Social Media and Communities

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    How Does Social Media Interactivity Affect Brand Loyalty?
    ( 2018-01-03) Huang, Travis K. ; Liao, Chun-Yung ; Wang, Yi-Ting ; Lin, Kuan-Yu
    As social media has become a prominent platform for networking, many organizations have begun to establish more than one brand community, as a set of supplements to their branded websites. Once most online brand interactions take place on social networking sites rather than branded sites, such customer-oriented interactions will become much more complicated and unpredictable. It is a real challenge for organizations to build successful customer-brand relationships through social networking sites. Hence, organizations that wish to enhance brand loyalty by running brand communities face the challenge of effectively conducting social customer relationship management (CRM) tactics. As social media users are susceptible to highly interactive features, understanding the nature of social media interactivity in brand communities is the key to building successful social CRM. The aim of the study is to investigate not only the effect of social media interactivity on community benefits, but also the effect of community benefits on brand loyalty. In addition to measuring the direct effects of social influence and media richness on brand loyalty, the study assessed the indirect effect of responsiveness on brand loyalty by means of community benefits, including knowledge gains and sense of membership. The results, based on data collected from 229 social media users who are followers of a Super Basketball League (SBL) team’s Facebook page, indicated that media richness had a strong, positive, and direct effect on brand loyalty, and that responsiveness had direct effects on their knowledge gains and their sense of membership, which in turn affected brand loyalty indirectly.
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    Drivers of Online Brand Community Value Creation: The Role of Psychological Empowerment
    ( 2018-01-03) Hsieh, Sara H. ; Tseng, Timmy H. ; Lee, Crystal T.
    There is an upsurge of consumer empowerment driven by the rise of the Internet and online communities. However, the effect of psychological empowerment that may be experienced in contributing knowledge and experiences in the process of participation in online brand community has seldom been investigated. This study aims to examine the role of psychological empowerment in online brand community and its impact on value co-creation behaviors. By using PLS-SEM, the result indicate that perceived responsiveness, validation, status seeking, perceived network size, and information quality, facilitates the establishment of psychological empowerment, which in turn promotes consumers’ value co-creation behaviors. Implications for researchers and practitioners are discussed.
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    The Buffer Effect of Receiving Social Support on SNS Exhaustion and SNS Satisfaction: An Exploratory Study of the Lonely and Emotionally Unstable
    ( 2018-01-03) Lo, Janice ; Guo, Chengqi ; Bradley, Bree
    Popular press reports that using social networking sites (SNSs) can cause increased stress levels in individuals. Although academic literature has attempted to explain the technostress related to social media, much remains unclear how feelings of being drained from SNS activities can be alleviated. This exploratory study draws upon the buffer effect of social support theory and tests it in the context of SNS. We analyze users who experience loneliness and emotional instability to better understand their psychological responses to social overload and receiving social support in terms of effects on SNS satisfaction, exhaustion, and discontinuous usage intention. Data from more than 1,000 users support our hypotheses that receiving social support is significantly related to SNS exhaustion and satisfaction. Interestingly, contrary to prior studies, the relationship between social overload and SNS satisfaction is found to be significantly positive for emotionally unstable users. Implications for research and practice are provided.
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    Polarization on Social Media: When Group Dynamics Leads to Societal Divides
    ( 2018-01-03) Rychwalska, Agnieszka ; Roszczyńska-Kurasińska, Magdalena
    Polarization of group opinions - a natural mechanism that enables groups to stay intrinsically cohesive - explains why after multiple interactions individual and group opinions shift towards the extremes. Recently, significant polarization of opinions can be witnessed in the public discourse of many Western societies in a range of topics. We argue here that the prevalence of social media together with its specific design may amplify natural group dynamics and strengthen the divisions. We present an agent based model wherein implementation of polarization mechanisms together with social media properties leads to increased segregation and radicalization of opinions. We propose certain design choices for social media platforms that could help ameliorate the problem.
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    Photographic Disclosure in Facebook and Relational Closeness with Others
    ( 2018-01-03) Houghton, David ; Joinson, Adam ; Caldwell, Nigel ; Marder, Ben ; Collins, Emily
    Prior research has identified the usefulness of social media in the maintenance of relationships. Such research is predominantly based on overall platform use, the use and affordances of multiple different communication features, or the text-based content of disclosed messages. Little research exists into the disclosure effects of different photographic content, the frequency at which it is shared and how this associates with differences in relational closeness. This research gap becomes increasingly poignant with the mass adoption of social media, the existence of multiple relationship types within these platforms, and the increase in sites based on photographic disclosure alone. This research examines the implications of the perceived frequency of disclosure in Facebook on relational closeness with different relationship types. Survey findings (N=445) show that perceived frequency of posting photographs is significantly associated with changes in relational closeness (companionship, intimacy, support), differing by the relationship held and the photographic depiction.