Purpose: This paper aims to examine the differential effects of the type of gift (material vs experiential) offered on Snapchat and Instagram (Study 1) and how the impacts of gift type and message type (informational vs emotional) vary by the two different image-sharing social media platform in a business-to-consumer (B2C) gift-giving context (Study 2). Design/methodology/approach: Study 1 used a two (social media: Snapchat vs Instagram) by two (gift type: material vs experiential) between-subject factorial design, whereas Study 2 used a two (social media: Snapchat vs Instagram) by two (gift type: material vs experiential) by two (message type: informational vs emotional) between-subject factorial design. A series of analyses of covariance was conducted to test the suggested hypotheses. Findings: Study 1 demonstrated that the promotion of material gifts was more effective on Snapchat than on Instagram, while the promotion of experiential gifts was more effective on Instagram than on Snapchat. Study 2 showed that the impacts of gift type and message type varied by social media platform. The promotion of an experiential gift with an emotional ad appeal was found to be more effective on Instagram than on Snapchat, while the promotion of a material gift using an informational ad appeal was found to be more effective on Snapchat than on Instagram. Research limitations/implications: This research used a college student sample for the experiments. However, to extend the generalizability of the results, it is recommended that future experiments be conducted with nonstudent samples. Also, the current research manipulated the two different social media conditions, Snapchat vs Instagram, by enforcing participants to use their social media and then provided experimental stimuli in a different screen from their social media account. If the stimuli were distributed through participants’ real social media account, the external validity of this research could be enhanced. Finally, future research should apply this framework to other countries with different social media platforms to confirm the generalizability of the study’s findings. Practical implications: This research can thus contribute to the development of new guidelines for planning social media marketing in the business gift-giving context. By leveraging findings that the fit effect of gift types and advertising appeals differs based on social media platform, practitioners can create a more effective social media plan for their advertising campaigns. Given that copywriting and media plans are among the most important and difficult work in the business of advertising, this study’s findings would assist advertising practitioners in planning and executing the most effective advertising campaigns. Originality/value: The findings of this study provide valuable insights for the development of effective brand promotion strategies for B2C gift-giving via social media.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes