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"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." ~ Wernher von Braun

How do text characteristics impact user engagement in social media posts: Modeling content readability, length, and hashtags number in Facebook

Abstract

This study examines whether text characteristics in branded Facebook image posts associate with consumer engagement and brand awareness. The examined text characteristics include i) readability indices, ii) text length, and iii) number of hashtags. A dataset of 135 image posts with description texts was exported from a Fashion retail Facebook business page providing post performance metrics in terms of engagement (expressed in likes) and awareness (expressed in reaches and impressions). Positive associations were indicated between all performance metrics and the text's length, as well as the number hashtags. The readability index of Gunning Fog revealed strong associations with both engagement and awareness, while the Flesch Kincaid reading ease index was associated only with awareness metrics of reaches and impressions. Overall, the results revealed that, the posts' text which is easy to read, long (more than 31 words, or more than 321 characters), and contains many hashtags tends to achieve higher performance of engagement and awareness. This research contributes to prior literature by shedding light on the role of text characteristics of branded messaging in social media and offering insights for brand communication and social media message strategies.

Keywords: Big data analytics, Facebook analytics, Post characteristics, Social media engagement, Social media marketing, Text mining

Gkikas, D. C., Tzafilkou, K., Theodoridis, P. K., Garmpis, A., & Gkikas, M. C. (2022). How do text characteristics impact user engagement in social media posts: Modeling content readability, length, and hashtags number in Facebook. International Journal of Information Management Data Insights, 2(1), 100067. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JJIMEI.2022.100067


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