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Social presence and customer brand engagement on Facebook brand pages

Wimmala Pongpaew (Business Administration, Faculty of Business, Economics and Communications, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand)
Mark Speece (College of Business and Economics, American University, Kuwait, Kuwait)
Leela Tiangsoongnern (Dhurakij Pundit University International College, Bangkok, Thailand)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Business use of social media is increasing rapidly as marketers aim to increase customer brand engagement (CBE) in brand communities to enhance the brand experience. However, use of social media for marketing communications is not well understood. This study aims to examine manager and user views of CBE and effects of perceived social presence (PSP) on CBE in a corporate Facebook environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative in-depth interviews are conducted with 18 users of corporate Facebook – i.e. those who visit corporate Facebook regularly – and four marketing managers whose companies operate Facebook pages. The industry is smart-information technology devices, and the cultural context is Thailand.

Findings

Corporate Facebook sites with high SP functions foster customer engagement on cognitive, emotional and behavioral levels. PSP enhances product knowledge and encourages return page visits. Thus, CBE and PSP build brand trust and loyalty. However, managers may need to focus more on the nature of the brand community beyond the corporate Facebook page.

Practical implications

Companies that enrich their corporate Facebook with SP features can encourage CBE. Consumers feel more informed about the brand and therefore feel more positively about it, which enhances the brand experience and brand trust. This holds even for lurkers who do not behaviorally engage on the Facebook page much, but who are active in the broader brand community.

Originality/value

This paper studies the relationship between PSP and CBE in a corporate Facebook environment, providing insights into how PSP influences CBE, which can enhance the customer’s brand experience and contribute to brand perceptions.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

An early version of this paper was presented at the Eurasia Business and Economics Society 12th EBES Conference – Singapore, January 9-11, 2014.

Citation

Pongpaew, W., Speece, M. and Tiangsoongnern, L. (2017), "Social presence and customer brand engagement on Facebook brand pages", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 262-281. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-08-2015-0956

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited