Youngji Seo (PhD alum), Hanyoung Kim (PhD alum), Youngjee Ko (PhD candidate), Hye Jin Yoon, Jeong Yeob Han, Jongmin Lee (PhD student) and Ja Kyung Seo (PhD student) (2023), “The Power of “Likes”: The Effects of “Liked By” and Number of Likes Cues on Perceived Descriptive Norms and Behavioral Intention to Receive the Flu Vaccine,” Journal of Marketing Communications. https://doi.org/10.1080/13527266.2023.2235753
Abstract: Social media messages promoting vaccination are often presented with information showing (a) the number of Likes received (i.e., ‘number of Likes’ cue) and (b) whether such messages are liked by friends or followers of the recipients (i.e., ‘Liked by’ cue). This study examines if and how these cues influence vaccination intention by implementing an experiment with a 2 (‘Liked by’ cue: no vs. yes) × 2 (‘number of Likes’ cue: low vs. high) between-subjects factorial design with current flu immunization status as a measured moderator. Results from an experimental study (N = 182) showed that exposure to ‘Like’ cues including ‘Liked by’ cue and ‘number of Likes’ cue in a social media post led to favorable behavioral intention toward the flu vaccine through perceived descriptive social norms. The indirect effect of ‘Like’ cues on behavioral intention toward the flu vaccine through perceived normative perceptions was greater among participants without current immunization status while the direct effect of ‘Like’ cues on behavioral intention was not significant. Collectively, the results of this study offer important theoretical and practical implications for interactive health marketing communication endeavors on social media.