Measuring Engagement With Charitable Events In Social Media Brand And User Posts

Jos Lemmink, Killian Hensens, Benjamin Lucas, Kristina Heinonen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Purpose - The rise of social media has developed a networked society that emphases the importance of managing and measuring customer engagement. This research aims to combine customer engagement literature with psycholinguistics in order to develop a better understanding, and metrics of engagement in charitable events. Customer Engagement is commonly conceptualised as a psychological state leading to opportunities for text analytics of words as reflections of important psychological processes. The aim of this research is to deepen the understanding of customer engagement in charitable organisations by developing metrics for measuring engagement on social media and examining the online consequences of these displays of engagement. The following research questions will be addressed: a) How can engagement with charitable causes be measured on social media?, b) How can textual manifestations of engagement be linked to behavioural engagement metrics on social media?, c) How do textual manifestations of engagement in social media posts affect the level of engagement as measured in the customer comments?

Design/Methodology/Approach - We tested the effects of displays of engagement in social media posts by both brands and users on the creation of engagement on Facebook. A sample of social media posts during the charitable event Serious Request has been used.

Findings - We found that behavioural engagement in user posts is a driver of increasing number of likes, comments and shares. In brand posts, positive affective engagement was found to encourage people to also use emotional words in subsequent comments. The addition of media was found to improve several Facebook metrics. The results show differences between firm-generated content and user-generated content. Textual manifestations of cognitive and behavioural engagement in user posts did positively influence the number of likes, comments and shares. Shares are considered as the most visible type of engagement on Facebook as it is always visible to one’s own social network. The positive interaction effects of media type with affective engagement and behavioural engagement could be explained by this visibility of shares. Photos and videos often make a message clearer or entertaining and could therefore improve the value of a message.

Practical Implications - The results imply that charitable organisations should include media in their brand posts and use affective words to create more extensive customers’ comments, while they should stimulate users to share their behavioural engagement during charitable events in user posts. Textual manifestations of engagement in both firm-generated content as user-generated content were found to affect important performance outcomes for organisations. Firms could create a feedback loop that enhances both online and offline behaviour. Therefore, not only the awareness of the charities could increase, but also the level of financial donations, the loyalty of donors and participation in charitable activities.

Originality/Value - Although Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) methods have been widely validated they have not been applied to the context of customer engagement yet. This study contributes by measuring the psychological dimensions of customer engagement from words in social media posts and test the effects of different levels of engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationService Dominant Logic, Network and Systems Theory and Service Science: Integrating three Perspectives for a New Service Agenda : Proceedings of the 2017 Naples Forum on Service
EditorsEvert Gummesson, Cristina Mele, Francesco Polese
Place of PublicationTricase
PublisherYoucanprint Self-Publishing
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)978-88-92667-57-0
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event2017 Naples Forum on Service - Naples, Italy
Duration: 06.06.201709.06.2017
Conference number: 5


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Engagement
  • Media
  • Linguistics


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