The outcome of online social interactions on Facebook pages : A study of user engagement behavior

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-23
Journal / PublicationInternet Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of different ways of message framing on users’ engagement behavior regarding the brand posts on Facebook and to determine whether users’ thumbs-up and reply moderate this impact. 
Design/methodology/approach – A panel data analysis was conducted on a panel with 11,894 observations on 850 unique brand posts from the Facebook pages of the world’s most valuable brands over a seven days window with two observations each day. A system of equations was estimated using ordinary least squares, Hausman–Taylor IV and seemingly unrelated regressions to test study’s hypotheses. 
Findings – The empirical findings confirm that more positively and negatively framed comments result in increased users’ engagement. Also, an increase in thumbs-up ratio for neutrally and negatively framed comments results in less engagement. The reply ratio might also have a positive and negative moderation effect on the influence of neutrally and positively framed comments on engagement behavior, respectively. 
Practical implications – This study provides an in-depth understanding of online social interactions on Facebook pages for firms’ managers and marketers. Online social interactions might be either harmful or fruitful for firms depending on the type of interaction and engagement behavior. Findings can help managers and marketer to improve their strategies for leveraging Facebook for electronic marketing. 
Originality/value – This is likely to be the first study that examines the moderating effect of users’ thumbs-up and reply on the relationship between message framing and users’ engagement behavior. By providing robust findings by addressing issues like omitted variables and endogeneity, the findings of this study are promising for developing new hypotheses and theoretical models in the context of online social interactions.

Research Area(s)

  • Facebook, User engagement, Social media marketing, Online brand community, Electronic word-of-mouth, Online social interactions

Bibliographic Note

Month information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.