Pro-Veganism on Instagram: Effects of User-Generated Content (UGC) Types and Content Generator Types in Instagram-Based Health Marketing Communication about Veganism

Purpose: Through two experiments, this study assessed source and message effects of Instagram-based pro-veganism messages.
Design/methodology/approach: Experiment 1 (N = 294) examined effects of organization (brand vs nonprofit) and message types (egoistic vs altruistic) on consumer responses to Instagram-based pro-veganism content. Experiment 2 (N = 288) examined effects of source type (celebrity vs noncelebrity) and message valence (positive vs negative) on consumer responses to Instagram-based pro-veganism content.
Findings: Results demonstrated significant main effects of organization type, with consumers indicating more positive attitudes and higher credibility toward the brand. Significant main effects of message type were also found, with altruistic messages eliciting higher perceived information value than egoistic messages. Subjective norms had moderating effects on attitude toward the organization, while attitude toward veganism had moderating effects on perceived information value. Results also indicated significant main effects of message valence on perceived information value of pro-veganism Instagram posts and significant interaction effects of the two manipulated factors on intention to spread electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) about pro-veganism.
Originality/value: Implications for use of Instagram-based health marketing communication about veganism were discussed. Specifically, organizations looking to use social media to influence attitudes and behavioral intentions toward health issues should seek to reach their target audiences through selecting endorsers and messages that will optimally present the health issue in a relatable and engaging way.