The purpose of this paper is to analyse the impact of the following variables: brand fan page dependency; parasocial interaction; attitude towards brand fan pages in enhancing users’ participation in Facebook as a mobile social network (m-WOM).
An empirical study was carried out by means of online interviews with structured questionnaires. To analyse the data, and estimate the hypothesised relationships in the theoretical model, the partial least squares equation modelling was used.
The results of the study indicate that accessing brands’ mobile Facebook fan pages can satisfy the needs of understanding, orientation and play. These needs, in turn, influence users’ attitude, as well as their active and passive participation. Besides, users’ active participation in brands’ fan pages is enhanced by the direct and positive influence of attitude and passive participation.
This research enables brands to know which aspects to highlight in their communication strategies in order to increase the user’s active participation and generate m-WOM. Brands need to post information which is not only relevant, but also entertaining and visually attractive. Furthermore, they should foster the user-brand interaction to achieve users’ engagement with the brand.
The contribution of the present research is threefold. First, it offers a new perspective in explaining eWOM participation in mobile settings based on social networks. Second, it is argued that dependency is a key driver in explaining m-WOM. Lastly, integrating parasocial integration in the authors’ model highlights the communication nature of the word-of-mouth process.
This work was supported by the Ministry of Economy (Spain) under Grant ECO2014-53837R.
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