Strategic self-presentation on Facebook: Personal motives and audience response to online behavior Academic Article uri icon


  • People have always been concerned with their social image and engaged in strategic self-presentation (Goffman, 1959), but the growth of social networking sites (SNS) has had a major influence on such social endeavors. When people choose how to present themselves online, they use strategies and make choices that influence the liking and respect they receive from others. We examine a model that links: (a) motives for self-presentation, (b) actual online behavior on Facebook, and (c) feedback: social network members' responses ("likes," comments). One hundred and fifty-six undergraduates (37 males, 119 females, mean age = 24.5) reported on their last three Facebook status updates (468 status updates overall). Based on structural equation modeling, we found that performance goals predict increased levels of self-enhancement on Facebook and increased levels of social feedback - "likes" and comments by others. Mastery goals do not predict increased levels of self-derogation (posting negative contents about self), but those who do choose to derogate also receive increased numbers of "likes" and comments from their network friends. 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016