Cross-Cultural Study of Social Media-Based Brand Communities: An Abstract
Nowadays social media are becoming more and more important and have a great influence on people lifestyle. From a marketing perspective, the emergence of social media offers an opportunity for consumers to produce content about brands and share their experiences. The concept of social media-based brand communities was introduced by Laroche et al. (2012) as the combination of both brand community and social media. It is a subset of the broader concept of online brand communities. By definition, a brand community is a specialized, non-geographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relations among admirers of a brand (Muniz & O’Guinn, 2001). In their model, Laroche et al. (2012) found that on the first step, social media-based brand communities have positive impacts on three brand community markers (Muniz & O′ Guinn, 2001), i.e., shared consciousness of kind, shared rituals and traditions, and obligations to society. On the next step, these three markers have positive effects on four value creation practices of brand communities (Schau et al., 2009), i.e., social networking, community engagement, impressions management, and brand use.
In this research, we want to study the moderation effect of difference in six dimensions of Hofstede’s cultural framework (i.e., power distance, long-term orientation, individualism, masculinity, indulgence, and uncertainty avoidance (Hofstede, 1980; Minkov & Hofestede, 2010) on the first and second steps of value creation practices in social media-based brand communities. First, we are interested in studying the moderation effects of culture in the impact of social media-based brand communities on three markers of brand communities. Next, we want to examine the moderating effect of culture on the impacts of social media-based brand communities on value creation practices.
We have chosen Harley-Davidson and Pulsar social media-based brand communities on Facebook, which are the brand communities for two famous American and Indian motorcycle brands, respectively, to study these effects. We expect that the effects of social media-based brand communities on the three brand community markers and four value creation practices are moderated by six cultural dimensions.