor

Stuart Davis


Prior research shows that social media influencers often use their social networks for constant exposure and self-promotion, similar to the way celebrities do. However, little is known about the potential social media offers for the search of educational content and thought leaders in specific social eds. This research aims at exploring the opportunities social media or as a medium for financial literacy. We examine the content of personal finance influencers who use social as a way to create, share, and promote valuable content of financial knowledge and provide advice to their audiences.

We found that helping individuals to increase their financial literacy, building solid ties among their peers, and positioning themselves as role models are three contributing factors to their success. The study contributes to the research by offering an expanded perspective on the existing definition of an influencer by examining the role and value that personal nance influencers bring to social media. The research concludes that the “celebrification” of nance, especially personal nance management by using social media keeps audiences engaged and presents an opportunity for individuals and financial businesses to leverage the work of financial influencers for better financial literacy and a better understanding and management of financial goals.


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