The role of facial expression and tie strength in sender presence effects on consumers' brand responses towards visual brand-related user generated content

Annemarie J. Nanne*, Marjolijn L. Antheunis, Guda van Noort

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The popularity of visual social network site Instagram has led to an increase of visual brand-related user-generated content (Br-UGC), which has the potential to affect brand outcomes. Previous research identified sender presence as an important content characteristic that can influence consumer's brand responses. However, the effect of sender presence in visual Br-UGC seems to be different from that of traditional advertising. The current research extends this sender presence scholarship by examining two explanations for the effects of sender presence: sender facial expression, and tie strength between sender and receiver. We expect that the effects of sender presence will be stronger for happy-as compared to neutral-looking senders, and that these effects are stronger when there is a stronger tie between sender and receiver. The current research adopts a two-step approach to examine sender presence effects in various levels of tie strength. Results show that a happy facial expression significantly increases like intention and brand attitude. Moreover, there is a moderating effect of tie strength on sender presence for comment intention: stronger levels of tie strength result in stronger effects of the presence of the sender. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106628
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume117
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Visual brand-related user generated content
  • Tie strength
  • Facial expression
  • Social network sites
  • Brand responses
  • SOCIAL MEDIA
  • PERSUASION KNOWLEDGE
  • PEER COMMUNICATION
  • CREDIBILITY
  • ONLINE
  • TRUSTWORTHINESS
  • ATTITUDE
  • BEAUTY
  • SMILE

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