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Antecedents and consequences of customer engagement on Facebook: An attachment theory perspective

Robert Hinson (Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Ghana Business School , Accra, Ghana)
Henry Boateng (Business School, University of Technology Sydney , Faculty of Business, Haymarket, Australia)
Anne Renner (Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Ghana Business School , Accra, Ghana)
John Paul Basewe Kosiba (Department of Marketing, University of Professional Studies , Accra, Ghana)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 1 March 2019

Issue publication date: 6 June 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

Marketing researchers have usually studied consumers’ attachment to brands from an emotional bonding perspective. However, the purpose of this study is to show that attachment to objects is not only limited to bonding. Thus, the authors conceptualised the attachment theory from two perspectives: bonding-based and identity-based attachment. In addition, the study further seeks to identify the elements of each component and examine how these elements drive customer engagement on a brand’s Facebook page while assessing some consumer-related outcomes of customer engagement on Facebook.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an online survey, the authors examined antecedents of customer engagement on Facebook and the outcomes of engagement behaviours among 649 respondents. Structural equation modelling was used in analysing the data.

Findings

The results of the study show that consumers’ attachment to a brand drives them to engage the brand on the brand’s Facebook page. The results also show that the consumer engagement of brands on Facebook results in positive user-generated contents and consumer involvement.

Practical implications

Managerially, the attachment theory provides value for marketers in terms of evaluating customer–brand relationships and how such a relationship can yield positive results.

Originality/value

This study expands how the attachment theory has been conceptualised and applied in the marketing literature. The study shows that consumer attachment to brands is identity-based in addition to being bonding-based.

Keywords

Citation

Hinson, R., Boateng, H., Renner, A. and Kosiba, J.P.B. (2019), "Antecedents and consequences of customer engagement on Facebook: An attachment theory perspective", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 204-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-04-2018-0059

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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