How construal–regulatory mode fit increases social media sharing

Thuy Rosie Pham, Frank Mathmann, Felix Septianto, Hyun Seung Jin, E. Tory Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


How can social media managers engage consumers to share posts with others? Extending regulatory mode theory, we demonstrate that high construal levels enable the integration of regulatory mode complementarity orientations, resulting in engagement and shares. Regulatory mode complementarity refers to the combination of high assessment (i.e., the motivation to “be right” by critically evaluating options) and high locomotion (i.e., the motivation to “act” by moving toward a goal). Specifically, this research proposes that an abstract (vs. concrete) construal allows these two orientations to work together, resulting in regulatory fit. Three text analysis field studies on marketer- and consumer-generated Facebook and Twitter posts show that construal–regulatory mode fit increases social media sharing. Three follow-up studies then show generalizability, establish causality, and demonstrate the role of engagement as the underlying mechanism driving the fit effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-687
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date6 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


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