IMCA research seminar - Francisco Villarroel Ordenes (LUISS University, Rome): "Images, Captions, and Overlays in Social Media Brand Posts: How to Strike the Right Balance in Multimodal Compositions"

Institute of Marketing and Communication Management

Date: 10 March 2022 / 12:30 - 14:00

Francisco Villarroel Ordenes (Ph.D. in marketing, Maastricht University) is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at LUISS Guido Carli University, where he teaches Business and Marketing Analytics, Performance Marketing, and Text Mining. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a brand manager for the Chilean Export Promotion Bureau. His research revolves around the themes of marketing analytics, social media marketing, and customer experience, and it has been published in leading journals including Journal of Consumer ResearchJournal of Service ResearchJournal of RetailingJournal of Travel Research and Journal of Advertising, among others. He currently serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Retailing and the Journal of Service Research.

For this IMCA seminar, Professor Villarroel Ordenes will present his research entitled "Images, Captions, and Overlays in Social Media Brand Posts: How to Strike the Right Balance in Multimodal Compositions".  


Digital managers struggle to determine which images, and text in overlays (customized text format within the image) and captions (standard text format above or below the image), are more likely boost sharing and increase consumer engagement. They might gain relevant insights from research on visual salience that explicates the influences of multimodal compositions on human behavior. This article reports on two experiments that show that more salient, dynamic images, get shared more than static ones, due to the greater degree of consumer attention. Then separate Twitter and Instagram studies, using social media data, extend these findings by revealing the relationship between image dynamism and salience features related to the size and emphasis of text in the overlay and caption. We find that while greater overlay size weakens the effect of dynamic images on consumer sharing, greater caption size (i.e., length) increases it. We also find that placing the overlay in strategic areas (i.e., rule of thirds) and emphasizing strategic words in a caption, strengthen the effect of dynamic images on sharing. These findings establish some basic heuristics that content managers can use to design effective, multimodal brand messages.

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