When will consumers be ready? A psychological perspective on consumer engagement in social media brand communities

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-724
Journal / PublicationInternet Research
Issue number4
Online published5 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to explain whether consumer engagement in social media brand communities (SMBCs) motivates consumer brand loyalty; and second, to explore the antecedents of consumer engagement by developing a model based on personal engagement theory. 
Design/methodology/approach: Online survey data from 279 brand community members of Weibo (one of the most popular social media websites in China) were used to test the proposed model. Structural equation modeling with partial least squares was performed to test both the measurement model and the structural model. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the interaction effects. 
Findings: The findings show that three factors, namely, recognition, community identification and self-efficacy, had significant positive effects on consumer engagement in SMBCs, which consequently enhanced brand loyalty. Self-efficacy moderated the effects of both community identification and recognition on consumer engagement. The impacts of three factors on consumer engagement are contingent upon the type of SMBCs. 
Originality/value: This study extends and advances the literature on consumer engagement by explaining consumer engagement in SMBCs from a new theoretical lens. This study also enriches personal engagement theory by investigating the effects of the interaction between different conditions of engagement. In addition, this study contributes to brand loyalty literature by providing empirical evidence of the impact of consumer engagement on brand loyalty. Finally, this study contributes to the online brand community study by introducing personal engagement theory into SMBC context, and examining the moderating role of SMBC types.

Research Area(s)

  • Brand loyalty, Community identification, Consumer engagement, Recognition, Self-efficacy, Social media brand community

Bibliographic Note

Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. With consent from the author(s) concerned, the Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on the existing academic department affiliation of the author(s).