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Enhancing customer brand experience and loyalty through enterprise microblogs: Empirical evidence from a communication framework perspective

Jun Yang (School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Rui Zheng (School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Ling Zhao (School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Sumeet Gupta (Department of Operations and Systems, Indian Institute of Management Raipur, GEC Campus, Raipur, India)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

As the social media platform becomes an ever more important communication channel between company and customer, companies are learning how they can best utilize social media to better communicate their brands with customers. The purpose of this paper is to explore the communication tactics adopted by the enterprise microblogs using a communication framework. Further, the authors hope to find out how these communication tactics influence customer brand experience (BE) and subsequently brand loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

First, to identify the communication tactics used by enterprise microblogs, the authors recruited six active microblog users and listed all possible characteristics of enterprise microblogs that could increase customers’ fondness for the brand. Second, based on the listed 19 characteristics and existing theories, the authors pre-classified and conceptualized the content and style tactics categories. The authors also followed a sorting procedure to verify our classification. Finally, based on the sorted characteristics and previous research, the authors designed a questionnaire and 459 sets of valid data were collected from enterprise microblog users.

Findings

The communication tactics are classified into two dimensions, namely content tactics and style tactics. The content tactics include content diversity, content accuracy and content timeliness, and the style tactics include impression enhancement style and interactivity enhancement style. The results reveal that the communication content and style tactics significantly enhance overall customer BE and further brand loyalty. The study results also show that style tactics exert more influence on BE than content tactics.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the company’s important role in company-customer communication on social media, and categorizes the effective communication tactics used by the enterprise microblog within a communication framework. Companies could build brand loyalty by enhancing users’ BE using effective communication. The communication perspective and measures of the communication tactics in this study provide an ideal background for future research on IT-based company-customer interaction.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is partially supported by grants from the National Science Foundation of China (71201062, 71672065), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2016AC052).

Citation

Yang, J., Zheng, R., Zhao, L. and Gupta, S. (2017), "Enhancing customer brand experience and loyalty through enterprise microblogs: Empirical evidence from a communication framework perspective", Information Technology & People, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 580-601. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-09-2015-0219

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited