Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Effectiveness of B2B social media marketing: The effect of message source and message content on social media engagement

Balaji, M.S.; Behl, Abhishek; Jain, Kokil; Baabdullah, Abdullah M.; Giannakis, Mihalis; Shankar, Amit; Dwivedi, Yogesh K.


M.S. Balaji

Kokil Jain

Abdullah M. Baabdullah

Mihalis Giannakis

Amit Shankar

Yogesh K. Dwivedi


M.S. Balaji

A. Behl

K. Jain

A.M. Baabdullah

M. Giannakis

A. Shankar

Y.K. Dwivedi


Social media message strategy is critical in determining how customers will engage with B2B firms on social media platforms. The present study examined the role of message source (i.e., firm-generated vs. employee-generated) and message content (i.e., emojis and objective information) in determining social media engagement. Four experiments were conducted to test the proposed relationships. The study findings revealed that employee-generated content leads to higher social media engagement (i.e., intentions and behaviors) than firm-generated content. Content-based trust and engagement-based trust were found to be the underlying mechanisms by which message source impacts social media engagement. Furthermore, we observed that, for an employee-generated message, including emojis has a greater impact on customer engagement than when they are included in a firm-generated message. Finally, no evidence was found concerning the effectiveness of incorporating objective information in social media messages on customer engagement. These findings have marked implications for B2B marketers in developing effective social media message strategies.


Balaji, M., Behl, A., Jain, K., Baabdullah, A. M., Giannakis, M., Shankar, A., & Dwivedi, Y. K. (2023). Effectiveness of B2B social media marketing: The effect of message source and message content on social media engagement. Industrial Marketing Management, 113, 243-257.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 27, 2023
Online Publication Date Jul 6, 2023
Publication Date 2023-08
Deposit Date Jun 25, 2024
Journal Industrial Marketing Management
Print ISSN 0019-8501
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 113
Pages 243-257
Keywords Customer engagement; B2B social media marketing; Message strategy; Message source; Emojis; Trust; Objective information
Public URL