Examining online social brand engagement : a social presence theory perspective

Osei-Frimpong, Kofi and McLean, Graeme (2018) Examining online social brand engagement : a social presence theory perspective. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 128. pp. 10-21. ISSN 0040-1625

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    The increasing use of social media has changed how firms engage their brands with consumers in recent times. This triggered a need for this research to further our understanding of the influence of social presence on social brand engagement (SBE) and the moderating effects of firm-generated content and consumer commitment. Employing a quantitative survey design, 738 consumers with prior experience in following or engaging with brands on social media were randomly interviewed using an online questionnaire. While social presence positively influence social brand engagement, this relationship is significantly moderated by firm-generated content and the consumers' level of commitment in engaging with the brand. The findings also indicate that SBE encourages consumers to increase their intention to use the brand as well as engage in electronic word of mouth. Further, this study provides insights into the potential role of SBE and social presence in advancing the broader understanding of brand relationship management, brand engagement and social media research. Our conceptualisation of SBE suggests a need for managers to adopt creative strategies that will arouse consumers' interest and attention to participate in such interactions.