Facilitating Social Media Advertisement Forwarding via Feature Design: The Role of Forwarding Customization


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Awarding Institution
  • Weiquan WANG (Supervisor)
  • Donghong Ding (External person) (External Supervisor)
Award date11 Nov 2019



Advertisement diffusion largely thrives on the popularity of social media. Various factors like the characteristics of advertised product, advertisement content, sender and recipient can motivate the diffusion. However, whether and how the diffusion can be facilitated by social media feature design is largely ignored. Besides, given that advertisements in the same piece of information can be perceived as informative or manipulative, the diffusion decision process of potential transmitters may differ from other types of information and remain unclear in literature. This study investigates the benefit-cost calculus on the advertising diffusion by drawing on the stimuli–organism–response model and rational choice theory as overarching framework. Specifically, this study examines the effect of product value on the decision process for advertisement forwarding. Different types of customization of forwarding operation are also involved as design factors that facilitate forwarding. The decision, which is distinguished by the target of product value (self vs. other), focuses on the self- and others-based benefit-cost calculus (i.e., self-image congruence vs. self-image concern and relationship maintenance vs. perceived norm violation). Two 2 (product value: high vs. low) x 2 (customization of justification: without vs. with) x 2 (customization of directed dialog accessibility: without vs. with) factorial designs were employed to test the proposed research model. Results show how product value as information characteristic determines diffusion decision calculus. Results also suggest that customization of justification is beneficial to the diffusion of advertisement with the self-valued product, whereas customization of directed dialog accessibility helps the diffusion of advertisement with the other-valued product. The theoretical contributions and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

    Research areas

  • Social Media Advertising, Forwarding Decision, Perceived Product Value, Customization