Abstract: This paper focuses on the factors that determine the popularity of the destination content posted on social media by the destination marketing organizations (DMOs). Specifically, it aims to study the extent to which the destination image attributes included in content posted by DMOs (i.e. firm generated content or FGC) increase popularity. Moreover, three contextual characteristics of content are examined: (1) how it is developed, i.e. the degree of elaborateness; (2) how it is transmitted, i.e. the degree of vividness; and (3) when it is communicated, i.e. the day of publication. Empirical evidence demonstrates that content projecting certain emotions evoked by the tourist destination (affective image attributes) positively influences content popularity. However, content projecting the physical resources of the tourist site (cognitive image attributes) does not significantly influence popularity. It also confirms the positive lineal effect of vividness on popularity and the inverted U-shaped relationship between elaborateness and popularity. Finally, elaborateness, vividness, and day of publication moderate the influence of affective image attributes on content popularity.
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