Differences in Brand-Related User-Generated Content Across Three Social Media Sites: an Inductive Content Analysis

Consumers today are spending more time on social media sites than ever before (Radwanick 2011). As they engage with these sites – including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube – many become involved in the process of creating, modifying, and consuming user-generated content (UGC). UGC is an increasingly important means through which consumers express themselves and communicate with others online (boyd and Ellison 2008); it may be thought of as published content that demonstrates a degree of creative effort that is produced “outside of professional routines and practices” (OECD 2007; Kaplan and Haenlein 2010, 61). Facebook ‘wall’ posts, status updates, and posted photos, tweets on Twitter, and consumer-produced videos and comments on YouTube are some of the many forms UGC takes on. UGC may be facilitated by firms, or produced more spontaneously by consumers (Berthon, Pitt & Campbell 2008; Christodoulides 2009), while occasionally referencing brands and products. Our study thus goes beyond prior research to compare and contrast the content of brand-related UGC posted on three of the most popular social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Our work builds on prior research to make two valuable contributions. First, it provides a grounded framework that illuminates similarities and differences in the content that consumers create when they make posts that refer to brands. Second, it helps us to better understand how specific social media may influence or shape the brand-related messages that consumers create (cf. McLuhan 1964).


Andrew N. Smith , Eileen Fischer, and Chen Yongjian (2011) ,"Differences in Brand-Related User-Generated Content Across Three Social Media Sites: an Inductive Content Analysis", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 766-767.


Andrew N. Smith , York University, Canada
Eileen Fischer, York University, Canada
Chen Yongjian, York University, Canada


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39 | 2011

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