Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

It is imperative for companies to engage in social media marketing as consumers are often dependent on online information and electronic word-of-mouth. Past literature claims that consumers evaluate the influence of communications differently on social media than they would in a traditional environment because of the nature of the internet. This study aims to analyze user’s perceptions of social media marketing influence and determines if user’s perception of influence changes based on the number of social media metrics (likes, comments, and shares) that accompany a Facebook post. The study also investigates if perceptions of influence vary depending on a user’s level of involvement in the situation. A 2x2 factorial design is utilized to manipulate both level of involvement and amount of likes, comments, and shares that accompany a Facebook post. The results contend that a high number of likes, comments, and shares on Facebook leads to increased perceptions of source credibility and information usefulness. In particular, the results prove that a high number of likes, comments, and shares on Facebook leads to increased purchase intention in a low-involvement situation. These results are essential to marketers as they prove the importance of curating engaging content on company’s Facebook pages in order to generate high amounts of likes, comments, and shares. Increasing the amount of likes, comments, and shares on Facebook will make the post more influential to users.

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