Attracting Effective Support on Social Networking Sites: Examining Three Characteristics of Online Support-Seeking Messages

Siyue Li, Diyi Liu, Chenyu She, Wenjing Pan


Effective support acquisition on social networking sites (SNSs) usually begins with strategic support seeking. This study conducted an online cross-sectional survey (N = 405) to examine whether certain characteristics of an online support-seeking post would draw more support. The results showed that negative posts could draw more emotional support compared with neutral and positive posts. SNS users who posted negative content, directly solicited support, and adopted more politeness strategies in support seeking would receive more informational support. Self-presentational concerns, however, were not associated with the examined characteristics of online support-seeking posts. The findings suggest that online support seekers can strategically compose their messages to elicit more effective support.


supportive communication, social networking sites, self-presentational concerns, message valence, directness of support request, politeness

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