Using Affective Content to Promote High-Involvement Services on Social Media


Service providers’ communication on social media has become a viable method to influence customer purchasing behavior and firm outcomes. Because services are intangible, one of the most pertinent challenges is to design text-based social media content to reduce customers’ perceived risk and enhance desired outcomes. According to Emotions as Social Information (EASI) theory, affective expression can positively influence observer’s reactions. Yet, evidence suggests that affective content (i.e., the use of affective words) is less helpful in high-involvement situations, as customers prefer cognitive information to reduce risk. However, four experiments reveal that high-involvement service providers can enhance customers’ purchase intentions by employing affective content in their online communication. This is because affective content signals effort of the provider, reducing perceived risk, and increasing purchase intentions. Results also demonstrate affective content works better for prevention- (vs. promotion) focused customers and for providers with high-quality reputations, indicating the relative primacy of inferential over affective processes when evaluating affective content. Practically, service providers should carefully rebalance their communication to increase affective content in social media posts.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Marketing & Strategy
Funding Information: This study received funding from Alliance Manchester Business School and Aston Business School.
Additional Information: Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: affective content,high-involvement services,purchase intentions,Social Media,High-involvement services,Social media,Affective content,Purchase intentions,Marketing,Business, Management and Accounting(all)
Publication ISSN: 1873-7978
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2024 07:48
Date Deposited: 08 May 2024 14:17
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Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 148296324001802 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2024-06-01
Published Online Date: 2024-04-27
Accepted Date: 2024-04-17
Authors: Tran, Hai Anh
Farrell, Andrew (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5903-3611)
Evanschitzky, Heiner
Nguyen, Bach
Ackfeldt, Anna-Lena (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-9697-6053)



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