Drivers and outcomes of political candidate image creation: The role of social media marketing

Magnus Hultman, Sera Ulusoy, Pejvak Oghazi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The study examines the role of social media marketing (SMM) activities and the influence of perceived candidate image in building voter-candidate relationship equity within the context of United Kingdom (UK) politics. Drawing from branding literature and social identity theory the article further investigates the role of candidate image as a mediator between SMM and voter-candidate relationship equity, whilst also testing the moderating effect of political ideologies. Survey results from 235 young UK voters indicate that while all SMM activities appears to positively influence the perceived candidate image, not all SMM variables directly relate to relationship equity. The relationship rather appears to be an indirect one, mediated through the political candidate's image. Surprisingly, political ideology also does not appear to moderate the connection between candidate image and voter-candidate relationship equity. The study findings highlight the growing importance of SMM activities and candidate image in political contexts, providing insights for political campaigners.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalPsychology and Marketing
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1226-1236
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • candidate image
  • political marketing
  • relationship equity
  • social media marketing
  • United Kingdom


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