Social media as a marketing tool for events

Ayman Abdo Harb, Deborah Fowler, Hyo Jung (Julie) Chang, Shane C. Blum, Wejdan Alakaleek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study relied on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to assess factors that affected event fans’ decisions regarding their intention to attend events by using social network websites. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of event fans’ attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control on their intentions to go to events based on social networking sites (SNSs) marketing. In addition, the researchers examined the impact of perceived enjoyment on event fans’ attitudes towards events pages on SNS. Design/methodology/approach: This study used a quantitative research method and used an online survey distributed on Qualtrics and based on the TPB. Populations in the study were followers of events pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The sample was convenience. Findings: By using the partial least square-structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), the study found that all the research hypothesis were supported except (H2). While event fans’ attitudes had not a statistically significant impact on their behavioral intentions towards using social media to go to events (H2), perceived enjoyment had a statistically significant impact on event fans’ attitudes towards events pages on SNS (H1). According to the research findings, event fans were influenced by their subjective norms (H3) and perceived behavioral control (H4). These factors significantly influenced event fans’ behavioral intention, which led to their actual behavior (H5). Practical implications: This study provided evidence supporting that subjective norms and perceived behavioral control were effective in forming intention towards events page, which in turn affected actual behavior, while perceived enjoyment was effective in forming events fan attitudes towards events’ social media pages. This may indicate a need for positive images of the events depicted through social media. In addition, when using social media as a marketing medium for events, event marketers and organizers should understand how other important people’s opinions and perceptions affect the intention and behavior formation. This implies the need to stress the social acceptance of the events, and use family ties, family and other social-units elements of events. Social implications: This study provided statistical evidence supporting the applicability of the TPB within the context of event marketing and using social media. This implies a better understanding of the rational decision-making process, along with the social factors affecting the process of forming behavioral intentions and intentions. Furthermore, perceived enjoyment was incorporated within the model. Perceived enjoyment was effective in forming positive attitudes towards events’ social media pages. This highlights the need to provide information and contents in an enjoyable and user-friendly way. Originality/value: The value of this study is derived from its aim to highlight the importance of social media as an effective marketing tool for events. Moreover, this study sought to contribute to the literature on social media by exploring how social media affected event attendees’ behavior and attitudes and by gauging the impact of social media on the event industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-44
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 8 2019


  • Event marketing
  • PLS
  • Social media
  • Social media engagement
  • Social media marketing
  • The theory of planned behavior


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