Twitter Marketing Effectiveness Components Model

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2.2.1 Electronic Word of Mouth (eWOM)

Understanding the intentions of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) is an essential aspect of predicting the marketing effectiveness of SM. eWOM comprises online reviews and feedback on consumers’ experience with services and products they purchase (Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh, & Gremler, 2004; Leung, 2012; Leung et al., 2015; Stauss, 2000). Cheung, Lee, and Thadani's study (2009) revealed “[eWOM] communication has become a dominating channel that influences buying decisions of consumers on the Web” (p. 501). Additionally, several studies find that eWOM significantly impacts consumer behavior in online shopping and product selections from Internet channels (Bickart & Schindler, 2001; Senecal & Nantel, 2004; Xia & Bechwati, 2008). It was also found that SM helps in developing a positive eWOM that can improve customer participation and interaction with firms (Kim & Hardin, 2010). Similarly, consumer recommendations for products and services are more important and interesting to future customers than the product and service information itself (Ridings & Gefen, 2004). Additionally, Twitter followers’ purchasing intentions and product involvement can be affected by eWOM spread by celebrities on Twitter, specifically those with a high number of followers (Jin & Phua, 2014).

In the hospitality field, the usage of eWOM supports the examination of hotel guest reviews and comments as an example of customer perceptions of their experiences (Lee, Law, 7 Murphy, 2011; O’Connor, 2012; Stringam & Gerdes, 2010). The research agreed that online comments and reviews of hotel services are important for hotel ratings (Lee, Law, & Murphy, 2011; O’Connor, 2012; Stringam & Gerdes, 2010). It can be further argued that eWOM generally holds higher credibility and trust than traditional media (Blackshaw & Nazarro, 2006). To that end, studies found that consumers believe eWOM is a more reliable source of information than advertising and marketing messages pursued by the company itself, as eWOM is perceived to be more organic, and therefore, more authentic (Bickart & Schindler, 2002; Kempf & Smith, 1998; Walsh, Mitchell, Jackson, & Beatty, 2009). Thus, it is assumed that eWOM can help the researcher to understand the marketing effectiveness of Twitter from the guest perspective.

2.2.2 Intentions of Hotel Booking

To understand consumer intentions for hotel booking, it is important to understand how purchasing decisions or intentions can be predicted by consumer attitudes toward the brand.  Purchase intention is defined as the mental process of the consumers where they make their purchasing decisions based on their actual willingness to own an object or brand (Dodds, Monroe, & Grewal, 1991; Wells, Valacich, & Hess, 2011). Purchase intention is one of the most important characteristics of behaviors or attitudes regarding a purchasing decision (Zeithaml, Berry, & Parasuraman, 1996). Similarly, other studies found attitudes toward the brand to be one of the primary dimensions in facilitating purchasing intentions, by linking current and future purchasing behaviors to consumer experiences, satisfaction, and knowledge (Kapferer, 2008; Keller, 2008). Early studies suggest that when consumers become more aware and knowledgeable about the brand through the information they receive via advertising or word-of-mouth, they decide to purchase that brand based on their favorable or unfavorable feelings toward that brand (Lavidge & Steiner, 1961). Similar results were found in a more recent study with application to SM activities and their impact on brand awareness and purchase intention, where it was revealed that consumer purchasing intentions can be influenced by their perceptions of the brand, which are developed by interactions with that specific brand (Hutter, Hautz, Dennhardt, & Füller, 2013).

With regards to the hospitality and tourism industries, several studies reported a strong relationship between purchase intention and consumer behaviors or attitudes (Ajzen & Driver, 1992; Buttle & Bok, 1996; Jeong, Oh, & Gregoire, 2003; Law & Hsu; 2005; Leung, 2012; Leung et al., 2015).  For instance, the quality of a hotel website influences the guest purchasing intentions (Jeong et al., 2003; Law & Hsu, 2005). Not only do SM sites influence hotel guests purchasing intention, but attitudes toward the hotel brand also influence guest booking intentions (Leung, et al., 2015). Thus, it is essential to apply consumer intent to book to the study of hotel Twitter account marketing effectiveness.  

The current study focuses on the effectiveness of marketing and advertising hotel tweets in terms of their impact on eWOM and booking intent. Thus, the sections that follow will provide an overview of literature on various aspects of tweets with regards to their format and content used in the current study, namely, photos, hyperlinks, product/services presentation, and consumer engagement. 

2.2.3 Photo Presentations on Hotel Social Media

Twitter, the microblogging social network, provides users with various types of formatting styles when tweeting. Tweet formats include plain-text, emotions, photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and quote tweets. Recently, Twitter rolled out new features that allow users to add photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and quote tweets without counting toward the 140-character (Wong, 2016).  Several studies claimed that text alone is insufficient to communicate information, and instead, the studies emphasized the meaning and importance of photos (Cho, Phillips, Hageman, & Patten, 2009; Davison, 2007; Graves, Flesher, & Jordan, 1996; MacKenzie, 1986). Photos and other visual elements are a more influential way of interaction than text, as they more effectively draw people’s attention and influence their perception of the given message’s quality and effectiveness (Cho, Phillips, Hageman, & Patten, 2009; Davison, 2007; Graves, Flesher, & Jordan, 1996; MacKenzie, 1986).  Tweets with photos can convey emotions and beauty more accurately than text alone, as the visual element can be used to enrich and contribute to the visual experience of the text content (Xi, 2012). The impact of a picture is greater than the impact of plain-text due to the visual quality involved in grabbing attention and engaging potential customers (Zhang, Wang, and Tangshan, 2013). In studies investigating the use of Twitter in the Spanish hotel industry, “photos, as a particular media type, generate more retweets…and [favorites]…than other media types do” (Bonsón, Bednárová, & Wei, 2016, p. 77).  Additionally, many prior studies identify that including photos in a tweet results in a boosted number of retweets of the original tweet (Alboqami et al., 2015; Boyd, Golder, & Lotan, 2010; Suh, Hong, Pirolli, & Chi, 2010; Zarrella, 2009). Photo presentations were found to be a key predictor of consumer attitudes toward the website, and behavioral intentions were found to be influenced strongly by these attitudes (Jeong & Choi, 2005). Using photos on a SM site might motivate Twitter users and increase intentions and behavior to book a hotel, as aesthetic ambience has been found to be one of a traveler’s top priorities when planning their trips (Vogt & Fesenmaier, 1998). Furthermore, beautiful and pleasant information is very important in online interactions (Wang & Fesenmaier, 2004). Thus, the present study addresses photos as the visual tweet format in order to understand its effect on attitudes towards hotel Twitter accounts. 

2.2.4 Hyperlink Presentations on Hotel Social Media

The hyperlink, also known as a web link or a link, is a highlighted word or image that has a direct connection to a specific page or object in another location or file (Zhang et al., 2013). Because Twitter limits the length of a tweet to 140 characters, hyperlinks can be used to deliver more complex details and information that cannot be fitted within the limited 140 characters of a tweet.  The use of hyperlinks in Twitter provides individuals with an advanced way to share and enrich their ideas, opinions, and stories, and offers users an opportunity to become more involved with the topic on hand when sharing or retweeting (De Maeyer, 2013; Hsu & Park, 2011). Additionally, Twitter allows individuals to share and exchange information of a particular topic within a single tweet via hyperlinks (Holton, Baek, Coddington, & Yaschur, 2014). To shorten long hyperlinks so that they can be embedded into the limited tweet size, some websites, such as Bitly (, Tinyurl (, Google URL Shortener (, Ow via Hootsuite ( and other shortened web sites, are used to simplify and compress the long hyperlinks. 

Several studies found that adding hyperlink to the tweet can benefit the customers. Hyperlinks are included in almost 26.2 percent of tweets from millions of tweets that were collected for the research, and that number is rising (Gao, Zhang, Li, & Hou, 2012; Techcrunch, 2010). Hotels in Spain use hyperlinks, or website links, more than any other type of media in their hotel's Twitter page, which is believed to be caused by Twitter's limitation of 140 characters per tweet (Bonsón, et al., 2016). Tweets that include hyperlinks attract more consumers than others that do not have hyperlinks on them (Alboqami, et al., 2015). A few studies also claimed that having links included in tweets is valuable to increase retweeting (Boyd et al., 2010; Suh et al., 2010; Zarrella, 2009).  In looking at the numbers, “tweets that include links are 86% more likely to be retweeted” (Cooper, 2013, n.p.).  A Microsoft study found that tweets with hyperlinks can increase the tweets’ credibility, which in turn can make tweets including hyperlinks more likely to be retweeted (Morris, et al., 2012). Another study indicated that twitter users found beneficial or interesting information in 84 percent of tweets with hyperlinks, and 67 percent of these hyperlinks referred users to news sources (Gao et al., 2012, n.p.). Therefore, it seems that the use of a hyperlink within a tweet is a notable tweet format to include in this study.

2.2.5 Product/Service Presentations on Hotel Social Media

Information about products and services offered by a hotel destination is valued by a variety of destination website consumers (Kaplanidou, & Vogt, 2006). Today, most corporations introduce their products/services through SM to a wide community of customers by posting short messages, photos, and hyperlinks about their new products/services, existing products/services, and tips on how to use their products/services and other activities, all of which were impossible via traditional marketing and advertising means (Roberts & Kraynak, 2008; Weinberg, 2009).  This is because marketing products and services via SM is considered one of the most inexpensive and cost-effective ways of marketing and advertising in today’s marketplace (Green, 2007; Paridon & Carraher, 2009; Park, Rodgers, & Stemmle, 2011; Parsons, 2009).  Additionally, SM employs a pull marketing strategy that allows a large number of consumers to easily reach the information about products/services they are interested in (Akar 2010; Sigala et al., 2012).  Also, many customers prefer to go to SM sites to learn about the products/services and information they are seeking because they realize that these SM platforms are more powerful, reliable, and trustworthy than other sources of information provided by marketers (Bernoff & Li, 2008; Canhoto & Clark, 2013; Chu & Kim, 2011; Park & Cho, 2012).  In a survey of high-level managers of various large global organizations, there was general agreement that customers are more influenced by products and services advertised, designed, and promoted through SM sites (Sinclare & Vogus, 2011). The attractive presentation of products and services through SM can benefit the firms by boosting their selling environment, drawing consumer attention, and inspiring their engagement (Anderson, Swaminathan, & Mehta, 2013). A visual presentation of otherwise intangible products and services is very influential in the tourism and hospitality industry (Morgan, Pritchard, & Abbott, 2001). Messages about products and services are used to encourage intentions of booking and engendering positive attitudes toward a hotel's SM site, especially when product messages are posted in text and hyperlink formats (Leung, 2012). Valuable and useful product information shared by knowledgeable people and consumers may help encourage other customers with purchasing decisions and spreading eWOM behavior (Chu & Kim, 2011). As an example, it easier today than ever for guests to forward information about favorite products and services presented in a hotel's Twitter account by just clicking the “retweet” or “favorite” buttons. This action may better illustrate their attitudes toward the hotel tweets. 

2.2.6 Engagement on Hotel Social Media

Nowadays, businesses cannot fully control how their brands and products/services are communicated with customers due to the huge influence of various Internet sites, SM in particular. In this multidimensional communication network, engagement from both customers and businesses becomes increasingly important, especially in the hospitality industry. Therefore, engagement in SM communities is receiving an increased level of attention in recent years from both marketers and researchers. The concept of consumer engagement has been acknowledged in a variety of fields, including hospitality, with co-creation as a customer engagement (Cabiddu, Lui, & Piccoli, 2013); community engagement in tourism (Hamilton & Alexander, 2013); online reviews and engagement in hotels (Park, & Allen, 2013); customer engagement with tourism brands (So, King, & Sparks, 2014); customer engagement behaviors and hotel responses (Wei, Miao, & Huang, 2013); and travelers’ engagement in consumer-generated media creation (Yoo & Gretzel, 2011). One study discussed in great detail the conceptualization of customer engagement and its measurement with tourism brands (King & Sparks, 2014). Some researchers believe that customer engagement is an interaction resulting from a variety of motivational aspects (Bijmolt et al., 2010; Marketing Science Institute, 2010; van Doorn et al., 2010; Verhoef, Reinartz, & Krafft, 2010). Others claim that customer engagement is a multidimensional concept encompassing both behavioral and psychological characteristics (Brodie, Hollebeek, Juric, & Ilic, 2011; Hollebeek, 2009; Hollebeek, 2011; Patterson, Yu, & De Ruyter, 2006; Vivek, 2009). Customer engagement can also be defined as forms of connections that clients make with other clients, businesses, and particular brands (Smith & Wallace, 2010). 

Several studies have found that engagement with consumers can boost their attitudes and purchasing decisions. One of the best uses of SM in the travel market is to involve consumers and interact with them throughout the entire buying process in order to fully understand their needs and enhance the consumer-purchaser relationship (Green, 2007). Guest and hotelier engagement on SM platforms can influence guest purchasing decisions (Levy, Duan, & Boo, 2013). Engagement can generate new ideas that enrich consumer experiences and raise companies’ competitive advantage (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004; Ramaswamy & Gouillart, 2010). Customer engagement adds value for firms in the tourism and hospitality industries by increasing customer loyalty (King & Sparks, 2014). Customer engagement is also a valuable and essential key in improving advertising effectiveness and managing interactions, retention, and loyalty between customers and firms (Calder, Malthouse, & Schaedel, 2009; Hollebeek, 2011). Businesses in the hospitality industry should make it a practice to track and interact with customer engagement (Wei, et al., 2013). Moreover, the proliferation of SM platforms allows consumers to play a substantial role in engaging with other consumers of hospitality firms via different engagement behaviors that go beyond transactions (Verhoef et al., 2010).

Twitter provides consumers a space for engaging and interacting instantly with these businesses. Some hospitality businesses also have effectively increased the two-way interaction and engagement with their guests using Twitter. For instance, Marriott Hotels, which has over 200,000 followers on its Twitter page, developed a social media center called M Live to “listen” instantaneously to their guests as they engage with the company (Golden & Caruso-Cabrera, 2016). Moreover, previous research shows that one tweet by a hotel's twitter account increased engagement by 3000 percent, so the reach of SM platforms can be significant (Schools, 2014).

2.3 Hypothesized Model

The model proposed by this study suggests that the four constructs described above (photo, hyperlink, product, and engagement) have direct effects on hotel guest attitudes toward tweets, which in turn has a direct impact on their attitudes toward hotel Twitter accounts. Hotel consumer attitudes toward hotel Twitter accounts are assumed to influence attitudes toward the hotel brand, which then influences both their intention for eWOM and intention of hotel booking. Therefore, the study hypothesizes the following eight directional hypotheses:

H1. Adding photo will positively affect attitudes toward hotel tweets.

H2. Adding hyperlink will positively affect attitudes toward hotel tweets.

H3. Adding information about products/services of the hotel will positively affect attitudes toward hotel tweets.

H4. Providing space for consumer engagement will positively affect attitudes toward hotel tweets.

H5. Positive attitudes toward hotel tweet will positively affect attitudes toward hotel Twitter account.

H6. Positive attitudes toward hotel Twitter account will positively affect attitudes toward hotel brand.

H7. Positive attitudes toward hotel brand will positively affect intentions of eWOM.

H8. Positive attitudes toward hotel brand will positively affect intentions of hotel booking.

2.4 Relevant Consumer Characteristics

The proposed model focuses on hotel Twitter accounts and how tweets influence the behaviors and intent of hotel guests. The model does not take into consideration any consumer characteristics.  However, several hospitality and tourism studies found that consumer characteristics, such as SM involvement, attitude toward SM, and behavior toward SM, can benefit the effectiveness of these platforms in hotel marketing and advertising activities (e.g. Bai et al., 2008; Berthon, Pitt, & Campbell, 2008; Boateng & Okoe, 2015; Christodoulides, Jevons, & Bonhomme, 2012; Hutter et al., 2013; Leung, 2012; Leung et al., 2015; Nassar, 2012; Paris, Lee, & Seery, 2010). Thus, it stands to reason that consumer characteristics with regards to SM can provide significant insights into the understanding of the impact of tweets in hotel marketing.

To understand the influence that SM marketing creates, it is important to consider the perceived value that consumer characteristics would add. The benefit or added value might differ depending on hotel guests’ knowledge, experience, and other factors related to SM: for instance, consumers with greater SM experience and knowledge perceive marketing or advertising activity of hotel SM site as more valuable and beneficial than the consumers with little experience (Leung et al., 2015). Therefore, the level of effectiveness of these SM site might vary among consumers. Moreover, consumer SM attitudes, behavior, and involvement can be diverse and result in different intentions. In this case, hotel guest experience and knowledge about a hotel's SM site becomes a determinant of SM attitudes, behaviors, and involvement, which also provides a more thorough understanding of SM marketing effectiveness. Thus, there is a need to discuss some of these additional consumer characteristics, as they might potentially influence intentions of hotel booking and eWOM.  

2.4.1 Attitude Toward Social Media

Attitude is defined as “a person’s enduring favorable or unfavorable evaluation, emotional feeling, and action tendencies toward some object or idea” (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 194). Additionally, attitude is “a lasting, general evaluation of individuals, objects, advertisements or issues” (Solomon, Bamossy, Askegaard, & Hogg, 2013, p. 292). Attitudes determine whether individuals like or dislike an object, advertisement, idea, or issue. Therefore, attitudes can influence consumers’ behavior toward products or services (Kotler & Keller, 2006).  Thus, the attitudes of individuals toward advertising impact their response to advertising efforts, and by extension, their purchasing intentions (Mitchell & Olson, 1981). 

Brand awareness can affect the attitudes of consumers toward SM advertising, which consecutively can impact their behavioral responses (Chu, Kamal, & Kim, 2013). For example, a study in China about attitude and behavior toward SM based on gender differences explains how essential SM platforms are for modern Chinese consumers, most notably for the millennial generation (Ly & Hu, 2015). Moreover, the study discussed the usage of SM and how it varied with regard to Chinese male and female consumers. A high number of Chinese online consumers rely on SM, and females tend to be more interested in utilizing SM sites than males (Ly & Hu, 2015). Additionally, most Chinese customers utilize SM to socialize and share information with friends and one another, find different events, follow celebrities, and purchase products through SM platforms (Ly & Hu, 2015). Typically, consumers generally have positive attitudes toward SM advertising (Boateng & Okoe, 2015). A company's reputation is considered to be an important factor in consumer response to the advertisement (Boateng & Okoe, 2015). A positive reputation will positively influence decision-making behaviors, including purchasing advertised products or services, or taking a favorable action toward products or services promoted through SM. A very high number of consumers use SM frequently, and this use impacts their attitudes toward SM marketing (Akar & Topçu, 2011). Additional factors believed to influence consumer attitudes toward SM marketing include SM use, SM knowledge, being affected by the Internet and SM, following/monitoring SM, foresight about SM, and fear about marketing with SM (Akar & Topçu, 2011). Even further, the family income of consumers was the only aspect that had a significant impact on attitudes toward marketing with SM (Akar & Topçu, 2011). The attitudes of consumers toward SM marketing are influenced by their use of SM, their knowledge of SM, their frequency of SM use, and their fears about marketing with SM (Akar & Topçu, 2011). Studies have shown that consumer attitudes toward SM advertising are an important element of its effectiveness (Edwards, Li, & Lee, 2002; Chu, et al., 2013). Consumers’ negative attitudes toward advertising can be influenced by the perceived intrusive and disturbing nature of online advertising (Edwards, et al., 2002). There is a significant relationship between consumer attitudes toward SM advertising and brand consciousness, with the perceived quality of this relationship influencing consumers’ behavioral responses (Chu, et al., 2013). This theory might explain how consumer attitudes toward advertising can influence their responses, which in turn impacts their buying intentions (Mitchell & Olson, 1981). From this research, it is clear that consumer attitudes toward SM can have a significant effect on consumer perceptions of SM in general. In regard to Twitter accounts specifically, this theory will address consumer attitudes and how they influence consumer perceptions in the following three ways: consumer attitudes toward specific tweets; consumer attitudes toward hotel Twitter accounts; and consumer attitudes toward the hotel's brand as conveyed through social media accounts. 

Attitude toward hotel tweets. The types of tweets a hotel posts through its Twitter account may influence consumer experiences. Tweets perceived as arising from the corporate CEO were found to positively influence attitudes toward the corporation through the medium of leadership (Hwang, 2012). Individuals who more frequently discuss brands were generally found to have more positive attitudes towards brand communications via Twitter (Kwon, Kim, Sung, & Yoo, 2014). As such, hotel tweets often vary across the industry: some hotels might opt for informative strategies by conveying specific deals and packages currently being offered. Others prefer more ambient approaches, such as including photography of the resort and messaging intended to convey the benefits of taking a vacation. Others might tweet simply to increase consumer engagement. With this in mind, customer attitudes toward hotel tweets likely indicate customer engagement and intention to purchase.

Attitudes toward hotel Twitter accounts. The type of tweets made by a hotel may shape consumer experiences, and therefore may influence how hotel brands are ultimately perceived (Hwang, 2012; Kwon, et al., 2014). For example, a hotel that is constantly tweeting specific deals might become identified by the consumer as a budget brand. Conversely, a hotel that tweets images intended to showcase a hotel's luxuriousness might influence perceptions toward a premium brand. Additionally, the level of hotel engagement on a Twitter account might translate toward expectations of service: a Twitter account that communicates and engages with potential customers would be perceived as one that puts the needs of its customers first, while one that does not engage on social media might be seen as providing substandard customer service. Customer attitudes toward hotel Twitter accounts should thus translate into customer engagement and intention to purchase.

Attitudes toward hotel brand. Attitude toward the brand is “an individual’s internal evaluation of the brand” (Mitchell & Olson, 1981, n.p.). Additionally, attitude is “a relatively enduring, unidimensional summary evaluation of the brand that presumably energizes behavior” (Spears & Singh, 2004, n.p.). Also, attitude toward the brand is “implicit in beliefs, feelings, behaviors and other components and expressions of attitudes” (Giner-Sorolla, 1999, n.p.). As these definitions imply, attitude toward a brand is the basis of one approach to measuring how consumers evaluate the brand. In other words, attitude toward the brand can be viewed as how consumers favor the brand. Structured advertising influences consumers’ beliefs and evaluations and thus would influence consumers’ attitude toward the brand (Shimp, 1981). Measuring attitude toward a brand is one method by which to examine what kind of advertising, marketing promotion or other factors related to the brand would have the most positive influence on consumers’ attitude toward the brand. As a result, a company would know how to improve their advertising, marketing promotion or other factors related to the brand in the most effective way. 

The overall perception toward a hotel's twitter account often begins on social media as an initial introduction to the hotel's brand. Thus, consumers will be motivated or influenced by a specific account based on whether the brand being advertised aligns with their travel goals and needs. A business traveler, for example, might be drawn toward accounts that promote convenient amenities necessary for business travel, such as access to high-speed Internet and conference room availability. Family-oriented travelers might look for accounts that convey a brand of fun and hospitality, while newlyweds might seek opulence. Thus, the types of tweets conveyed through a Twitter account will influence perceptions toward a hotel's brand, with customers identifying most with the brand that aligns best with their needs. 

2.4.2 Consumer Behavior Toward Social Media

Consumer behavior has been defined as a process, which starts from a pre-purchase stage, then continues to purchase and post-purchase stages. Consumer decision-making processes have been examined in the virtual world (De Valck, Van Bruggen, & Wierenga, 2009). Communications and interactions with other individuals via SM can have a major impact on the decision-making processes of consumers, including behavior, the evaluation of post-purchase, and need recognition (De Valck et al., 2009). SM marketing plays an important role in the formation of relationships between consumers through posting behavior, as well as marketing characteristics, namely product quality and price, at both the early and mature periods of the Internet utilization (Chen, Fay, & Wang, 2011). Consumer behavior plays a significant role in changing media and marketing processes due to the increased intervention of consumers in business marketing strategies (Berthon et al., 2008). The entire business landscape is shifting because customers are gradually performing activities, which were formerly controlled by firms. Additionally, consumers are seen to be more actively contributing to the marketing content of businesses due to SM (Ly & Hu, 2015). Thus, in order to create a mutually beneficial customer-business relationship from the use of SM, businesses need to have an understanding of what motivates consumer behavior. 

2.4.3 Consumer Involvement with Social Media

To better understand consumer involvement with SM, researchers need to examine the origin and the meaning of the involvement concept and the types of SM users by their level of involvement. Involvement is defined as “a person’s perceived relevance of the object based on their inherent needs, values, and interests” (Zaichkowsky, 1985, p. 342). Numerous research studies claim that the use and purchase of product or service increases when consumer levels of involvement are high (Clarke & Belk, 1979; Greenwald & Leavitt, 1984; Krugman, 1962; Petty, Cacioppo, & Schumann, 1983; Wright, 1973). SM users have been clustered into two groups based on their activities on SM: active and passive (Alarcón-Del-Amo, Lorenzo-Romero, & Gómez-Borja, 2011). Active SM users are more involved contributors to SM activities, such as updating, communicating, reviewing, and searching (Constantinides, Carmen Alarcón del Amo del, & Romero, 2010). On the other hand, passive SM users are less involved contributors to SM activities, such as reading, watching, and viewing (Constantinides et al., 2010). Hutton and Fosdick (2011) claim that active SM consumers who follow a brand's SM site are more positive toward that brand and more willing to purchase the products/services offered by the brand. Consumer involvement with SM can also increase their trust with the brand and intention to purchase (Hajli, 2014). Thus, by studying consumer involvement, this study will focus on capturing the importance of active SM users to understand their contributions to SM marketing activities. One study examined how consumer perceptions of brands can be influenced by brand-related user-generated content involvement (Christodoulides, et al., 2012). User-generated content involvement can have a significant effect on consumer perceptions, which indicates a positive influence on consumer-based brand equity (Christodoulides, et al., 2012). In the hotel industry, another study examined the effectiveness of managing social media on hotel performance (Kim, Lim, & Brymer, 2015). Guest involvement in online reviews or ratings can positively impact perceptions regarding the performance of the hotel (Kim et al., 2015). Therefore, previous research shows that there is a need to understand the impact of consumer involvement with SM, as one of the most important consumer characteristics for studies of SM marketing effectiveness. With these constructs in mind, the present research seeks to more completely understand how customer engagement and involvement with a hotel brand is influenced by their experience with the hotel’s Twitter account.


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