Customer Engagement in Social Network Brand Communities: Drivers and Impact on Brand Loyalty

  • Ana Castro
  • Teresa FernandesEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS)


Social networking sites (SNS) have become an ideal tool to develop customer engagement (CE) with brands, leading companies to invest increasingly on virtual communities and CE, using the number of likes and comments as a proxy to measure it. Yet, organizations do not fully understand whether members are really engaged with and loyal to the brand. Moreover, previous studies are not clear on the motivations underlying CE behaviours and on its role in shaping brand loyalty. As such, the aim of this research is to understand what drives customers to engage with SNS brand communities, to relate it with different CE behaviours and to study its impact on brand loyalty. The study concludes that the drivers for passive (lurking) and active (posting) behaviours differ and that these were, mainly and respectively, information and economic motivations. Moreover, Facebook users tend to exhibit more lurking than posting behaviours, with the latter contributing more to brand loyalty than the former. Theoretically, this study contributes to bridge a gap in the literature, since research on CE, its drivers and outcomes is still lacking and is largely conceptual. Managerially, this study presents insights to brands holding virtual communities, helping them to define customer-oriented strategies.


Customer engagement Social media Brand communities Drivers Brand loyalty 


  1. Alexandrov, A., Lilly, B., & Babakus, E. (2013). The effects of social-and self-motives on the intentions to share positive and negative word of mouth. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(5), 531–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baldus, B., Voorhees, C., & Calantone, R. (2015). Online brand community engagement: Scale development and validation. Journal of Business Research, 68(5), 978–985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barger, V., Peltier, J. W., & Schultz, D. E. (2016). Social media and consumer engagement: a review and research agenda. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 10(4), 268–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bowden, J. (2009). The process of customer engagement: A conceptual framework. Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice, 17(1), 63–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brodie, R. J., Hollebeek, L. D., Jurić, B., & Ilić, A. (2011). Customer engagement: Conceptual domain, fundamental propositions, and implications for research. Journal of Service Research, 14(3), 252–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Calder, B., Malthouse, E., & Maslowska, E. (2016). Brand marketing, big data and social innovation as future research directions for engagement. Journal of Marketing Management, 32(5/6), 579–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chan, T. K., Zheng, X., Cheung, C. M., Lee, M. K., & Lee, Z. W. (2014). Antecedents and consequences of customer engagement in online brand communities. Journal of Marketing Analytics, 2(2), 81–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Vermain, M., Cauberghe, V., & Hudders, L. (2016). Why are people interacting with brands on Facebook brand pages. In Proceedings of the 45th European Marketing Academy (EMAC) Conference, 24–27 May, Oslo (Norway).Google Scholar
  9. Dessart, L. (2017). Social media engagement: a model of antecedents and relational outcomes. Journal of Marketing Management, 33(5/6), 375–399.Google Scholar
  10. Dessart, L., Veloutsou, C., & Morgan-Thomas, A. (2016). Capturing consumer engagement: duality, dimensionality and measurement. Journal of Marketing Management, 32(5–6), 399–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dholakia, U. M., Bagozzi, R. P., & Pearo, L. K. (2004). A social influence model of consumer participation in network-and small-group-based virtual communities. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 21(3), 241–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dolan, R., Conduit, J., Fahy, J., & Goodman, S. (2016). Social media engagement behaviour: A uses and gratifications perspective. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 24(3–4), 261–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gummerus, J., Liljander, V., Weman, E., & Pihlström, M. (2012). Customer engagement in a Facebook brand community. Management Research Review, 35(9), 857–877.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hair, J., Black, W., Babin, B., & Anderson, R. (2014). Multivariate data analysis. London, England: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  15. Hollebeek, L. (2011). Demystifying customer brand engagement: Exploring the loyalty nexus. Journal of Marketing Management, 27(7–8), 785–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hollebeek, L., Glynn, M., & Brodie, R. (2014). Consumer brand engagement in social media: Conceptualization, scale development and validation. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 28, 149–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hollebeek, L. D., Juric, B., & Tang, W. (2017). Virtual brand community engagement practices: a refined typology and model. Journal of Services Marketing, 31(3), 204–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hutter, K., Hautz, J., Dennhardt, S., & Füller, J. (2013). The impact of user interactions in social media on brand awareness and purchase intention: the case of MINI on Facebook. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 22(5/6), 342–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jahn, B., & Kunz, W. (2012). How to transform consumers into fans of your brand. Journal of Service Management, 23(3), 344–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Katz, E., Haas, H., & Gurevitch, M. (1973). On the use of the mass media for important things. American Sociological Review, 38(2), 164–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Malthouse, E., Haenlein, M., Skiera, B., Wege, E., & Zhang, M. (2013). Managing customer relationships in the social media era: Introducing the social CRM house. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27(4), 270–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McAlexander, J. H., Schouten, J. W., & Koenig, H. F. (2002). Building brand community. Journal of Marketing, 66(1), 38–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Munnukka, J., Karjaluoto, H., & Tikkanen, A. (2015). Are Facebook brand community members truly loyal to the brand? Computers in Human Behavior, 51, 429–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Muntinga, D., Moorman, M., & Smit, E. (2011). Introducing COBRAs Exploring motivations for brand-related social media use. International Journal of Advertising, 30(1), 13–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nunnaly, J. (1978). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  26. Phua, J., Jin, S. V., & Kim, J. J. (2017). Uses and gratifications of social networking sites for bridging and bonding social capital: A comparison of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Computers in Human Behavior, 72, 115–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Royo-Vela, M., & Casamassima, P. (2011). The influence of belonging to virtual brand communities on consumers’ affective commitment, satisfaction and word-of-mouth advertising: The ZARA case. Online Information Review, 35(4), 517–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shang, R. A., Chen, Y. C., & Liao, H. J. (2006). The value of participation in virtual consumer communities on brand loyalty. Internet Research, 16(4), 398–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shao, G. (2009). Understanding the appeal of user-generated media: A uses and gratification perspective. Internet Research, 19(1), 7–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schivinski, B., Christodoulides, G., & Dabrowski, D. (2016). Measuring consumers’ engagement with brand-related social media content. Journal of Advertising Research, 56(1), 64–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. So, K. K. F., King, C., Sparks, B. A., & Wang, Y. (2016). The role of customer engagement in building consumer loyalty to tourism brands. Journal of Travel Research, 55(1), 64–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tsai, W., & Men, L. (2013). Motivations and antecedents of consumer engagement with brand pages on social networking sites. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 13(2), 76–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tsiotsou, R. H. (2015). The role of social and parasocial relationships on social networking sites loyalty. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 401–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. van Doorn, J., Lemon, K., Mittal, V., Nass, S., Pick, D., Pirner, P., & Verhoef, P. (2010). Customer engagement behaviour: Theoretical foundations and research directions. Journal of Service Research, 13(3), 253–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vivek, S., Beatty, S., & Morgan, R. (2012). Customer engagement: Exploring customer relationships beyond purchase. Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice, 20(2), 122–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wallace, E., Buil, I., & de Chernatony, L. (2014). Consumer engagement with self-expressive brands: brand love and WOM outcomes. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 23(1), 33–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PortoPortoPortugal

Personalised recommendations