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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

User Engagement on Social Media Platforms: Firm Response, Sponsored Posts, and Co-Viewing Experience
by Cheng, Xiaoye, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2020, 200; 28091064
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation focuses on factors that affect user engagement on different types of social media platforms. User engagement reflects the quality of interactions and has been shown to drive values for content generators, users, and platforms. As platforms have their own goals and focus, there are specific factors that affect user engagement in different settings, which is largely underexplored in the extant literature. This dissertation includes three essays that examine user engagement from three distinct perspectives: firm responses on social media business pages, sponsored posts on social commerce platforms, and Danmaku (overlaid comments on video displays) on video sharing platforms. In Essay 1, we examine what user comments are more likely to get a response and how a firm can develop effective responses to induce subsequent user comments. We find that negative and longer user comments are more likely to be responded to by a firm, whereas controversial comments are less likely to get a response. In addition, firms’ responses to negative and controversial comments, response timeliness, and response length increase subsequent user engagement. In Essay 2, we investigate how social media users react to sponsored vis-à-vis organic content. We find that sponsorship disclosure (i.e., the indication of the cooperation with a brand) has a negative impact on user endorsement, but commercial cue (i.e., a product link) positively affects user endorsement of influencers’ posts. The presence of both factors in a post further decreases user endorsement. We also find that influencer activeness (i.e., the intensity of generating posts) positively moderates these relationships. The third essay focuses on Danmaku (i.e., a commenting system that displays user comments overlaid on videos), and examines how it affects views and endorsements of videos. We find that Danmaku attracts viewers to watch an unwatched video. More importantly, positive content in Danmaku comments increases both likes and rewards of a video, whereas informational content is only effective in increasing likes. Together, these essays enrich our theoretical understanding of how and why users are likely to engage on social media platforms, offer empirical support for our theoretical assertions, and provide practical implications for organizations, influencers, users, and platforms.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bala, Hillol
Commitee: Zhang, Jingjing, Tan, Xue, Yang, Mochen, Lin, Haizhen
School: Indiana University
Department: Business
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Information Technology, Business administration, Information science
Keywords: Danmaku, Firm Response, Social Media, Sponsorship Disclosure, User Engagement
Publication Number: 28091064
ISBN: 9798664752694
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