Title: The role of sense of community in brand online social networking

Authors: Jewon Lyu; Heejin Lim

Addresses: The Fashion School, Kent State University, 515 Hilltop Dr. Rockwell Hall, RM 218I, Kent, OH 44242, USA ' Department of Retail, Hospitality & Tourism Management, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 203 B Jessie Harris Building, 1215 W. Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996-19, USA

Abstract: This study is designed to examine the role of a sense of community in brand online social networking (BOSN). In particular, this study explores the sense of community model from community psychology in the context of social media marketing (e.g., Facebook), and several antecedents are examined. The data was collected based on an online self-administered survey (n = 466) and analysed with the structural equation modelling to test the measurement model and suggested hypotheses. The results demonstrate that perceived social support and overall self-brand connection as a predictor of building a sense of online brand community, which, in turn, leads to an increase in brand commitment. Consumers' engagement in the brand community is found to strengthen the relationship between one's sense of community and brand commitment. Findings from this study are expected to contribute to the extant literature of brand community by highlighting the relational nature of online brand social network.

Keywords: Facebook; social networking sites; SNS; sense of community; brand community; structural equation modelling; relationship marketing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2018.092416

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2018 Vol.14 No.2, pp.149 - 171

Received: 09 Dec 2016
Accepted: 05 Dec 2017

Published online: 06 Jun 2018 *

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