Abstract: The use of social media environments that enable consumers to engage with a brand publically is of increasing interest to marketers. In particular, contests in which consumers create user-generate content (UGC) offer the potential of actively engaging consumers with a brand and thereby directly affecting consumer purchases. This research demonstrates that prompting consumers to create UGC that engages consumers in actively thinking about or elaborating on a personal goal that is relevant to a brand does affect actual buying decisions. It shows that the impact of this engagement via content elaboration is not accounted for by mere participation in the social media activity or rewards offered to participants. The research adds to the growing literature on the importance of consumer engagement and validates the link between engagement and actual purchase behaviors.
Keywords: user generated content, social media, engagement, elaboration likelihood model, co-creation
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