Cutting through the clusters: Applying a social networks approach to explaining brand-related social media content flow

Presented at the Interactive Marketing Research Conference. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, March 23-24.

Abstract: In the current highly fragmented (social) media landscape, brands must increasingly rely on their own consumers to reach out to new potential consumers. Taking a social networks approach, the current study examines patterns of consumer engagement with brands on social media, identifying the major clusters as well as key users and messages that are responsible for cross- clusters engagement and information flow. After identifying these clusters, we employ large-scale automated content and image analysis to (a) identify the social mediators, and (b) the content characteristics (i.e., media richness, concepts expressed & brand emphasis in images) and sentiment of messages that cut through clusters. Our initial findings suggest that content that gets mediated across clusters is generally less marketer-driven and less polished than traditional advertising, possibly grassroots-style. These results highlight the novelty, feasibility and value of the proposed approach to explaining brand-related content flow across clusters.

Itai Himelboim 

Related Research


How users rely on heuristics and emotions to form credibility impressions of novel online news articles.

ABSTRACT: Social media and other online platforms are increasingly the way consumers access news articles, which increases the likelihood of users visiting articles from sources they may not have visited on their own. Users of these platforms experience a tension between their tendency to focus resources on processing information rather than credibility assessment. In a […]

Bartosz WojdynskiHyoyeun JunMatthew BinfordYen-I LeeBrittany Nicole JeffersonAndrea BriscoeYoungji SeoShuoya Sun
read more
“What Makes Social Movement Campaigns Go Viral on Social Media? The Role of Narrative Features and Cultural Influences.”

Abstract: Social movements and social issue related public discourse has become one of the most impactful public communication phenomena in the digital space. Previous studies have examined the association between information utility and content valence on message virality. However, little is known about what makes certain social movement narrative go viral quicker with greater magnitude […]

Yan JinYen-I LeeXuerong Lu
read more