Consumer-Brand Relationships in Social Media
The paper focuses on consumer-brand relationships, and attempts to identify what relational benefits and costs consumers-members of social media brand pages perceive. Considering the rapid development of social media and their penetration in business marketing actions, this study is an exploratory step towards the understanding of relational benefits and costs together in the context of social media.
A qualitative approach was employed for this study. Data were collected from four focus groups consisting of 32 Greek social media users who are members of popular brand pages on both Facebook and Twitter, providing preliminary evidence about the perceived benefits and costs arising from consumers’ participation in social media brand pages.
Results indicate that consumers perceive social benefits, information benefits, time & effort benefits, economic benefits, and personal treatment benefits. Overload, privacy concern, and annoyance are members’ perceived costs from interacting with companies in social media brand pages.
The study identifies and proposes several opportunities for company managers, suggesting practices for effective social media handling, towards the enhancement of perceived relational benefits and the reduction of relational costs.
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