Virtual Issue Examining Antecedents of Social Media Use Journal of Interactive Advertising

Journal of Interactive Advertising

This virtual issue of the Journal of Interactive Advertising (JIAD) is comprised of a collection of key studies examining user-related antecedents of social media and advertising. More specifically, this work looks at consumer motivations for joining, creating and exploring content within social network environments. As a result, there are various factors drawn from this research that can potentially influence both the adoption and use of social media, and are classified into six broad categories: User-related, platform, device, message, source, and environmental. These factors represent the foundations of our understanding today regarding why consumers fundamentally engage with social media, which is critical for both advertising scholars and practitioners.

First, De Kezer et al. (2015) test the role of relevance in the relationship between personalization and brand attitudes on click intentions. Their results show that personalization improves responses toward advertising and click intentions via perceived relevance. The second article is the most cited in the Journal and examines motivations for online opinion seeking. In this study, Goldsmith and Horowitz (2006) identify distinctive motivations for why consumers seek the opinion of others online, which include to reduce risk, because others do it, to secure lower prices, to get information easily, by accident (unplanned), because it is cool, because they are stimulated by off-line inputs such as TV, and to get pre- purchase information. Daugherty, Eastin and Bright (2008) investigate the attitudinal factors that influence the creation and consumption of user-generated content (UGC) within social media. When it comes to use and creation of UGC, the ego-defensive and social functions of attitude have the most explanatory power. The fourth article in this issue links internet self-efficacy, need to belong and collective self-estimate to individuals’ attitudes toward social media (Gangadharbatla 2008). Attitude toward social media sites mediate the relationship between these three variables and their willingness to join such virtual communities.

In turn, Zeng, Huang and Dou (2009) outline the impact of social identity and group norms on community users’ acceptance of advertising on social media. When it comes to reception of advertising within these platforms, advertisers often desire higher levels of consumer engagement with their brand pages. Tsai and Men (2013) list the different types of engagement with brand pages and users’ motivations and antecedents that drive such engagement. Their results confirm that relationship-oriented factors play a significant role in encouraging consumer engagement. Sashittal and Jassawalla (2015) note in their article examining the adoption of Pinterest by college students that there is very little predictive understanding for why students adopt and use this highly visual platform. Their study suggests that authentic experiences and enrichment on drive adoption for students who use Pinterest consider themselves psychologically healthy and grounded. Lastly, the final article of this virtual issue is a conceptual piece that provides a theoretical framework of how consumers become fans of brand pages. Muk and Chung (2014) outline factors that affect consumers’ intentions to join brand pages. Among the many influences, they identify utilitarian and hedonic values of advertising on social media as increasing users’ favorability of brand pages and belongingness on subjective norms, which in turn predicts users’ intentions to join.

While this virtual issue highlights eight heavily cited studies examining user-related antecedents of social media and advertising, there remains an incredible need for future research in JIAD to identify and explore the consequences, or outcomes, of these networked communities – especially from an advertising effects perspective. I hope you enjoy this influential interactive advertising scholarship.

Harsha Gangadharbatla, PhD
Department of Advertising, Public Relations & Media Design
University of Colorado Boulder