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Consumers use social media to create content, generate online word-of-mouth, and communicate with brands and other consumers. Consumers engage with influencers who deliver content that is timely, entertaining, and interesting to them. Many influencers have a truly global following across the world. However, there is little research on international aspects of social media influencers. Our paper leverages Hofstede’s cultural dimensions to study consumer engagement using a novel dataset of global sustainability influencers. Our results indicate that the cultural distance between the influencer and the followers is an important driver of engagement in a nuanced way. While the level of superficial, light engagement is not affected by the cultural distance between an influencer and her followers, the level of deep engagement increases when an influencer and her followers are culturally close. The effect is more pronounced for followers in countries where environmental concerns are considered more important.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Journal of Global Marketing in 2021, available online at It may differ slightly from the final version of record.

Peer Reviewed



Taylor & Francis



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