Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the antecedents of consumer engagement with supermarkets’ social media accounts. Drawing on regulatory fit theory and social sharing of emotions theory, we test if the content posted on the social media brand pages of supermarkets dealing with a topic of high social relevance such as the COVID-19 pandemic, stimulates social media consumer engagement and if and how the engagement is mediated by the arousal of positive and negative emotions. Design/methodology/approach We retrieved data from the Facebook accounts of the top twenty European supermarkets identified in the Deloitte 2020 Global Powers of Retailing report during the first wave of the pandemic from 1 March to 30 June 2020, collecting a sample of 2,524 posts from eight different countries. After a content analysis to classify COVID-19 content, we applied the Baron and Kenny (1986) methodology to verify the hypothesised relationships. Findings The findings highlight a positive direct relationship between the social relevance of a topic (COVID-19) and social media consumer engagement mediated by the arousal of positive and negative emotions. Originality To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the earliest empirical research using Facebook data to investigate the role of the social relevance of content as an antecedent of social media consumer engagement with a specific focus on supermarkets. The paper contributes to the stream of social media literature investigating the antecedents of social media engagement behaviour, exploring the role of topics’ choice and aroused emotions, which to date are both under-investigated.

How emotions from content social relevance mediate social media engagement: evidence from European supermarkets during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ballerini, Jacopo
First
;
Santoro, Gabriele
Last
2023-01-01

Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the antecedents of consumer engagement with supermarkets’ social media accounts. Drawing on regulatory fit theory and social sharing of emotions theory, we test if the content posted on the social media brand pages of supermarkets dealing with a topic of high social relevance such as the COVID-19 pandemic, stimulates social media consumer engagement and if and how the engagement is mediated by the arousal of positive and negative emotions. Design/methodology/approach We retrieved data from the Facebook accounts of the top twenty European supermarkets identified in the Deloitte 2020 Global Powers of Retailing report during the first wave of the pandemic from 1 March to 30 June 2020, collecting a sample of 2,524 posts from eight different countries. After a content analysis to classify COVID-19 content, we applied the Baron and Kenny (1986) methodology to verify the hypothesised relationships. Findings The findings highlight a positive direct relationship between the social relevance of a topic (COVID-19) and social media consumer engagement mediated by the arousal of positive and negative emotions. Originality To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the earliest empirical research using Facebook data to investigate the role of the social relevance of content as an antecedent of social media consumer engagement with a specific focus on supermarkets. The paper contributes to the stream of social media literature investigating the antecedents of social media engagement behaviour, exploring the role of topics’ choice and aroused emotions, which to date are both under-investigated.
2023
125
5
1698
1715
https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/BFJ-06-2021-0695/full/html
Social media, Social media engagement, Sentiment analysis, Supermarket, COVID-19
Ballerini, Jacopo; Alam, Gazi Mahabubul; Zvarikova, Katarina; Santoro, Gabriele
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1871918
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