Social media in politics: how to drive engagement and strengthen relationships

Aman Abid, Paul Harrigan, Shasha Wang, Sanjit K. Roy, Tauel Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Marketing researchers have devoted considerable attention to marketer-generated content (MGC), social media engagement behaviour (SMEB) and online relationships. Prior studies, however, do not integrate these critical elements of social media marketing. Our study, which is underpinned in the Elaboration-Likelihood Model, offers evidence that MGC leads to SMEB, which has a positive impact on relationship quality. A sequential explanatory mixed-methods study, which comprises a content analysis of the official Facebook pages of American political parties and semi-structured interviews with voters who engage with political MGC, reveals that peripheral cues are the primary drivers of SMEB. Based on the quantitative and qualitative evidence, we demonstrate that shares are a higher-involvement activity than likes. We recommend that political marketers should rely on distinct sets of MGC cues to elicit shares and likes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-337
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number3-4
Early online date12 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


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