Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #533
Consumer Behavior Analysis Through Social Media Experimentations
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Asle Fagerstrøm (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology)

Social media has made a strong impact not only on how organizations do business, but also on how consumers behave. As online shopping becomes more and more omnipresent, both practitioners and consumer behavior scholars should gain more insight into online consumer. Despite in-store consumer behavior analysis in the offline world, researchers have done rather few studies on social media from a behavioral perspective. This is rather unfortunate given the increasing influence of social media on online decision-making, as well as amplified opportunities for experimentation and data gathering in this respect. In this symposium we will discuss recent empirical studies in online consumer behavior analysis through social media from a behavioral perspective. The symposium starts with an empirical paper on identifying and classifying reinforcing content in Social Media Marketing using the Behavioral Perspective Model. In the second paper, the authors will focus on influencing consumer observational behavior through social media. The final paper explores the relative impact of facial image and expressions on user choices within a peer-to-peer online accommodation rental.

Keyword(s): Behavior Analysis, Consumer Behavior, Social Media

Identifying and Classifying Reinforcing Content in Social Media Marketing Using the Behavioral Perspective Model: A Case From the Aviation Industry

VALDIMAR SIGURDSSON (Reykjavik University), Vishnu Menon (Reykjavik University), Herborg Sørensen (Reykjavik University), Asle Fagerstrøm (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology), Gordon R. Foxall (Cardiff University)

The objective of marketing promotion from the point of view of the Behavioral Perspective Model (BPM) is to identify and facilitate reinforcing brand related communication with consumers at each step of the marketing funnel. The purpose of the study was to analyze content that could increase post popularity on an airline companys Facebook site, operationalized as the number of times a particular post was liked, shared or commented on by Facebook users. Data consisted of 242 Facebook posts from its brand fan page from 2011 to 2015 and their effectiveness in terms of 139,877 likes, 14,584 shares and 9,480 comments during the period. These posts were categorized in several categories within utilitarian (promotional, informative, entertaining) and informational (social) context, with an 84% inter-observer agreement. We also analyzed the richness of the posts, in terms of possible reinforcement value or numbers, their environmental-behavior interactive ability and intermediary variables such as on what weekdays the post was sent and its length. The results revealed a positive correlation between entertaining, interactive and rich content and post popularity and a negative relationship with promotional content. This strengthens the importance of highly engaging and interactive material as reinforcing content on what seems to be on the top of the marketing funnel (consumers mostly interested in entertainment instead of sales oriented stimuli).

Influencing Consumer Observational Behavior in Social Media Marketing: A Focus on Pricing and Total Time Spent on Site
VISHNU MENON (Reykjavik University), Valdimar Sigurdsson (Reykjavik University), Asle Fagerstrøm (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology), Nils Magne Larsen (Harstad Univeristy College), Gordon R. Foxall (Cardiff University)
Abstract: Considering the impact of social media on the day-to-day life consumers, it is highly important for marketers to understand the attention and evaluation process of consumers in an online social media environment. Two studies were conducted to identify the attribute that was most important to consumer when making an online purchase through Facebook and to investigate the observational and fixation pattern of consumers on this attribute in fashion retailing. Study 1 identified the salient stimuli used in social media marketing for the fashion industry by analyzing the motivating impact of these stimuli on online purchase behavior using conjoint analysis. The main attribute, price, from Study 1 was then tested in Study 2 by utilising an eye-tracking device to examine the total fixation time on page and the fixation time on the price label. The online interventions included different price visibility, models (e.g., human models vs. mannequins), price labels as well as intermediary variables such as participants’ gender and age. Although price was deemed to be the most important choice criterion, with a decelerating utility curve in study 1, the findings from study 2 showed a clear U-shape function for both fixation on price and total fixation on page. These results imply that an online fashion retailer can control attention to the most important attribute (in this case the pricing) through direct manipulations of price or indirectly through manipulations of other competing variables on the site.
Relative Impact of Facial Expressions in a Peer-to-Peer Online Context
GORDON R. FOXALL (Cardiff University), Asle Fagerstrøm (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology), Valdimar Sigurdsson (Reykjavik University), Sanchit Pawar (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts. Communication and Technology), Jonathan Gilmore (Cardiff University)
Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate whether the presence of a facial image and its expression have any influence on the choices made by the user within the context of peer-to-peer accommodation rental. The relative impact of facial expressions is investigated using theory from evolutionary psychology. Impact of facial expression was investigated together with other relevant variables such as price and other customer ratings. Results from a conjoint experiment show that reviews had the most influence on participants’ choice, followed by price and facial expressions. Moreover, we find that facial expressions had more impact on women then towards men. Managers should, therefore, keep in mind that facial expressions should be prominent in the design of per-to-per websites. In the light of these results, we present managerial implications, as well as directions for future research.



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