Title: How culture shapes user responses to firm-generated content on social media: the role of cultural dimensions of in-group collectivism, indulgence, and masculinity

Authors: Agnieszka Chwialkowska; Minnie Kontkanen

Addresses: Department of Marketing and Real Estate, Richards College of Business, University of West Georgia, 1601 Maple St., Carrollton, GA 30118, USA ' School of Marketing and Communication, University of Vaasa, Wolffintie 34, 65200 Vaasa, Finland

Abstract: As users across the globe interact with firms on social media, firms operating in international markets are striving to generate desired responses to their social media content in culturally diverse markets. The objective of this study is to establish how user responses to firm-generated content on social media are affected by three cultural dimensions: in-group collectivism, indulgence, and masculinity. To accomplish this objective, we conduct an exploratory inquiry involving research diaries, open-ended narratives, and interviews with informants from Finland and Poland. Our study reveals that it is not the intensity of social media use that differs among cultures with different levels of in-group collectivism, as previously thought, but whether user responses to firm-generated content are public (content sharing, commenting, or clicking 'like'), or private (reading and watching content). We establish how previously neglected cultural dimensions of masculinity vs. femininity and indulgence vs. restraint shape user responses to firm-generated content. Moreover, we demonstrate that cultural dimensions should not be studied in isolation. The study offers critical managerial insights regarding how to appeal to motivations of social media users from different cultural backgrounds.

Keywords: social media; responses to firm-generated content; in-group collectivism; individualism; indulgence vs. restraint; masculinity vs. femininity; social norms; Hofstede cultural dimensions; GLOBE cultural dimensions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEXPORTM.2017.090375

International Journal of Export Marketing, 2017 Vol.1 No.4, pp.328 - 356

Received: 10 May 2017
Accepted: 23 Aug 2017

Published online: 13 Mar 2018 *

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