Title: Developing a loyal community: an empirical analysis evaluating antecedents to loyalty in social networking

Authors: Aaron M. French; J.P. Shim; Robert F. Otondo; Jeremy R. Porter

Addresses: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA ' Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302-4015, USA ' Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA ' City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA

Abstract: One of the most influential phenomena in information and communication technology (ICT) since the advent of the internet has been network effects. The benefits obtained from networking effects is exponentially significant due to the popularity of social networking and the abundance of information being collected through these networks. With the multitude of networks to choose from and relatively low switching costs, sustaining loyalty among the users has become a top priority of network administrators. Using structural equation modelling, a model was developed and tested identifying factors that influence loyalty in social networking. It was shown that trust community members that have connected together along with satisfaction in the network positively influence loyalty. Content quality and system quality are factors that positively influence a users satisfaction in the community. Academic and practical implications are discussed along with recommendations for future research.

Keywords: community loyalty; social networking sites; SNS; trust; user satisfaction; loyal communities; user loyalty; structural equation modelling; SEM; online communities; virtual communities; web based communities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2016.077258

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2016 Vol.12 No.2, pp.114 - 130

Received: 23 Mar 2015
Accepted: 30 Sep 2015

Published online: 24 Jun 2016 *

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