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Using social media posts as resources for engaging in value co-creation: The case for social media-based cause brand communities

Anne Sorensen (QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Lynda Andrews (QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Judy Drennan (QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how organizations create focal engagement objects through posts to their social media community members and how the members engage with these posts in ways that potentially co-create value. Of additional interest is the use of platform, tone and language to determine how they potentially influence value co-creation.

Design/methodology/approach

The research method is netnography. Two Australian-based cause organizations were selected for the study, and posts were collected from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube platforms used by the communities, as well as likes, clicks, shares and retweets. Data was examined using content and thematic analyses.

Findings

Findings for the characteristics of the posts indicate how platforms need to be member-centric and that post tone and language can be used for engaging members effectively. Three consumer engagement objects were thematically derived from the posts: events, donations and fundraising, and social justice that includes shout-outs and thunderclaps. In turn, consumer responses evidenced engagement sub-processes of co-developing, acknowledging, rewarding, sharing, advocating, adding momentum and learning. The likes, clicks, shares and retweets assisted in determining the amount of community interactions with posts in the cause brands’ communities.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited to the extent it involved two cases. As with any cross-sectional research, the findings are snapshots of interactions on the two sites over the two-week data collection periods. Theoretical implications provide a deeper insights into value co-creation by empirically examining how organizations and their supporters employ and use post resources to co-create value collectively, and how the characteristics of the posts and behavioral interactions potentially facilitates this.

Practical implications

Managerially, this investigation will assist both commercial brand and cause brand organizations to plan and adapt their social media strategies to enhance supporters’ engagement with posts in this digital environment.

Social implications

The social implications of this study are that it provides an understanding of how cause organizations can harness online communities for value co-creation to generate social good.

Originality/value

The study is both original and adds value to the research community. The findings presented provide an insightful conceptual framework to guide future research into this important area of consumer engagement with resources in social media communities leading to potential co-creation of value.

Keywords

Citation

Sorensen, A., Andrews, L. and Drennan, J. (2017), "Using social media posts as resources for engaging in value co-creation: The case for social media-based cause brand communities", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 898-922. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-04-2016-0080

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited