Title: Understanding 'likers' on Facebook: differences between customer and non-customer situations

Authors: Matthew P. Bunker; K.N. Rajendran; Steven B. Corbin; Ciara Pearce

Addresses: University of Northern Iowa, 345 Curris Business Building, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0126, USA ' University of Northern Iowa, 345 Curris Business Building, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0126, USA ' University of Northern Iowa, 345 Curris Business Building, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0126, USA ' University of Northern Iowa, 345 Curris Business Building, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0126, USA

Abstract: Social media has grown rapidly over the last decade. In particular, Facebook seems to be gaining ground among all age groups. One of the features that Facebook provides is the ability for consumers to indicate their associations through the 'like' feature. Companies are beginning to utilise that feature to develop relationships with consumers. This paper examines the inter-relationships among constructs such as identity, norm, involvement, and word-of-mouth behaviour in the context of the Facebook 'like' feature. Based upon a preliminary study and an electronic survey we develop and test a few propositions relating to customer and non-customer situations among likers. Several of our propositions are supported but there are some surprising findings as well. These have implications for managers who are attempting to persuade people to 'like' their companies/products.

Keywords: Facebook likes; business information systems; social media; identity; norm; involvement; WOM; word-of-mouth; customer relationships.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2013.052049

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2013 Vol.12 No.2, pp.163 - 176

Available online: 11 Feb 2013 *

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