Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration



Committee Chair

Daniel Sherrell

Committee Member

Gregory Boller

Committee Member

Eric Brey

Committee Member

Marla Stafford


The aim of this dissertation is to examine the effects of perceived social acceptance--an individual's perception that he/she is included and valued in his/her social groups and relationships--and perceived social worth--the value that an individual ascribes to him/herself and others--on individual evaluations--intentions to continue content sharing, self-esteem, and attitude toward the brand. The content used for this investigation is Social Networking Sites (SNSs).The author postulates that SNSs users evaluate their virtual standing by observing audience interactions and assign differential "value" (i.e., social worth) to others and even brands whereby those weighted values affect SNSs users' individual evaluations. It is thus hypothesized that the success of brand content marketing can be significantly influenced by the extent to which SNSs users develop a sense of belonging via reactions that their posted content enticed from brands. Hence, the author argues that audience reactions to posted brand content serve as environmental cues for social acceptance, enhancing SNSs users' individual evaluations of their worth and social status.To test these hypotheses, the author examined the impacts of SNSs user perceptions of social acceptance and social worth of a responding brand on their individual evaluations, employing a 2 (high and low audience reaction volume) x 2 (positive and negative audience response content) x 2 (high and low perceived social worth of a brand) between-subjects factorial design. The obtained results showed that social acceptance and perceived social worth of a brand had a positive effect on SNSs users' attitudes toward the brand and their intentions to continue content sharing. Two-way interactions between social worth of the brand and audience message content was supported, controlling for participants' gender and the extent of their involvement in content sharing. Participants' perceived social acceptance had a positive effect on their individual evaluations, suggesting that brand engagement with customers should be an important component of brand marketing strategy. Furthermore, participants' elevated self-esteem had a positive effect on their intentions to continue brand content sharing and enhanced their attitudes toward the brand, demonstrating a positive effect of SNSs users' brand engagement on brand content marketing.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.