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

Hai Anh Tran, Andrew Farrell, Heiner Evanschitzky, Bach Nguyen*, Anna-Lena Ackfeldt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114676
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date27 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


  • affective content
  • high-involvement services
  • purchase intentions
  • Social Media
  • High-involvement services
  • Social media
  • Affective content
  • Purchase intentions


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