Title: Female consumers' fanning of companies on Facebook: the influence of generational cohort

Authors: Karen H. Hyllegard; Jennifer Paff Ogle; Ruoh-Nan Yan; Amy R. Reitz

Addresses: Department of Design and Merchandising, Colorado State University, 324 Gifford, Campus Delivery 1574, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1574, USA ' Department of Design and Merchandising, Colorado State University, 324 Gifford, Campus Delivery 1574, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1574, USA ' Department of Design and Merchandising, Colorado State University, 324 Gifford, Campus Delivery 1574, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1574, USA ' Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Northern Colorado, Candelaria Hall 1265 Campus Box 114, Greeley, CO 80639-0001, USA

Abstract: Informed by generational cohort and uses and gratifications theories, this study explored if and how women of different generational cohorts vary with respect to fanning of consumer goods companies on Facebook. An online survey was used to collect data from 411 female Facebook users representing three generational cohorts: Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. Findings suggest that female consumers of different generational cohorts identify varied motives that may encourage them to fan, with hedonic and utilitarian motives emerging as the most salient. Product/brand consumption emerged as the most likely outcome of fanning, suggesting that fanning has the capacity to shape patterns of behaviour related to consumption, including store/website visits, product purchasing, and brand loyalty. Thus, a key implication of this work is that Facebook does offer companies a valuable means by which to stimulate the consumer decision-making process, and potentially, to generate sales and revenue.

Keywords: Facebook; fanning; liking; likes; uses; gratification theory; generational cohorts; Gen Y; Gen X; Generation Y; Generation X; Baby Boomers; female consumers; USA; United States; women consumers; consumer goods; consumer behaviour; product consumption; brand consumption; store visits; website visits; product purchasing; brand loyalty.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2013.052890

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2013 Vol.5 No.3, pp.222 - 241

Available online: 27 Mar 2013 *

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