Social media brand pages have emerged as an influential relationship-building tool and continue to grow in popularity as an integral part of the marketing strategy across…
Social media brand pages have emerged as an influential relationship-building tool and continue to grow in popularity as an integral part of the marketing strategy across diverse industries. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for building relationships through customer engagement in Facebook brand pages (FBPs).
Using a sample of 327 undergraduate Facebook users in Sri Lanka, the conceptual model of the study depicting relationships between eight latent constructs, is tested using structural equation modeling (SEM) in AMOS 21 statistical software.
The data analysis reveals that customer engagement with FBPs is positively influenced by customer motivations; information, remuneration, social interaction and personal identity in apparel/fashion, FMCG and hotel/restaurant FBPs. However, the relationship between entertainment motive and customer engagement is found to be insignificant. Additionally, customer engagement is found to be positively related to FBP trust and FBP commitment. Further, the study highlights that the different types of FBPs are guided by different relationship principles. Hence, the strength of the relationships between customer motivations and customer engagement, and, further, the relationships between customer engagement and FBP-specific relationship outcomes are dependent upon the type of the FBP. Moreover, customer engagement is found to be mediating the relationships between motivations (information, remuneration, social interaction and personal identity) and FBP trust.
The study provides strategies for FBP marketers. It emphasizes the value of FBPs as an effective marketing tool to build up relationships with customers. Marketers are advised to identify and address what customers expect from the FBPs to engage them on FBPs and strengthening their relationship with the FBP itself.
The study provides insights into the nature of engagement in FBPs by incorporating the motivations and FBP-specific relationship outcomes of customer engagement in a single framework. The study focuses on the development of a framework explaining the role of customer engagement in building customer relationships with the FBP itself, rather than with the brand.