Social Networks and Media Brands: Exploring the Effect of Media Brands’ Perceived Social Network Usage on Audience Relationship
The proliferation of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube has brought dramatic changes in consumer’s media consumption behavior. With more and more consumers participating in some forms of social media, these platforms have become important means of consumer engagement. From a branding perspective, such a two-way communication mechanism creates viable channels for ongoing dialogues and long-term bonds between companies and customers. Social networks’ branding potential, especially in the context of relationship building, seems to offer traditional media which were handicapped by the one-way communication mechanism an opportunity to connect with audiences more effectively in an increasingly competitive marketplace. This chapter empirically examines the contribution of social networks as a branding tool for media products from the relational perspective. It investigates if the perceived use of social networks by a media brand plays a role in enhancing its brand equity and in consumer’s intention to develop a relationship with the brand. Specifically, the chapter addresses the relationship between consumer’s perceived social network usage by a media brand and the “perceived relationship investment” (PRI) of that brand; association between PRI and consumer-based brand equity (CBBE); the effect of a media brand’s CBBE on an audience’s intention to develop a relationship with that brand; and the relationship between an audience’s PRI of a media brand and his/her intention to build a relationship with that brand.
KeywordsSocial Network Social Medium Switching Cost Brand Equity Brand Extension
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