Int. J. of Business Environment   »   2016 Vol.8, No.3



Title: User-generated content? Get serious! Understanding the interactions between organisations and customers on social media


Authors: Christine Moser; Anouk Van Eijkeren


Department of Organisation Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Social Inc., TT Vasumweg 95, NL-1033 SG Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Abstract: This study examines interactions between customers and organisations on social media by investigating how user-generated content influences interactions between organisations and customers on social media. In compliance with existing perspectives on user-generated content, a total of seven independent determinants of online interaction were taken into consideration including content type, information richness, message direction, content valence, type of message, message length and the use of punctuation marks. The findings show that user-generated content on social media contains multiple elements and dimensions that influence interactions between customers and organisations. The user-generated content posts that triggered the most interactions typically included content that is visual, personal, and attractive. The findings furthermore indicate that it is important for organisations to be recognisable on social media, creative with content and loyal to active fans. Moreover, this paper shows that organisations should not use Facebook as a marketing tool, but as an engagement-building communication tool.


Keywords: user-generated content; social media; social networking sites; SNS; customer engagement; online interaction; online communities; virtual communities; web based communities; Facebook; communication tools; online marketing; social networks; content type; information richness; message direction; content valence; message type; message length; punctuation marks.


DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2016.079696


Int. J. of Business Environment, 2016 Vol.8, No.3, pp.284 - 306


Submission date: 12 May 2016
Date of acceptance: 15 Jun 2016
Available online: 06 Oct 2016



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