Climb or Jump: Status-Based Seeding in User-Generated Content Networks

Lanz, Andreas, Jacob Goldenberg, Daniel Shapira, and Florian Stahl (2019), “Climb or Jump: Status-Based Seeding in User-Generated Content Networks,” Journal of Marketing Research, 56(3), 361–378.

82 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019 Last revised: 10 May 2021

See all articles by Andreas Lanz

Andreas Lanz

HEC Paris - Marketing

Jacob Goldenberg

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah

Daniel Shapira

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Florian Stahl

Mannheim Business School

Date Written: April 4, 2019

Abstract

This paper addresses seeding policies in user-generated content networks by challenging the role of influencers in a setting of unpaid endorsements. On such platforms, the content is generated by individuals and firms interested in self-promotion. Data from a worldwide leading music platform are used to study unknown creators of music who seek to increase exposure of their content by expanding their follower base through directing outbound activities to other users. We find that the responsiveness of seeding targets strongly declines with status difference; hence, unknown creators of music (the majority) do not generally benefit at all from seeding influencers. Instead, they should gradually build their status by targeting low-status users rather than attempt to “jump” by targeting high-status ones. This research extends the seeding literature by introducing the concept of risk to dissemination dynamics in online communications, showing that unknown creators of music do not seed specific status levels but rather choose a portfolio of seeding targets while solving a risk versus return trade-off. Various managerial implications for optimal seeding in user-generated content networks are discussed.

Keywords: user-generated content networks, influencer marketing, seeding, unpaid endorsements, online communications, social networking

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Lanz, Andreas and Goldenberg, Jacob and Shapira, Daniel and Stahl, Florian, Climb or Jump: Status-Based Seeding in User-Generated Content Networks (April 4, 2019). Lanz, Andreas, Jacob Goldenberg, Daniel Shapira, and Florian Stahl (2019), “Climb or Jump: Status-Based Seeding in User-Generated Content Networks,” Journal of Marketing Research, 56(3), 361–378., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3368212 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3368212

Andreas Lanz (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Marketing ( email )

Paris
France

Jacob Goldenberg

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel

Daniel Shapira

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ( email )

1 Ben-Gurion Blvd
Beer-Sheba 84105, 84105
Israel

Florian Stahl

Mannheim Business School ( email )

L 5, 2
Mannheim, 68131
Germany
+496211811563 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://quantmarketing.bwl.uni-mannheim.de/

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