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EMAC 2022 Annual

How Luxury Content Becomes Viral on Social Media: The Positive Role of Disfluency

Published: May 24, 2022


Zitian Qiu, HEC Lausanne; Felicitas Morhart, HEC Lausanne


Luxury brands nowadays create social media content that they hope their audiences will share to increase brand awareness. Existing studies suggest that firms should create fluent content (e.g., using shorter sentences and simpler vocabularies) to ensure content virality, but we propose this strategy does not fit luxury brands. By analyzing 3,695 Facebook posts published by luxury and mainstream brands from different product sectors during 2017-2019, we found that disfluent content, if published by luxury (mainstream) brands, receives more (less) shares. We believe the psychological mechanism behind this effect is that disfluent (vs. fluent) content is perceived more psychologically distant, and hence better satisfies luxury audiences’ status desires for differentiating themselves from the masses.