Self-Presentation on Social Media: When Self-Enhancement Confronts Self-Verification

Anlan Zheng, Brittany R.L. Duff, Patrick Vargas, Mike Zhengyu Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social media affords users the ability to control how they present themselves to their audience. People generally choose to show an ideal self-image on social media. However, this may be dependent on the strength of their ties to the audience that can see their content. The present research found that people choose to share things that are self-enhancing to both close and distant friends. However, they seem to self-verify (such as admitting weaknesses or embarrassing information) primarily when considering close friends as the primary audience. Because people make associations with brands congruent with their self-concept as a means of self-expression, the findings suggest that social media users might share ads or like products differently, depending on their perception of the audience that can see them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-302
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Interactive Advertising
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Social media
  • self-enhancement
  • self-presentation
  • self-verification
  • tie strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Marketing


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