Emotional and cognitive involvement of consumers with hotel brands on social networking sites

Na Su (Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)
Babu John Mariadoss (Washington State University College of Business, Vancouver, Washington, USA)
Dennis Reynolds (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

ISSN: 2514-9792

Publication date: 24 June 2019



Based on persuasion theories, the purpose of this paper is to examine relationships between four types of interactive consumer activities (viewing, liking, sharing and commenting) on hotel brand social networking sites (SNSs) and their cognitive and emotional responses to understand the psychological states underlying such actions and assess their influence on brand attitude and the brand–consumer relationship.


A survey was administrated using an online platform. Participants who had been following a hotel brand on any of its SNSs were screened to fill out the questionnaire. Eventually, 226 valid responses were collected and analyzed using structure equation modeling.


The findings suggest that although both emotional and cognitive involvement can enhance a consumer’s hotel brand attitude, cognitive involvement is associated with a slightly stronger effect in the context of SNSs. Three of the four interactive actions – viewing, liking and sharing – were found to be positively associated with emotional involvement, but only two actions – viewing and liking – were found to be positively related to cognitive involvement. No connection was identified for commenting.

Practical implications

The study suggests that practitioners should turn their attention to the emotional and cognitive responses their SNSs provoke in consumers, rather than simply on the number of likes, shares and comments they induce.


A recent research trend indicates widespread interest in the button functions offered by SNSs (such as “like,” “share” and “comment”) and many studies have tested means of stimulating such physical actions. This study is one of the few to explore the psychological states behind such actions and assess their influence on brand attitude and the self-brand connection.



Su, N., Mariadoss, B. and Reynolds, D. (2019), "Emotional and cognitive involvement of consumers with hotel brands on social networking sites", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-10-2018-0064

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