Health-Related Opinion Leadership In Social Media: Attractive Health-Focused Contents For Instagram Users


Health-consciousness is always an important cosumption pattern for consumers and mostly associated with healthy nutrition. With the increasing popularity of social media, the focus of “health” is also carried into social media platforms. The owners of social media accounts have begun to create health-related contents and the followers of them interact with these accounts based on this focus. In the present study, it is aimed to highlight that interaction between health-related accounts and health-conscious users in the example of Instagram and exploring the causes of that interaction. Data gathered from Instagram accounts which were selected with the association method were analyzed through the social aspects analysis (number of likes and number of comments) and content analysis. The interaction between accounts and individual users was highlighted and attractive topics were explored to be food groups-minerals, healthy recipes, instructiveness, motivation, negative information, raw materials, serving size control, the importance of exercise, visuality, weight control, and well-being. Limitations, academic and managerial implications were given.

Keywords: Health-consciousnesshealthy consumption behavioropinion leaderscontent analysissocial media marketing


Healthiness is an important factor for people and generally associated with nutrition and nutritional behaviors (Magnusson, Arvola, Hursti, Åberg, & Sjödén, 2003). That means people consider living and being healthy as a consequence of eating healthy. In Turkey, people also have the similar understanding (Gfk, 2017). According to the report of Gfk (2017), people associate the concept of “healthiness” with drinking enough water (84%) and consuming healthy/nutritious foods (80%). Most of people try to eat three meals in a day and some of them extra two snacks. Increasing demand to organic foods in Turkey is an another indicator of living healthier (Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, 2016). In the report of Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (2016), it is highlighted that the number of organic food categories reached 213 and revenues generated from exportation of the products in these categories reached $ 79 million as of 2014. That shows the development of the sector in Turkey on both production and consumption sides.

Another focus of the study, social media, is also very popular in Turkey for the companies and the individual users (“We Are Social and Hootsuite”, 2017). 60% of the population use Internet and they are also active social media users who mostly access their accounts via mobile. People spend an average of seven hours with their computers, three hours with their phones, and three hours in social media platforms in a day. That constitutes a strong tool for companies. According to the report (“We Are Social and Hootsuite”, 2017), 52 % of the population search online products or services in a month, 52 % of the population visit an online retail store, 43 % purchase a product or service online. When it comes to the devices used for online purchases, 32 % of the population use a laptop or desktop computer and 31 % of the population use a mobile device. For all these e-commerce and other daily activities like searching news etc., Instagram is one of the most active social media platforms, together with YouTube and Facebook. The Instagram Report of DMR Instagram Report (2017) explains the popularity of this platform with the number and the activeness rate of users. Globally, there are 400 million active Instagram users monthly and 75 million people use Instagram actively every day. Turkey, on the other hand, with 22 million active users is in the fourth place (Instagram Usage Statistics, 2016).

In parallel with the focuses of the study, a health-related research in the context of social media was conducted in this study. The aim of this research is to analyse the role of opinion leaders with their health messages in social media in creating an interaction and to explore the most attractive health-focused Instagram messages. In this regard, the theoretical background and the related literature was given firstly. After that, the information about conceptual research model and the used research method to test the model and explore the related relationships. Lastly, before conclusion and discussion, research findings were explained.

Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

Health Consciousness

The term of “health consciousness” is defined as “a measure of an individual’s readiness to take health actions” (Lee et al., 2014, p.31). Health consciousness arises from the interaction between people and environment (Newman, 1999). In the theory of health as expanding consciousness, consciousness refers to informational capacity of human being. People interact with the environment and this process includes the cognitive and affective awareness, physiochemical maintenance and growth processes (Newman, 1999). Health consciousness necessitates taking healthy actions and people who have this focus behave more careful about his/her own health (Becker et al., 1977; Schifferstein & Ophuis, 1998). Besides, they want to improve their health, well-being and life quality (Newsom, Rook, Nishishiba, Sorkin, & Mahan 2005). Nowadays, as consumers begin to give more importance to being and living healthy, they also care about that in the process of food purchasing especially, as a quality parameter (Magnusson et al., 2003; Bower et al., 2003; Chan et al., 2016; Tan et al., 2017). From a general perspective, “health” is found as the most important motive for purchasing behaviors of consumers by itself in all product or service categories (Magnusson et al., 2003; Ureña et al. 2008). On the other hand, motives and attitudes of consumers which are already very important in consumer behavior (Solomon et al., 2012) have also an effect on health consciousness, especially in organic food consumption (Götze, 2002).

Organic food market is handled as a significant channel of consumers to live healthier in most studies (Alvensleben, 1998; Schifferstein & Ophuis, 1998; Padel & Foster, 2005; Michaelidou & Hassan, 2008; Chen, 2009; Kriwy & Mecking, 2012; Pino et al., 2012; Irianto, 2015). Increasing demand for organic foods is found as a consequence of health consciousness in some studies and health consciousness is found to be positively related to consumers' attitude toward organic/healthy foods and the purchasing decision (Michaelidou & Hassan, 2008; Chen, 2009; Kriwy & Mecking, 2012). Moreover, consumers’ healthy lifestyle mediates the relationship between health consciousness and attitude toward organic foods (Chen, 2009). The main reason behind this is that although consumers have “health” focus; their lives may hinder taking healthy actions. With all these relationships, explaining the concept of “health-consciousness” and highlighting the importance of it are aimed with the example of a popular nutrition group, organic foods.

Social Media

Social media is defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that are built on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 (a platform in which content and software are produced by different companies collaboratively rather than individually) and that allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content (created contents by users in various ways like texts, videos etc.)” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010, p. 61). There are hundreds of various social media platforms including social networking sites, shared photos, podcasts, streaming videos, wikis, blogs, and discussion groups (Harris & Rea, 2009). On the other hand, the commercial appearance of Internet has been growing rapidly since its emergence (Howe, 2008).

Internet users can publish, maintain, upload, comment, rate, save, share, connect, unite, and read content through social media (Bernoff & Li, 2008). This group of people, “social media users”, consists of not only young people; they are a huge group involving and representing all of the population (Priest, 2010). Moreover, people in this representative group spend the great majority of their daily lives in social media (Lang, 2010). The popularity of social media and the research gaps about social media for points arising from being a rather new channel in the market as a communication tool enable researchers to study on the field based on both health-focused (Neiger et al., 2013; Antheunis et al., 2013; Korda and Itani, 2013; Moorhead et al., 2013; Avcı & Avşar, 2015; Pazarcı et al., 2015; Jonassaint et al., 2016; 2016; Sesma-Vazquez, Russell-Mayhew, & Williams, 2017) and with some other focuses like brand management (Hollebeek et al., 2014), consumer behavior (Parlak, 2015; Keskin & Baş, 2016; Soleimani et al., 2017), tourism management (Eröz & Doğdubay, 2013; Leung et al., 2013) etc.

In the marketing field, social media plays an important role for both companies and individual users (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Advertising, for instance, is a field in which companies use social media for their communication campaigns (Tuten, 2008; Chu, 2011; Köksal & Özdemir, 2013; West, 2013). Social media includes different types of consumers and provides these different segments to companies, so that companies find their potential consumers through social media directly and more easily (Wellman & Gulia, 1999; Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). In consumer behavior, on the other hand, social media is also an important tool in the process of information gathering particularly, enabling a mutual interaction between consumers and others (Mangold & Faulds, 2009; Hanna et al., 2011).

Social media providers like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. can be interpreted as a consequence of the commercial side of Internet and as a commercial entity (Alexa, 2010). Instagram, one of these social media providers, is a rather new mobile photo and video capturing/sharing platform by which people capture and share their moments with their followers (friends, families etc.) (Hu et al., 2014). Since its launch, for seven years, it hasn’t lost its popularity both for its users as a communication tool and researchers as a research area (Sheldon and Bryant, 2016; Pittman and Reich, 2016; Chu et al., 2017; Holland & Tiggemann, 2017). Instagram provides a deeper and worthier content including social, cultural and environmental issues from lives of people compared to other text-based social media platforms like Twitter (Hu et al., 2014).

Opinion Leadership

The literature of “opinion leadership” dates back to 1940s (Lazarsfeld, Berelson, & Gaudet, 1944) and is described with that approach: “there are certain people who are most concerned about the issues as well as most articulate about it. We call them the opinion leaders”. It also refers a characteristic of some people who have an effect on the opinions, attitudes, beliefs, motivations, and behaviors of others in general and explained with diffusion of innovation theory mostly (Valente & Pumpuang, 2007). Opinion leaders often adapt to the innovations earlier than the majority and thus lead them about these innovations. That is also in question for new ideas. Moreover, opinion leaders have three main characteristics: they have fewer deflection on their ideas than their group members (followers), there is a differentiation among different opinion leaders who share different opinions and ideas, they have different characteristics from their followers, like about innovations, and so on (Rogers & Cartano, 1962).

After many years, today, with the spread of online social media, traditional information and news sharing processes have been changed (Zhang et al., 2016). People have been exposed to a wide variety of information and news via social media, and they are able to interact with these new information and news (Kwak et al., 2010; Lerman & Ghosh, 2010, Lee & Ma, 2012, Fatma, 2014; Scott, 2015). That has been done through interactive tools of social media like retweets, replies, comments, mentions (e.g. in Twitter) (Crane & Sornette, 2008).

Opinion leaders can be found in various ways in the literature and one of them is about sharing healthy information, health messages and healthy consumption patterns. A study reviewed the literature on the transmission of health messages (Valente & Pumpuang, 2007). In this context, celebrities, self-selection, self-identification, staff selected, positional approach, Judge’s ratings, expert identification, snowball method, sample sociometric, and sociometric are found as methods of the use of opinion leaders in the transmission of health messages. When it comes to a new version of opinion leadership, opinion leadership in social media, the subject is handled with some different perspectives to disclose entreated relationships about online influence, media trust, information seeking, emotions, word of mouth, branding (Huffaker, 2010; Stieglitz & Dang-Xuan, 2013; Turcotte et al., 2015; Weeks et al., 2015; Bao & Chang, 2016; Kelley & Alden, 2016; De Veirman et al., 2017).

Research Framework

In the scope of the present study, opinion leadership in social media in the focus of health-conscious consumption is examined. Figure 1 represents the conceptual research model of the study (Richins & Root-Shaffer, 1988). As can be seen in the model, it is aimed to analyse the role of opinion leaders with their health messages in a social media platform, Instagram, in creating an interaction between users and themselves and between users (consumers) each other through word of mouth. In the literature of opinion leadership, it is argued that involvement should be occur to arise opinion leadership and opinion leadership create an interaction among people (Richins & Root-Shaffer, 1988). Such an interaction represents word of mouth which refers “a very dynamic form of interpersonal communication” in social media age (Shardanand & Maes, 1995; Hennig-Thurau et al., 2004; Litvin et al., 2008). With this approach, the research problem, ambiguous content of social media in the focus of “health consciousness” can be solved by exploring the attractive health-related topics in the sample of Instagram.

Figure 1: Conceptual Research Model
Conceptual Research Model
See Full Size >

Research Design

In order to analyse opinion leadership in social media, Instagram was chosen as the social media platform. Because, Instagram is an active platform with over 150 million users monthly who upload nearly 55 million photos and generate 1.2 billion likes daily (Bakhshi, Shamma, & Gilbert, 2014; Hu et al., 2014). According to Bakhshi et al. (2014), there are two social aspects creating interaction such as number of likes and number of comments. In this regard, these two social aspects helped us to see interaction between opinion leaders and Instagram users and also among Instagram users between each other in order to achieve the aim of this research, analysing the role of opinion leaders with their health messages in social media in creating an interaction between Instagram users. To analyse these two social aspects in accounts of opinion leaders, association method was used firstly. 20 people were asked with the question “Which Instagram accounts do you know in which health related contents are created/shared? Please say the first ten accounts that come into your mind”. Then, most common answers were put in order. After that, the accounts which have over 100K followers and share at least a post almost every day were selected as the sample of the study. Conclusive accounts are shown below in Table 01 :

Table 1 -
See Full Size >

Selected accounts were analyzed through number of likes and number of comments which refer to two social aspects to create interaction in social media (Bakhshi et al., 2014). One-month period (01.09.2017-1.10.2017) was chosen in the process of analysis to see interaction among health-conscious opinion leaders and health-conscious Instagram followers of them. After that, comments of health-related contents (posts) which have the maximum number on each selected account were gathered and analyzed through NVivo 11, a qualitative data analysis program, in order to have a deeper insight about the interaction between health-focused opinion leaders in social media and health-focused followers of them.


The accounts were analysed through number of likes and number of comments between 01.09.2017-1.10.2017. Findings were presented in the Table 2 in order to visualize the conducted complex data including so many numbers.

Table 2 -
See Full Size >

As it can be seen in the Table 2 , selected accounts include health-related contents via photos and videos. Moreover, the number of likes of these contents range from 2847 to 22904 and the number of comments range from 101 to 290. These remarkable numbers are accepted as the indicators of high interaction on the selected accounts representing health-focused opinion leaders.

In order to explore the source of the interaction between opinion leaders and individual users in social media in “health” context, 1746 comments which are sum of the highest number of comments for health-related contents on selected accounts were analysed based on most frequently mentioned topics through NVivo 11. In the process of data analysis, data (comments) was retrieved from Instagram firstly and then the similarities between comments were revealed through “nodes” and “cases” systems on the program (Each account represented a case and each concept represented a node). It was utilized from the nature of this type of content analysis, to reach concepts and relationship in order to explain the situation through data (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2008). Explored relationships are presented in the Figure 2 .

Figure 2: Health-related topics to create interaction in social medi
Health-related topics to create interaction in social medi
See Full Size >

As it can be seen in the Figure 2 , people interact with health-conscious account owners who were interpreted as opinion leaders in social media based on some significant topics such as food groups-minerals, healthy recipes, instructiveness, motivation, negative information, raw materials, serving size control, the importance of exercise, visuality, weight control, well-being. All these topics are either direct health messages of account owners or fields about which people seek information and ask questions to owners. First of all, people wonder about food groups like protein, carbohydrate etc. or minerals like calcium, potassium etc. and find answers to their questions about these issues on such accounts. They also ask for healthy recipes from account owners. Another and the most important topic is instructiveness. People mostly highlight their improvements and teachings occurred by way of such accounts. Motivation is often mentioned in these accounts and followers are tried to be motivated by photos/videos or strong affirmations. Followers, on the other hand, mention that they see these accounts as a motivator. Besides, people want to check health-related negative information and ask the owners questions like “…... is/are very unhealthy. Is it correct?” Moreover, people want to learn the raw materials and healthiness rates of some foods like which type of flour is healthier to make home-made bread. Serving size is another topic people wonder which foods they can eat (healthy) in what portion. Both account owners and followers highlight the importance of exercise in living healthy as a supplementary contribution to healthy nutrition and talk about that. People give importance to visuality, too. They talk about healthy contents that seem nice to them. Additionally, weight control is often asked to account owners. Health-conscious account owners also give detailed information about that topic. Lastly, physical and mental well-being play an important role on the lives of both the account owners and followers of them. To increase physical and mental well-being, both sides support each other.

Conclusion and Discussions

In this study, opinion leadership in social media was analyzed in the “health-consciousness” context. Research findings provide evidence that social media is interpreted as a very dynamic form of interpersonal communication (Shardanand & Maes, 1995; Hennig-Thurau et al., 2004; Litvin et al., 2008). The number of likes and the number of comments on selected health-conscious accounts show the interaction between account owners and followers in light of two social aspects of social media, namely Instagram (Bakhshi et al., 2014).

To have a better insight and understanding why individual users interact with health-related accounts, the content analysis was conducted with the data retrieved from comments for health-related contents on selected accounts. Food groups-minerals, healthy recipes, instructiveness, motivation, negative information, raw materials, serving size control, the importance of exercise, visuality, weight control, well-being were attractive topics, generated from that content analysis by way of exploring similar mentioned topics on comments on selected accounts and revealing the relationships between these comments, for health-conscious Instagram users (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2008). All these explored topics show that people are really interested health-related contents in especially food purchasing and consuming (Magnusson et al., 2003; Bower et al., 2003; Chan et al., 2016; Tan et al., 2017). Moreover, it was proved that there is a new form of opinion leadership, opinion leadership in social media (Huffaker, 2010; Stieglitz & Dang-Xuan, 2013; Turcotte et al., 2015; Weeks et al., 2015; Bao & Chang, 2016; Kelley & Alden, 2016; De Veirman et al., 2017), and people interact with the owners of these opinion leaders’ Instagram accounts with the perspective of involvement and word of mouth (Bao & Chang, 2016). People are really gathering information and following the news in a rather new way, in social media, for example in the opinion leaders’ Instagram accounts (Kwak et al., 2010; Lerman & Ghosh, 2010, Lee & Ma, 2012, Fatma, 2014; Scott, 2015).

In addition to useful findings of this research, there are also some limitations and issues that can be improved by further researchers. Sample size, for instance, is a limitation of the research. That size can be increased and it can be studied on a bigger data. Moreover, the present study is conducted with a holistic view to explore the important topics and have a general insight by selecting only a field, health-consciousness. Further research can also categorize opinion leaders based on similar features like professionals, specialists, bloggers, celebrities (without a profession), friends, families etc. With such a categorization, the strength of categories and effectiveness of them can be seen. Further research can also be conducted on another social media platform like Facebook, Twitter etc., and even a comparative study based on selected platforms can be carried out. Finally, companies can be aware of opinion leaders in social media. They can utilize their strength in social media platforms by including these opinion leaders on companies’ communication campaigns and reach their potential customers. For example, each opinion leader in social media can have a different characteristic and different strength contents such as giving healthy recipes, having a successful YouTube channel, creating contents that motives for psychological well-being etc. Companies pay attention these strong characteristics of these opinion leaders and use them as an attractive advertising channel for their promotion.


  1. Alexa. (2010). Top sites: The top 500 sites on the Web. Retrieved on September 30, 2010, from global
  2. Alvensleben, R. V. (1998). Ecological aspects of food demand: the case of organic food in Germany. Institute for Agricultural Economics, University of Kiel, 4, 68-79.
  3. Antheunis, M. L., Tates, K., & Nieboer, T. E. (2013). Patients’ and health professionals’ use of social media in health care: motives, barriers and expectations. Patient education and counseling, 92(3), 426-431.
  4. Avcı, K., & Avşar, Z. (2015). Sağlık İletişimi ve Yeni Medya. Helath Communication and New Media İletişim Kuram ve Araştırma Dergisi, 1(39), 181-190.
  5. Bakhshi, S., Shamma, D. A., & Gilbert, E. (2014). Faces engage us: Photos with faces attract more likes and comments on instagram. In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 965-974). ACM.
  6. Bao, T. T., & Chang, T. L. S. (2016). The Product and Timing Effects of eWOM in Viral Marketing. International Journal of Business, 21(2), 99.
  7. Becker, M. H., Maiman, L. A., Kirscht, J. P., Haefner, D. P., & Drachman, R. H. (1977). The health belief model and prediction of dietary compliance: a field experiment. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 18, 348–366.
  8. Bernoff, J., & Li, C. (2008). Harnessing the power of the oh-so-social web. MIT Sloan management review, 49(3), 36.
  9. Bower, J. A., Saadat, M. A., & Whitten, C. (2003). Effect of liking, information and consumer characteristics on purchase intention and willingness to pay more for a fat spread with a proven health benefit. Food Quality and Preference, 14(1), 65-74.
  10. Chan, K., Chan, K., Tse, T., Tse, T., Tam, D., Tam, D., ... & Huang, A. (2016). Perception of healthy and unhealthy food among Chinese adolescents. Young Consumers, 17(1), 32-45.
  11. Chen, M. F. (2009). Attitude toward organic foods among Taiwanese as related to health consciousness, environmental attitudes, and the mediating effects of a healthy lifestyle. British Food Journal, 111(2), 165-178.
  12. Chu, S. C. (2011). Viral advertising in social media: Participation in Facebook groups and responses among college-aged users. Journal of interactive advertising, 12(1), 30-43.
  13. Chu, D., Shen, Z., Zhang, Y., Yang, S., & Lin, X. (2017, September). Real-Time Popularity Prediction on Instagram. In Australasian Database Conference (pp. 275-279). Springer, Cham.
  14. Crane, R., & Sornette, D. (2008). Robust dynamic classes revealed by measuring the response function of a social system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(41), 15649-15653.
  15. De Veirman, M., Cauberghe, V., & Hudders, L. (2017). Marketing through Instagram influencers: the impact of number of followers and product divergence on brand attitude. International Journal of Advertising, 36(5), 798-828.
  16. DMR Instagram Report. (2017). USA.
  17. Eröz, S. S., & Doğdubay, M. (2013). Turistik Ürün Tercihinde Sosyal Medyanın Rolü Ve Etik İlişkisi [The Role of Social Media In The Choice Of Tourist Products And Ethical Relationship]. Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi Iktisadi ve idari bilimler fakültesi dergisi, 27(1), 133-157.
  18. Fatma, Ö. K. (2014). Sosyal medyanın bilgi edinme ve kişisel gelişim sürecine katkısı ve lise öğrencileri üzerine bir alan çalışması [The contribution of social media on obtaining information and self-improvement, and an fieldwork on high-school students]. İleti-Ş-Im, 21, 129-150.
  19. GfK Research Company. Sağlıklı Beslenme ve Yaşam. (2017). Istanbul.
  20. Götze, S. (2002) Wie viel Bio wollen die Deutschen? Das Marktpotenzial für Produkte aus dem kontrolliert ökologischen Landbau: Eine Analyse und Quantifizierung unter psychologischen, soziologischen und ökonomischen Aspekten. ZMP Zentrale Markt- und Preisberichtstelle für Erzeugnisse der Land-, Forst- und Ernährungswirtschaft GmbH, Bonn.
  21. Hanna, R., Rohm, A., & Crittenden, V. L. (2011). We’re all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem. Business horizons, 54(3), 265-273.
  22. Harris, A. L., & Rea, A. (2009). Web 2.0 and virtual world technologies: A growing impact on IS education. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2), 137-144.
  23. Hennig-Thurau, T., Gwinner, K. P., Walsh, G., & Gremler, D. D. (2004). Electronic word-of-mouth via consumer-opinion platforms: what motivates consumers to articulate themselves on the internet? Journal of interactive marketing, 18(1), 38-52.
  24. Holland, G., & Tiggemann, M. (2017). “Strong beats skinny every time”: Disordered eating and compulsive exercise in women who post fitspiration on Instagram. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50(1), 76-79.
  25. Hollebeek, L. D., Glynn, M. S., & Brodie, R. J. (2014). Consumer brand engagement in social media: Conceptualization, scale development and validation. Journal of interactive marketing, 28(2), 149-165.
  26. Howe, J. (2008). Crowdsourcing: Why the power of the crowd is driving the future of business. New York, NY: Crown Business.
  27. Hu, Y., Manikonda, L., & Kambhampati, S. (2014, June). What We Instagram: A First Analysis of Instagram Photo Content and User Types. In Icwsm.
  28. Huffaker, D. (2010). Dimensions of leadership and social influence in online communities. Human Communication Research, 36(4), 593-617.
  29. Instagram Usage Statistics. (2016). Instagram. USA.
  30. Irianto, H. (2015). Consumers' attitude and intention towards organic food purchase: An extension of theory of planned behavior in gender perspective. International Journal of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, 4(1), 17-31.
  31. Jonassaint, C., Walker, A. L., Farzan, R., De Castro, L. M., Ola, T., & Bailey, L. (2016). Using Social Media to Assess Patient and Family Perceptions of Bone Marrow Transplant, Gene Therapy and Other Potentially Curative Treatments for Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).
  32. Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 53(1), 59-68.
  33. Kelley, J. B., & Alden, D. L. (2016). Online brand community: through the eyes of Self-Determination Theory. Internet Research, 26(4), 790-808.
  34. Keskin, S., & Baş, M. (2016). Sosyal Medyanın Tüketici Davranışları Üzerine Etkisinin Belirlenmesi. İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Dergisi, 17(3), 51-69.
  35. Korda, H., & Itani, Z. (2013). Harnessing social media for health promotion and behavior change. Health promotion practice, 14(1), 15-23.
  36. Köksal, Y., & Özdemir, Ş. (2013). Bir İletişim Aracı Olarak Sosyal Medya'nın Tutundurma Karması İçerisindeki Yeri Üzerine Bir İnceleme [An Investigation On Place Of Social Media In Promotion Mix]. Suleyman Demirel University The Journal of Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, 18(1), 323-337.
  37. Kriwy, P., & Mecking, R. A. (2012). Health and environmental consciousness, costs of behaviour and the purchase of organic food. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 36(1), 30-37.
  38. Kwak, H., Lee, C., Park, H., & Moon, S. (2010, April). What is Twitter, a social network or a news media?. In Proceedings of the 19th international conference on World wide web (pp. 591-600). ACM.
  39. Lang, B. (2010). Ipsos OTX study: People spend more than half their day consuming media. The Wrap.
  40. Lazarsfeld, P. F., Berelson, B., & Gaudet, H. (1944). The people’s choice: How the voter makes up his mind in a presidential election. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce.
  41. Lee, C. S., & Ma, L. (2012). News sharing in social media: The effect of gratifications and prior experience. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(2), 331-339.
  42. Lee, K., Conklin, M., Cranage, D. A., & Lee, S. (2014). The role of perceived corporate social responsibility on providing healthful foods and nutrition information with health-consciousness as a moderator. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 37, 29-37.
  43. Lerman, K., & Ghosh, R. (2010). Information contagion: An empirical study of the spread of news on Digg and Twitter social networks. ICWSM, 10, 90-97.
  44. Leung, D., Law, R., Van Hoof, H., & Buhalis, D. (2013). Social media in tourism and hospitality: A literature review. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 30(1-2), 3-22.
  45. Litvin, S. W., Goldsmith, R. E., & Pan, B. (2008). Electronic word-of-mouth in hospitality and tourism management. Tourism management, 29(3), 458-468.
  46. Magnusson, M. K., Arvola, A., Hursti, U. K. K., Åberg, L., & Sjödén, P. O. (2003). Choice of organic foods is related to perceived consequences for human health and to environmentally friendly behaviour. Appetite, 40(2), 109-117.
  47. Mangold, W. G., & Faulds, D. J. (2009). Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix. Business horizons, 52(4), 357-365.
  48. Michaelidou, N., & Hassan, L. M. (2008). The role of health consciousness, food safety concern and ethical identity on attitudes and intentions towards organic food. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 32(2), 163-170.
  49. Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock. (2016). Yıllara Göre Organik Ürün İhracatı. Ankara.
  50. Moorhead, S. A., Hazlett, D. E., Harrison, L., Carroll, J. K., Irwin, A., & Hoving, C. (2013). A new dimension of health care: systematic review of the uses, benefits, and limitations of social media for health communication. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(4). DOI:
  51. Newman, M. A. (1999). Health as expanding consciousness. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  52. Newsom, J. T., Rook, K. S., Nishishiba, M., Sorkin, D. H., & Mahan, T. L. (2005). Understanding the relative importance of positive and negative social exchanges: Examining specific domains and appraisals. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 60(6), P304-P312.
  53. Neiger, B. L., Thackeray, R., Burton, S. H., Giraud-Carrier, C. G., & Fagen, M. C. (2013). Evaluating social media’s capacity to develop engaged audiences in health promotion settings: use of Twitter metrics as a case study. Health promotion practice, 14(2), 157-162.
  54. Padel, S., & Foster, C. (2005). Exploring the gap between attitudes and behaviour: Understanding why consumers buy or do not buy organic food. British food journal, 107(8), 606-625.
  55. Parlak, F. (2015). Sosyal medya ve tüketici satın alma karar sürecine etkileri: nitel bir uygulama (Doctoral dissertation).
  56. Pazarcı, Ö., Gölge, U. H., Çamurcu, Y., Saygılı, H., Kılınç, S., Keskinbıçkı, M. V., & Korkmaz, M. (2015). Internet use by orthopedic and traumatology patients in Turkey. Cumhuriyet Medical Journal, 37(4), 269-275.
  57. Pino, G., Peluso, A. M., & Guido, G. (2012). Determinants of regular and occasional consumers' intentions to buy organic food. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 46(1), 157-169.
  58. Pittman, M., & Reich, B. (2016). Social media and loneliness: Why an Instagram picture may be worth more than a thousand Twitter words. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 155-167.
  59. Priest, S. H. (2010). Doing media research: an introduction. Sage.
  60. Richins, M. L., & Root-Shaffer, T. (1988). The role of evolvement and opinion leadership in consumer word-of-mouth: An implicit model made explicit. ACR North American Advances.
  61. Rogers, E. M., & Cartano, D. G. (1962). Methods of measuring opinion leadership. Public Opinion Quarterly, 435-441.
  62. Schifferstein, H. N. J., & Ophuis, P. A. M. O. (1998). Health-related determinants of organic food consumption in the Netherlands. Food Quality and Preference, 9(3), 119-133.
  63. Scott, D. M. (2015). The new rules of marketing and PR: How to use social media, online video, mobile applications, blogs, news releases, and viral marketing to reach buyers directly. John Wiley & Sons.
  64. Sesma-Vazquez, M., Russell-Mayhew, S., & Williams, E. (2017). Whiteness and" Healthy Body Weight'': Analyzing Discourses of Privilege and Oppression in Social Media. In Internatıonal Journal Of Qualıtatıve Methods (Vol. 16, No. 1). 2455 Teller Rd, Thousand Oaks, Ca 91320 Usa: Sage Publıcatıons Inc.
  65. Shardanand, U., & Maes, P. (1995). Social information filtering: algorithms for automating “word of mouth”. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 210-217). ACM Press/Addison-Wesley Publishing Co..
  66. Sheldon, P., & Bryant, K. (2016). Instagram: Motives for its use and relationship to narcissism and contextual age. Computers in Human Behavior, 58, 89-97.
  67. Soleimani, M., Danaei, H., Jowkar, A., & Parhizgar, M. M. (2017). Factors Affecting Social Commerce and Exploring the Mediating Role of Perceived Risk (Case Study: Social Media Users in Isfahan). Iranian Journal of Management Studies, 10(1), 41-60.
  68. Solomon, M., Russell-Bennett, R., & Previte, J. (2012). Consumer behaviour. Pearson Higher Education AU.
  69. Stieglitz, S., & Dang-Xuan, L. (2013). Social media and political communication: a social media analytics framework. Social Network Analysis and Mining, 3(4), 1277-1291.
  70. Tan, B. C., Chai, L. T., & Min, P. S. (2017, April). Attitude Towards Eating “Green”: Do Consumer Consciousness, Healthy Lifestyle, and Value Orientation Matter?. In 5th International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship ICIE 2017 (p. 153).
  71. Turcotte, J., York, C., Irving, J., Scholl, R. M., & Pingree, R. J. (2015). News recommendations from social media opinion leaders: Effects on media trust and information seeking. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 20(5), 520-535.
  72. Tuten, T. L. (2008). Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 World: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 World. ABC-CLIO.
  73. Ureña, F., Bernabéu, R., & Olmeda, M. (2008). Women, men and organic food: differences in their attitudes and willingness to pay. A Spanish case study. International Journal of consumer Studies, 32(1), 18-26.
  74. Valente, T. W., & Pumpuang, P. (2007). Identifying opinion leaders to promote behavior change. Health Education & Behavior, 34(6), 881-896.
  75. We Are Social and Hootsuite. (2017). Digital in 2017 Global Overview. London.
  76. Weeks, B. E., Ardèvol-Abreu, A., & Gil de Zúñiga, H. (2015). Online influence? Social media use, opinion leadership, and political persuasion. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, edv050.
  77. Wellman, B., & Gulia, M. (1999). Virtual communities as communities. Communities in cyberspace, 167-194.
  78. West, D. M. (2013). Air wars: Television advertising and social media in election campaigns, 1952-2012. Sage.
  79. Yıldırım, A., & Simsek, H. (2008). Sosyal bilimlerde nitel arastirma yöntemleri. Ankara: Seckin Yayinlari.
  80. Zhang, L., Zhao, J., & Xu, K. (2016). Who creates trends in online social media: The crowd or opinion leaders? Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 21(1), 1-16.

Copyright information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

About this article

Publication Date

20 December 2019

eBook ISBN



Future Academy



Print ISBN (optional)


Edition Number

1st Edition




Management, leadership, motivation, business, innovation, organizational theory, organizational behaviour

Cite this article as:

Alan*, A. K., & Kabadayı, E. T. (2019). Health-Related Opinion Leadership In Social Media: Attractive Health-Focused Contents For Instagram Users. In C. Zehir, & E. Erzengin (Eds.), Leadership, Technology, Innovation and Business Management, vol 75. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 119-130). Future Academy.