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Article
Publication date: 27 August 2019

Ana Margarida Barreto and Diogo Ramalho

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2013

Ana Margarida Barreto

The main purpose of this study was to determine whether users of the online social network site, Facebook, actually look at the ads displayed (briefly, to test the…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this study was to determine whether users of the online social network site, Facebook, actually look at the ads displayed (briefly, to test the existence of the phenomenon known as “banner blindness” in this website), thus ascertaining the effectiveness of paid advertising, and comparing it with the number of friends' recommendations seen.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to achieve this goal, an experiment using eye‐tracking technology was administered to a total of 20 participants from a major university in the USA, followed by a questionnaire.

Findings

Findings show that online ads attract less attention levels than friends' recommendations. A possible explanation for this phenomenon may be related to the fact that ads on Facebook are outside of the F‐shaped visual pattern range, causing a state of “banner blindness”. Results also show that statistically there is no difference in ads seen and clicked between women and men.

Research limitations/implications

The sample type (undergraduate and graduate students) and the sample size (20 participants) inhibit the generalization of the findings to other populations.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for the development of an effective online advertising campaign, as well as some proposed conceptualizations of the terms social network site and advertising, which can be used as platforms for discussion or as standards for future definitions.

Originality/value

This study fulfils some identified needs to study advertising effectiveness based on empirical data and to assess banner blindness in other contexts, representative of current internet users' habits.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

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