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The impact of involvement on engagement with brand posts

Ana Margarida Barreto (FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)
Diogo Ramalho (FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 27 August 2019

Issue publication date: 26 September 2019




This paper aims to look at the effects of different levels of involvement (high and low) on social media (Facebook) users' engagement (likes, shares and comments) with different types and formats of brand content.


The authors analyzed user reactions to 1,156 Facebook posts from eight business-to-consumer brands (goods and services). Based on a post hoc test, four product/services were identified as belonging to the group of high-involvement and the other four as low involvement.


The data suggest that, when involvement is low, users in general engage more with brand posts regardless their format (text, image and post) or type (hedonic and informative), or even the interaction of both. Moreover, low involvement leads users prefer to comment on brand content, whereas higher involvement is associated with to sharing it. Exceptions were observed for images (both hedonic and informative) and for hedonic image and video in both low and high involvement users.

Research limitations/implications

The goal was not to measure users’ attention to each type of post. Moreover, the authors did not have access to information regarding which devices were used to access the online content and whether that aspect might have an impact on users’ reactions. Neither do they claim that engagement necessarily reflects positive reactions, as any content analysis of users’ reactions was beyond the scope of this project.

Practical implications

These findings are expected to help brand managers and social media strategists to better select content based on their marketing goals, as well as to provide a potential explanation for the success of campaigns.


As far as we are aware, no previous study has attempted to observe the mediated effect of consumer involvement on brand posts considering their type and format. We also believe that this is the first observation of how behavior differentiates according to the target audience’s level of involvement. This paper also proposes a convenient framework for categorizing social network sites content. Suggestions for future research are made at the end.



The authors would like to acknowledge the constructive suggestions made by the reviewers as well as the editor. This work was financed by National Funds through the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology under the project Ref: UID/CCI/04667/2019.


Barreto, A.M. and Ramalho, D. (2019), "The impact of involvement on engagement with brand posts", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 277-301.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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