Title: Social break up: why consumers hide and unlike brands on Facebook

Authors: Eun Sook Kwon; Eunice Kim; Yoo Jin Chung

Addresses: School of Communication, College of Liberal Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology, 92 Lomb Memorial Dr., Rochester, NY, 14623, USA ' Department of Psychology, Ewha Woman's University, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, 03760, South Korea ' Department of Advertising, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, P.O. Box 118400, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA

Abstract: On social networking sites (SNSs), consumers often engage in break-up behaviours (i.e., 'hiding' brand posts and 'unliking' brand pages). These behaviours are the consumer's direct expression that he or she no longer wants to see brand posts or wants to end the relationship and the association with the brand. This study examines what drives consumers to hide brand posts and unlike brand pages on Facebook by reviewing the literature on advertising avoidance, consumer-brand relationship, and studies on SNSs as a means for self-expression (i.e., perceived information overload, attitude toward social media marketing, perceived brand detachment, and self- and social-identity expressiveness). Analysing responses from 354 research participants using Amazon Mechanical Turk who have ever liked a commercial brand, this study found that the intention to hide brand posts was strongly associated with the intention to unlike brand pages, and variables such as perceived information overload, attitude toward social media marketing, and perceived brand detachment significantly influenced consumers' break-up behaviours. Social-identity expressiveness only predicted the intention to unlike brands. Implications of the study's findings are discussed.

Keywords: advertising avoidance; perceived information overload; perceived brand detachment; attitude toward social media marketing; identity expression.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2020.108720

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2020 Vol.14 No.3, pp.299 - 317

Received: 16 Feb 2019
Accepted: 03 Mar 2019

Published online: 29 Jul 2020 *

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