Title: Developing brand relationships through social media communication: a cross-cultural comparison

Authors: Marsela Thanasi-Boçe; Omar Ali; Ayse Begum Ersoy

Addresses: College of Business Administration, American University of the Middle East, Kuwait ' College of Business Administration, American University of the Middle East, Kuwait ' Shannon School of Business, Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia, Canada

Abstract: Enhancing brand relationships through communication have been the focus of business strategies especially when supported by technology. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of social media (SM) communications on brand relationships and the role of SM usage in explaining brand relationship differences in different cultures. The study's theoretical framework was based on the Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory. Data were collected from SM users through online surveys in two countries: Albania and Turkey. Partial least squares structural equation modelling was used for the theoretical model. Multigroup analysis was used to compare the effects of SM communication quality between the two cultures. The overall model revealed a positive role of SM communications in strengthening consumers' relationships with brands and a moderating effect of SM usage, indicating that greater user engagement in SM leads to stronger brand relationships. The results suggest that brand relationship quality is higher in cultures with greater SM usage. Furthermore, the results showed that the direct influence of SM communication on building brand relationships is less impactful among users of a higher collectivistic culture.

Keywords: social media communication quality; SMCQ; brand relationship quality; BRQ; social media usage; SMU; Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory; cross-cultural comparison.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2023.133939

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2023 Vol.14 No.4, pp.351 - 370

Received: 20 Sep 2021
Accepted: 18 Dec 2021

Published online: 06 Oct 2023 *

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