1. Study suggests photos are more credible but cartoons are more persuasive when conveying a message

    May 24, 2017 by Ashley

    From the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) press release:

    If you’re creating a message to educate, inform, or persuade, don’t underestimate the power of a well-executed cartoon. A new study at the University of Illinois suggests if you’re trying to convince the public to change their stance on a topic such as wind energy, you may be more successful if you use a cartoon rather than a photograph.

    “Photographs were shown to be more credible, but cartoons were more likely to change behavior,” says U of I agricultural communications professor Lulu Rodriguez who led the study. “A cartoon grabs people’s attention long enough to deliver the message. That’s what you need in today’s message-heavy atmosphere. Why not use a tool that has proven ability to cut through the others and inform people in a way that actually works?”

    In the study, participants were shown one of two versions of the same set of brochures. Each set was designed to debunk a myth about wind energy, the intent being to give readers scientific information about wind energy and assuage their fears. Each pair of brochures was identical in design, text, color, size, etc. The only difference was that the originally designed brochures featured a beautiful, professional photograph of wind turbines, while the look-alike brochures created for the study swapped out the photograph with a cartoon.

    “You have to spend more time with a cartoon to figure out the meaning of the illustrations, and the situation,” Rodriguez says. “People look at cartoons longer, so they’re more cognitively engaged with the cartoon. Usually it includes humor and people work hard at figuring out the punch line. The photos used to represent wind energy on the original brochures were just beautiful scenic shots of the turbine blades or a landscape dotted with turbines so people didn’t look at them as long.”

    Interestingly, the respondents said the content was better in the cartoon brochures (even though the text was identical), but the credibility was lower than the brochures using photographs.

    “It may be because of the more light-hearted approach of cartoons,” Rodriquez says. “Cartoons make a topic like wind energy, which may be a bit scary to people, more accessible. But this notion of credibility is a different issue. We teach students to be conversational in writing. Don’t put on your ‘tuxedo’ language. And yet, people associate big words with credibility.”

    Rodriguez says the use of comics has already been shown to be effective in explaining scientific concepts and principles in high school chemistry classrooms. (Rodriguez is also the director of the agricultural communications program in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the College of Media.) She says she has not seen the comparison of photos versus cartoons studied in non-classroom settings.

    In addition to educational settings, the power of cartoons to persuade can be of value to agencies working to educate the public about a science-laden concept — one for which they would like to change opinion, intentions, or behaviors.

    “My interest is in making science more accessible to the public,” Rodriguez says. “This study offers real recommendations to communicate science better to a general audience. Understanding the science helps get people past whatever might be controversial about a scientific breakthrough or innovation. The controversies usually arise out of a lack of understanding.”

    In terms of wind energy, Rodriguez says, people worry about claims that the turbines kill birds, when in fact, cars kill more birds. “We kept hearing scientists say that people do not fully understand wind energy. So we thought, how can we deflect that misunderstanding?”

    Rodriguez cites communicating about GMOs as another possible case in which incorporating cartoons may inform people.

    “Most people don’t know about all the regulatory layers at the local and national level involved in producing GMOs. If you try to describe that for people in text, they may not get it or they may not be motivated to read lines and lines of words. Perhaps a cartoon showing safety regulations or the similarity of genetic engineering to natural crossing of plants would be more convincing,” she says.

    “I have a colleague who actually did this to explain how they got the vitamin A into golden rice using a cartoonish infographic. Not very scientific — but people get it. It’s a lot easier to explain complex scientific concepts that way.”

    Rodriguez admits that text and photos may be the easier route to take.

    “Truth be told, this is easy to recommend, but cartoons and effective information graphics are difficult to create. You have to hire someone with real skills to do it. Making things easier to understand is a difficult thing to do,” she says. “And, when people hire an advertising agency to create a brochure for their product or cause, they may lean toward using photos because they convey prestige or credibility. It may be difficult to convince them to use a cartoon because they think it reduces the classiness of the brochure.”

    The article, “The impact of comics on knowledge, attitude and behavioural intentions related to wind energy,” is published in an issue of the Journal of Visual Literacy.


  2. We buy what we grasp: How our hands lead us to choose certain products

    May 23, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Bocconi University press release:

    The things we touch while shopping can affect what we buy, according to studies by Bocconi Department of Marketing’s Zachary Estes and University of Innsbruck’s Mathias Streicher.

    In “Touch and Go: Merely Grasping a Product Facilitates Brand Perception and Choice,” published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, they conduct a series of experiments and show that blindfolded people induced to grasp familiar products (a bottle of Coke, for example) under the guise of a weight judgement task are then quicker in recognizing the brand name of the product when it slowly appears on a screen, include more frequently the product in a list of brands of the same category, and choose more often that product among others as a reward for having participated in the experiment.

    The authors suggest that tactile exposure to the object “activated the conceptual representation of that object, which then facilitated subsequent processing of the given object.

    In “Multisensory Interaction in Product Choice: Grasping a Product Affects Choice of Other Seen Products,” published in Journal of Consumer Psychology, via another series of experiments, Estes and Streicher demonstrate that grasping an object can facilitate visual processing and choice of other seen products of the same shape and size. “For instance,” explains Estes, “when you’re holding your mobile phone in your hand, you may be more likely to choose a KitKat than a Snickers, because the KitKat is shaped more like your phone. What we find is that consumers are significantly more likely to choose the product that is similar to the shape of whatever is in their hand. For instance, when confronted with a choice between a bottle of Coke and a can of Red Bull, participants who held a bottle of Fanta were more likely to choose a bottle of Coke, but those who held a can of Fanta more often chose the can of Red Bull. These studies show that our hands can lead us to choose certain products.”

    However, there are two caveats to this effect, one situational and one personal. The situational constraint has to do with visual density. That is, some product arrays are very sparse, with plenty of space between the products, whereas others are very dense, with many products placed right next to one another. It turns out that when the visual array is overcrowded the hands have an even larger influence on product choice. “As visual perception becomes less reliable,” the authors write, “tactile perception assumes a greater role in the recognition of object shape.”

    The second constraint is more personal: it depends on one’s “need for touch,” or how much people like to touch products while shopping. Some people really like to pick products up and feel them, and others don’t. As expected, the scholars find that the hands have much more influence on product choice among those consumers who really like to handle products.

    “These results have direct implications for product and package designers and marketing managers,” Estes concludes. “For one thing, distinctive product shapes like Coca-Cola’s iconic bottle design can provide a powerful source of brand identity and recognition. Second, consumers tend to choose products that are shaped like the things they often hold, like a mobile phone, a wallet, or a computer mouse when shopping online. Product designers could create packages that mimic those commonly held forms, and marketing managers can accentuate this effect of product touch by placing several products near one another, and by encouraging consumers to touch the products on display.”


  3. International study suggests social media behaviour is influenced by culture

    May 18, 2017 by Ashley

    From the University of Vaasa press release:

    Even though we think ourselves as global citizens, we still differ in terms of how we behave online and what motivates our behavior online. A new doctoral study in the field of international marketing by Agnieszka Chwialkowska from the University of Vaasa, Finland, reveals that the cultural values and practices are still very much influencing the way consumers use different social media platforms when engaging with their favourite companies.

    Chwialkowska has compared social media sharing, liking, commenting and tagging in Finland, Poland and United States.

    “The consumers in the United States use company social media content to express themselves and enhance their image, whereas Finnish and Polish customers engage with company content that helps them keep in touch with their friends, and thus mainly share content that will benefit their connections,” says Agnieszka Chwialkowska.

    The consumers in Finland, Poland and the United States differed also in their engagement methods. While Finns and Poles were merely just clicking “like” and “share,” the U.S. respondents were also tagging and commenting. All in all, the U.S. consumers were engaging with company social media content more frequently than respondents in the other two countries.

    The age does not matter

    Chwialkowska studied both young generation of social media users and working professionals and debunked the myth that older consumers use social media differently. Her research shows that while users above 30 years old use social media less frequently, spent less time there, and have generally less online connections than young adolescents, the key motivations underlying their online behaviors remain the same.

    Chwialkowska’s research offers many implications for companies present on social media. Knowing users’ motivations helps them better understand their responses to marketing communication and design the content that consumers will be willing to share with their online friends.


  4. To sell more healthy food, keep it simple

    May 17, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Journal of Retailing at New York University press release:

    Despite extensive research on how to persuade consumers to improve their diets, academicians have largely failed to present food retailers with easy-to-use suggestions. Brian Wansink, director of Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab and a leading expert in changing eating behavior, seeks to change this by providing an organizing framework that integrates insights from marketing, nutrition, psychology, public health, and behavioral economics research to suggest dozens of small, low-cost, in-store changes that retailers can use to boost sales of fish versus hamburger and apples instead of candy bars.

    In “Healthy Profits: An Interdisciplinary Retail Framework that Increases the Sales of Healthy Foods,” to be published in the June 2017 issue of the Journal of Retailing, Wansink sketches out a health predisposition pyramid – in essence, a hierarchy that places health-vigilant shoppers at the top and health-disinterested shoppers at the base, with so-called health-predisposed shoppers in the middle. He points out that different marketing interventions are more or less successful with each of these groups. For instance, research has shown that shoppers who are most interested in healthy eating are more interested than health-disinterested shoppers in recipe kiosks that might suggest ways to cook fish, whereas candy-free checkout aisles and front-of-store fruit displays attract all categories of shoppers.

    Where, how, and when retailers can best influence shoppers are all areas that call for more research, Wansink points out, and at the same time, the studies that have been done, while providing valuable insights, form no cohesive, actionable plan for retailers. Wansink advocates a comprehensive approach that focuses on making the selection of healthy foods convenient, attractive, and normal (CAN) and provides a retail intervention matrix that organizes key research findings into a sensible pattern that is easy to understand and practical to implement.

    The intervention matrix was put to work in Norway by a large grocery chain seeking to reposition itself around environmentally sustainable fish. All 457 stores in the chain used the traditional marketing mix of altering the variety, packaging, advertising, and price promotions of fish. Over a two-year period, these efforts consistently increased sales by 9 percent. Subsequently, 239 stores added strategies from the intervention matrix; the average increase was 28 percent more fish per transaction than in the first group of stores. “This example shows one way research findings can be extrapolated, organized, and presented in a way that is compelling for managers who have little time or tolerance for ambiguity and nuance,” says Wansink.


  5. Study suggests crowdsourcing creates a ‘win-win situation’

    April 18, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Concordia University press release:

    From Wikipedia to 99designs, and Google to LEGO, crowdsourcing has changed the way the world does business.

    By partnering with the masses through innovative campaigns, companies can benefit from a vast amount of expertise, enthusiasm and goodwill, rather than from paid labour.

    But what’s in it for the crowd?

    Why do ordinary people sign on to help design or produce a product without much compensation? Why do they volunteer their time and skills to a company that profits? And how can a firm better address the crowd’s needs in order to to maximize value for all involved in the co-creation project?

    Zeynep Arsel, associate professor of marketing at the John Molson School of Business, investigated these questions in a new article published by the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research. The article was based on Eric Martineau’s thesis supervised by Arsel at the John Molson School of Business Master of Science Program.

    For the study, Martineau and Arsel looked at two cases: Threadless, a growing company that uses the wisdom of the crowds to produce artistic T-shirts, and a Montreal-based startup that sought to use the same model for fashion accessories.

    The researchers observed participants in the local startup, conducted interviews with community members and carefully monitored online forums to see who was participating and why — as well as what was in it for them.

    Arsel and Martineau then analyzed the similarities and differences between the techniques successfully implemented by Threadless and the startup.

    “Even though the startup ultimately didn’t succeed, our research gave us an invaluable opportunity to understand what works in co-creation projects and what does not,” Arsel says.

    “This allowed us to explain why people participate in co-creation projects and what benefits they receive, other than monetary compensation.”

    Their findings are the first to show that there are four different types of members volunteering in these communities:

    1. Communals build skills and community bonds;

    2. Utilizers join the communities to sharpen their skills without much intention to form social bonds;

    3. Aspirers lack both skills and bonds, but aim to gain more of both;

    4. Tourists are minimally invested in both community and skills and infrequently participate.

    “For some members, the bonds established through these communities matter most. Others simply participate in co-creation projects to sharpen their Photoshop skills or get better at design in general,” Arsel explains.

    She adds that the presence of all four types of members in a collective creativity project is not only essential for the company itself, but also beneficial for other members.

    The researchers found that different kinds of members work together to not only create value for the firm, but also to generate benefits for themselves and other members, such as social connections, status within online communities and improved skills.

    “If companies better understand the value that participants receive and what they get out of this arrangement, they can manage these communities to maximize value for both sides. It’s a win-win situation.”

    Partners in research: This study was funded in part by FQRSC and the Petro Canada Young Innovators Program.


  6. Some strategies to limit sugary drinks may backfire

    April 17, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Association for Psychological Science press release:

    In response to policy efforts aimed at limiting individuals’ intake of sugary drinks, businesses could enact various strategies that would allow them to comply with the limits while preserving business and consumer choice. New research shows that one of these strategies – offering smaller cup sizes with free refills – can actually increase individual consumption of sugary drinks. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

    “Our research provides insight into the effectiveness of a portion limit policy,” explains behavioral scientist Leslie John of Harvard Business School, first author on the research. “We identify one circumstance – bundling – where the reduction in purchasing of sugar-sweetened beverages is likely to be realized, and another – refills – where the policy can in certain cases have an unintended consequence of increasing consumption.”

    The research was prompted by recent policy efforts, such as a 2012 regulation passed by the New York City Board of Health that restricted sugary drinks sold at restaurants and other food outlets to a maximum serving size of 16 ounces. The regulation was ultimately overturned but it generated heated debate about the appropriateness and effectiveness of addressing public health issues through such means. John and colleagues Grant Donnelly (Harvard Business School) and Christina Roberto (University of Pennsylvania) wondered what the real-life effects of such a policy might be.

    One way businesses could respond to a portion limit without sacrificing service would be to divide a large drink into two smaller servings, provided together as a bundle. In the first experiment, 623 participants came to the lab and were given an opportunity to buy either a medium or large iced tea or lemonade to drink while they completed other tasks. Importantly, the medium size was always served in one 16-oz cup, but the large was sometimes offered in one 24-oz cup and sometimes bundled as two 12-oz cups.

    The results showed that bundling seemed to diminish participants’ interest in buying the larger option: People were less likely to buy a large drink when it was bundled than when it was presented as one serving. However, it did not affect the further downstream behavior of consumption.

    But what would happen if participants were offered free refills instead of a bundle? In a second experiment, John and colleagues presented drink options to another group of 470 participants. In some cases, the large drink offered was one 24-oz drink, while in other cases it was a 16-oz drink with free refills. Having to get refills did not seem to deter participants: People were just as likely to buy a large single serving as they were a somewhat smaller serving with refills.

    Importantly, most of the people who chose to buy the drink with refills did end up getting a refill, and they tended to consume more overall: Participants consumed 44% more calories when they had a drink with refills than when they had a larger single drink.

    This may have happened, the researchers surmise, because consumers wanted to get their “money’s worth” – that is, they consumed more of the refill since they had already paid for it.

    But data from two additional experiments indicate that this unintended increase in consumption can be dampened somewhat by requiring people to get the refills themselves.

    “Taken together, these results suggest that this method of complying with a sugary-drink portion limit could have the perverse effect of increasing consumption,” the researchers write. “However, requiring the participants to stand up and walk a tiny distance to obtain their refills helped to curb it.”

    The findings underscore the role that contextual cues – such as size perception and social image concerns – play in driving what and how much we consume. Harnessing these cues provides one strategy for promoting healthy behavior that preserves individual choice and minimizes impact on businesses, but more research is needed to understand the unintended consequences such strategies might have, John and colleagues conclude.


  7. When firms and customers share social responsibility, profits rise but donations can fall

    April 15, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences press release:

    Firms sharing social responsibility for the social good with customers is generally seen as a win-win – more patronage from socially responsible customers and larger benefits to society. A forthcoming study in the INFORMS journal of Marketing Science, a leading academic marketing journal, however, questions the premise. The study finds that when a firm shares social responsibility with customers by asking them to “pay what you want,” promising a certain percentage of revenues to be donated to charity, consumers respond to whether firms give, but very little to how much they give. A firm only needs to donate very little for customers to open up their wallet – a win for firms, but not for charities and society.

    The study titled “Signaling Virtue: Charitable Behavior under Consumer Elective Pricing,” authored by Minah Jung of NYU, Leif Nelson of University of California at Berkeley, and Uri and Ayelet Gneezy both from University of California at San Diego examine consumer behavior under the broad umbrella of “shared social responsibility” – where firms and consumers take joint responsibility for the social good. They operationalize shared social responsibility creatively as a variant of “pay what you want pricing,” at a major supermarket retailer in which over 27000 customers were offered the option of how much they would pay for the retailer’s reusable shopping bag, when a certain portion of their payment goes to a charity.

    The surprising finding that customers are very sensitive to whether a portion of their payment goes to charity, but seemingly insensitive to how much goes to charity has critical implications for the design of shared social responsibility programs. In the field experiment, customers paid more than twice as much for a reusable shopping bag when told that 1 percent of their payment would go to charity relative to when nothing would be offered to charity. But they did not pay much more when donations increased to 50 percent, 99 percent or even 100 percent. A little charity goes a long way; a lot more does not go any further.

    Digging deeper into this surprising behavior, the researchers found that consumers felt the same level of “warm glow” – the emotional happiness from having done a good deed, irrespective of how much of their money went to a charity. “Consumers feel about the same whether 1 percent or 99 percent of their payment went to charity,” said lead researcher, Jung.

    The authors dub the pattern that consumers are sensitive to whether firms give to charity, but not how much as “scope insensitivity.” Scope sensitivity sounds anodyne, but it is by no means innocuous. Notes Ayelet Gneezy, “It gives firms perverse incentives in how they frame their corporate social responsibility programs. Offering a minimal contribution can increase profit dramatically. But as the charitable contribution increases consumers don’t give more, so profits go down. The most profitable strategy for the firm is to give to charity, but the smallest possible amount.”

    Nelson cautions, “Sharing social responsibility with one’s customers sounds like a sure multiplier for the social good. Not so fast. When all customers care is for the warm glow of giving, sharing responsibility with them may not be the promised manna for the social good.”


  8. The secret to staying motivated

    April 11, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Society for Consumer Psychology press release:

    Have you ever started off well on a new goal such as losing weight or saving more money, only to find that motivation fizzles after a period of time?

    Researchers from the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba have discovered one possible explanation: Our source of motivation changes as we make progress toward a goal. Their findings are available online in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

    In the study investigators predicted that during the early stages of pursuing a goal, participants would be motivated by hopes, aspirations and positive aspects of reaching their desired outcome. For example, people who wanted to lose 20 pounds would imagine their appearance at a desired weight, buying new clothes and feeling more energy. This is known as a “promotion motivation,” and people in this mindset are motivated by positive things they can to do make progress, such as exercising more and eating more fruits and vegetables.

    As people drew closer to reaching their goals, however, the researchers predicted that people would switch to a “prevention motivation” mindset. Now they would be motivated by their responsibilities, duties and the desire to avoid something negative. People trying to lose 20 pounds might think about the disappointment of possibly falling short of the weight loss goal or not fitting into a coveted piece of clothing. They would start focusing on things to avoid doing wrong, such as steering clear of dessert and a sedentary lifestyle.

    The researchers conducted five experiments, and found that their prediction was correct: motivation switched from promotion to prevention as study participants made progress on their goals.

    “Generally speaking, people in North America are predominantly promotion-focused, so they are good at starting goals, but not as good at accomplishing them,” says Olya Bullard, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada and lead author of the study. “My hope is that these findings will help people attain their goals.”

    The results of the study suggest that people may have better luck sustaining motivation in the late stages if they focus on what to avoid in order to reach their goals. For those who are trying to save money for a house or a trip, for example, initially it may work to pursue positive saving strategies like getting a higher paying job or investing money. Later in the process, focus on avoidance strategies like going out to dinner less often or forgoing expensive purchases.

    These findings also have implications for marketers, Bullard says. Companies can frame their advertisements based on whether consumers are in early or later stages of pursuing their goals. For example, a gym catering to people who are just starting to get in shape could emphasize the exciting opportunities and latest fitness technology at the gym that will help members achieve their aspirations. On the other hand, an ad for a gym catering for people well on their way to reaching a fitness goal could emphasize safe and proven technologies that will secure expectations for fitness and offer “satisfaction” guarantees.


  9. Price awareness can decrease satisfaction

    April 6, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Society for Consumer Psychology press release:

    Most people who buy a new car, electronic device or music album online want to enjoy the purchase as long as possible, but researchers have discovered something that decreases our satisfaction more quickly.

    The investigators conducted a series of seven experiments in which consumers used a product over a period of time, and they found that enjoyment of the experience declined faster for people who were aware of the product’s price. Their findings are available online in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

    Being reminded of the price makes the experience less relaxing,” says Kelly Haws, PhD, a professor at Vanderbilt University and lead author of the study. “This is due to the fact that we tend to evaluate the experience more critically when it’s associated with money.”

    In one experiment, participants selected five songs online and listened to each song three times. One group saw the song’s price of 99 cents as they were listening, but the price was not listed for the other group. Then the participants rated the songs on a scale of 1 to 100. After listening the first time, both groups gave most songs a rating of approximately 80. After listening the third time, the group with price awareness had dropped to a rating of about 30, while the other group had only dropped to 60.

    “The negative effect of pricing only emerged over time, not at the beginning,” Haws says.

    The researchers had similar findings when participants retrieved M&Ms from a gumball machine. When people saw the price of the M&Ms on the machine, their enjoyment of the snack dropped more quickly over time.

    For consumers, the findings suggest that people will enjoy an experience longer if they avoid focusing on the price.

    “If you are going on a date, don’t talk about the cost,” Haws says. “Or if you are going to an amusement park where the lines are long, thinking too much about the price of admission will steal away from your enjoyment of the experience.”

    For marketers, the study suggests that it may be beneficial to separate the price of a product from the experience. This could prevent consumer burnout, which leads people to stop buying a product and switch to another one.

    The study also has implications for people who are actually trying to stop enjoying an experience. For example, people who are trying to eat less junk food or cut down on spending may benefit from focusing on prices more often.


  10. Facebook ‘likes’ don’t work like marketers think they do

    March 20, 2017 by Ashley

    From the Tulane University press release:

    Social media managers who think that simply building up followers on Facebook is enough to boost a brand’s sales may not “like” a new Tulane University study featured in Harvard Business Review.

    Turns out, Facebook likes don’t work the way most brand managers think. Likes alone don’t drive purchases. If companies want to convert social media fans into more active customers, they have to engage them with advertising, said lead author Daniel Mochon, assistant professor of marketing at A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.

    “When we think of Facebook, we think of it as a very social platform. Most companies think that those social interactions will lead to more customer loyalty and more profitable customers,” Mochon said. “That’s not necessarily the case. Customers rarely post on a brand’s page on their own and typically only see a fraction of a brand’s Facebook content unless they are targeted with paid advertising”

    Mochon, Janet Schwartz, Tulane assistant professor of marketing and Dan Ariely of Duke University worked with Karen Johnson, deputy general manager of Discovery Health, to design a study using the Facebook page of the insurance company’s wellness program Discovery Vitality. Consumers can earn points for engaging in healthful behaviors, such as exercising, and redeem those points into rewards.

    The team wanted to find out if getting customers to like Vitality’s page would spur them to earn more health points. They invited new customers to take a survey and randomly invited them to like Vitality’s Facebook page. Those who weren’t invited served as a control group.

    The team monitored both groups for four months and found no difference in reward points earned, suggesting that liking the page and being involved in its social community weren’t enough to change behavior. Vitality then paid Facebook to display two posts per week to the liking group for two months. That group earned 8 percent more reward points than those in the control group.

    Authors suspect that the ads were effective because they were more likely to reach customers. Facebook’s algorithm filters content by users’ preferences and activities. When a company posts content, there’s no guarantee it will make it into their followers’ timeline unless it’s boosted content.

    “To our knowledge this is the first causal demonstration of the effect of Facebook page liking on customer behavior — specifically behavior that takes place offline,” Schwartz said. “The results suggest that Facebook pages are most effective when they are used as a form of traditional advertising rather than as a platform for social interactions.”

    The full study, “What are likes worth? A Facebook page field experiment,” is online and pending publication in the Journal of Marketing Research.