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Advertising in online social networks: the role of perceived enjoyment and social influence

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this study is to analyse the impact of perceived enjoyment in advertising response in online social networks (OSN). The authors propose and test a structural model explaining response to OSN advertisements embracing perceived enjoyment, social influence and advertising-related variables. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Data were gathered through the application of a structured questionnaire to a sample of 126 students of the same scientific area (marketing and communication studies). Findings ‐ The results validate the proposed model and support nine out of ten hypotheses. The study supports the role of perceived enjoyment as a predictor of both social identity and group norms. Furthermore, social identity and group intention have a positive impact on perceived advertisement relevance. Finally, group intention towards advertisements and perceived advertisement relevance have a positive impact on perceived advertisement value, which in turn impacts positively on response to OSN advertisements. Research limitations/implications ‐ The main limitation relates to the fact that the study mainly covered a population aged between 18-35 years old. Despite its relevance as a segment of OSN users, some caution needs to be taken in generalizing findings to a broader population. Practical implications ‐ These results provide important indications for firms aiming at fully exploiting the computer-mediated communication of OSNs. Specifically, we confirm the role of perceived enjoyment in reinforcing group dynamics and shaping group intentions towards advertising. Originality/value ‐ The main contribution of this study lies in the focus on perceived enjoyment as a predicting variable of social influence and advertising variables, thus impacting response to OSN advertisements.
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Keywords: Advertising; Group norms; Perceived enjoyment; Social identity; Social networking sites

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 11, 2014

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