Empirical research on social media influencers provides useful insights about this new phenomenon to legal scholars, legislators, and policy makers. Importantly, this research is conducted using different data collection methods and research designs. The goal of the chapter is to enhance drawing proper conclusions from this variety of empirical research as well as understanding the potential but also limitations of it. We first introduce types of questions that can be relevant for legal scholars dealing with issues regarding social media influencers. In this respect, examples are provided of existing empirical research addressing some of these questions. Using the examples, we introduce basic criteria such as validity or reliability that are essential for assessing the methodological quality of empirical research. Finally, we discuss data collection methods used in empirical studies on social media influencers pointing to their strengths and weaknesses regarding validity and reliability, but also to ethical and technical aspects that might be crucial for methodological choices.
|Elgar Law, Technology and Society series