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Consumers’ Self-Congruence with a ‘Liked’ Brand on Facebook: Cognitive Network Influences and Brand Outcome

September 21, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Location: CA110 (SAC Room), Cairnes Building, NUI Galway Galway Ireland

Speaker(s): Dr Elaine Wallace

Affiliation: Performance Management Research Cluster

Organised by: Whitaker Institute

Facebook has created a powerful medium for companies to engage with their audience.  One indicator of consumer engagement with brands is the Facebook ‘Like’. It is long recognised that brand ‘Likes’ facilitate self-expression, forming part of consumers’ virtual selves.  However, these ‘Likes’ may bear little resemblance to consumers’ material realities.  Therefore, companies may be encouraging ‘Likes’ that do not lead to profitable brand outcomes, such as positive word of mouth, or loyalty.

Drawing on self-image congruence theories, this research examines whether greater self-congruence with a ‘Liked’ brand leads to positive brand outcomes.  It also examines whether consumers’ perceptions about their Facebook friendship network structure influences the self-congruence of their ‘Likes’.  A large-scale survey was conducted of Facebook users who ‘Like’ brands (N = 438).

Results show that (i) perceptions of social tie strength are informed by attitude homophily, (ii) self-congruence with a ‘Liked’ brand increases with greater perceived social tie strength, and (iii) when perceived self-congruence with a ‘Liked’ brand is higher, brand love and word of mouth are enhanced.  Consumers have greater brand loyalty and offer more WOM when brands are loved.  Implications for managers seeking to enhance brand outcomes through Facebook ‘Likes’ are presented.

 


This seminar is one of a series of seminars in the Whitaker Ideas Forum seminar series.  Dr Wallace will be representing the Performance Management Research Cluster.