Social media is being increasingly used as a platform to conduct marketing and advertising activities. Organizations have spent a lot of time, money, and resources on social media ads. However, there is always a challenge in how organizations can design social media advertising to successfully attract customers and motivate them to purchase their brands. Thus, this study aims to identify and test the main factors related to social media advertising that could predict purchase intention. The conceptual model was proposed based on three factors from the extending Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT2) (performance expectancy, hedonic motivation, and habit) along with interactivity, informativeness, and perceived relevance. The data was collected using a questionnaire survey of 437 participants. The key results of structural equation modelling (SEM) largely supported the current model’s validity and the significant impact of performance expectancy, hedonic motivation, interactivity, informativeness, and perceived relevance on purchase intentions. This study will hopefully provide a number of theoretical and practical guidelines on how marketers can effectively plan and implement their ads over social media platforms.
Social media is increasingly finding a place for itself in all aspects of our lives. Customers are accordingly more behaviourally and perceptually engaged with the major social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Snapchat, YouTube, and Twitter (Alalwan, Rana, Dwivedi, & Algharabat, 2017; Kapoor et al., 2017; Kim and Kim, 2018; Shareef, Mukerji, Dwivedi, Rana, & Islam, 2017). This really changes the nature of our interactions either with our friends or with private and public organizations. Indeed, social media platforms represent a new place where people, organizations, and even governments can commercially, socially, politically, and educationally interact with each other and exchange information, thoughts, products, and services (Hawkins and Vel, 2013; Rathore, Ilavarasan, & Dwivedi, 2016; Usher et al., 2014; Zeng and Gerritsen, 2014; Zhu and Chen, 2015). Consequently, organizations worldwide have started thinking about how using these platforms could help in attracting customers and building a profitable marketing relationship with those customers (Alalwan, Rana, Algharabat, & Tarhini, 2016; Braojos-Gomez, Benitez-Amado, & Llorens-Montes, 2015; Kamboj, Sarmah, Gupta, & Dwivedi, 2018; Lin and Kim, 2016; Oh, Bellur, & Sundar, 2015). As mentioned by Alalwan et al. (2017), there are different marketing practices that firms could apply over social media platforms (i.e. advertising, e-WOM, customer relationship management, and branding). However, the significant interest in social media marketing has been in terms of advertising from both researchers’ and practitioners’ perspectives (i.e. Alalwan, Dwivedi, Rana, & Williams, 2016; Alalwan et al., 2017; Braojos-Gomez et al., 2015; Duffett, 2015; Jung, Shim, Jin, & Khang, 2016; Kamboj et al., 2018; Shareef et al., 2017; Shareef, Mukerji, Alryalat, Wright, & Dwivedi, 2018; Zhu and Chang, 2016). Such interest is also demonstrated by the large amount of money spent by organizations on advertising campaigns; for instance, in 2016 about 524.58 billion USD was invested for this purpose as reported by Statista (2017a).