Why do I engage? Gratifications of online brand communities on facebook

Abigale Sprighton, Dr Danita van Heerden*, Dr Jade Verbeek

Vol 20 | Issue 1 | 99-113


With technology evolving, interactive marketing is evolving too, as we see a rise in online forums and platforms designed to facilitate consumer-brand interactions and translate these into sustainable consumer-brand relationships. Such communities are referred to as online brand communities. To date, research has shown that engagement within these communities can yield favourable benefits for the brands represented, yet the majority of studies on online brand community engagement are yet to reach a consensus on the antecedents; and if engagement has in fact progressed within the changing business landscape. This research study therefore aims to address this gap by determining the drivers of online brand community engagement. Pleasurable fulfilment and self-esteem were explored as possible gratifications (i.e., drivers) of online brand community engagement in this study. The sample consisted of 166 respondents who are 18 years and older, and who are currently members of an online brand community, specifically on Facebook. An online questionnaire was used to collect data through non-probability convenience sampling. The results of the multiple regression analysis indicate that pleasurable fulfilment and online brand community self-esteem are statistically significant drivers of online brand community engagement. This study contributes to the existing brand community literature by enhancing the understanding of online brand community engagement drivers. It is therefore suggested that marketers focus their efforts on creating and encouraging online communities for their brands, specifically on Facebook, that promote pleasurable fulfilment and advocate self-esteem.

Keywords: Online brand community engagement, Facebook, Online brand communities, Pleasurable fulfilment, Self-esteem, Facebook users

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