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Social media marketing activities on brand equity and purchase intention among Chinese smartphone consumers during COVID-19

Jiang Shuyi (UCSI Graduate Business School, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Abdullah Al Mamun (UKM-Graduate School of Business, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia)
Farzana Naznen (UCSI Graduate Business School, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management

ISSN: 2053-4620

Article publication date: 19 October 2022




The world has been forced to implement movement restriction strategy because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and industries have to embrace online technologies and social media marketing activities (SMMAs) to continue their business operations. Considering the aftermath of COVID-19 on the business world, this study aims to explore the determining elements of SMMAs and analyse how these factors affect brand equity (BE), relationship equity (RE) and purchase intention (PI) among smartphone consumers in China. Five constructs of SMMAs, namely, entertainment (EN), interactivity (IN), trendiness (TR), customisation (CU) and electronic word-of-mouth (WM), were examined to examine the effects of SMMAs on BE and RE. Subsequently, the mediation effects of BE and RE on the relationships of all constructs of SMMAs with PI were analysed.


An online survey was conducted with the participation of 347 Chinese consumers who used social media platform managed by the smartphone brands as their marketing activities during COVID-19. The data were analysed via structural equation modelling using SmartPLS.


This study’s result showed the significant and positive influence of CU, TR and WM on BE and the strong and positive influence of CU, IN and TR on RE. Furthermore, BE was found to fully mediate the relationships of CU, TR and WM with PI, while RE was found to mediate the relationships of TR and CU with PI. The performance and impact factor analysis revealed RE as the most important factor for PI, followed by BE, CU and TR.


This study extended the authors’ knowledge and understanding about social media marketing, BE and smart phone PI during COVID-19. Findings of this study can assist smartphone brands in China to develop the most effective strategies for SMMAs, which can be tailored for consumers to maximise profits, even during any crisis when physical business activities are deemed difficult. Moreover, this study’s findings can benefit the government and policymakers in developing and regulating rules and regulations for e-commerce and social media commerce for all industries and areas.



DeclarationsEthics approval and consent to participate: This study has been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Written informed consent for participation was obtained from respondents who participated in the survey. For the respondents who participated the survey online (using google form), they were asked to read the ethical statement posted on the top of the form (There is no compensation for responding nor is there any known risk. To ensure that all information will remain confidential, please do not include your name. Participation is strictly voluntary and you may refuse to participate at any time.) and proceed only if they agree. No data was collected from anyone under 18 years old.

Availability of data and materials: All data generated or analysed during this study included in this published article.


Shuyi, J., Mamun, A.A. and Naznen, F. (2022), "Social media marketing activities on brand equity and purchase intention among Chinese smartphone consumers during COVID-19 ", Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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