Academic journal article Management Dynamics

The Influence of Satisfaction on Facebook Fan Page 'Like' Intentions

Academic journal article Management Dynamics

The Influence of Satisfaction on Facebook Fan Page 'Like' Intentions

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Within just a few years, social networking sites have become very popular. Indeed, 75 per cent of adult internet users reportedly use social media. Moreover, social networking sites such as Facebook, My Space and Twitter attract more than 90 per cent of young adults and teens, and represent more than a quarter of all internet traffic (Hollenbeck and Kaikati, 2012). In the social-mediamarketing domain, Facebook is the focus of a great deal of interest, for three reasons. Firstly, Facebook has had an estimated user base of more than 1.19 billion active monthly users since September 2013 (Facebook.com, 2014). Moreover, a large majority of the active user base is active every day. The daily active user count of Facebook reported during September 2013 was 717 million users (Facebook.com, 2014). Secondly, Facebook offers a high degree of visibility through features such as wall posts and public displays of connections. Thirdly, Facebook supports word-of-mouth (WOM) communications because users use it primarily to communicate with friends in their network.

From a firm's perspective, social media outlets such as Facebook are excellent vehicles for fostering relationships with customers. One specific way to do this is to create a brand fan page - a miniature landing page or micro-site on Facebook that serves as a 'home base' for a firm (in this instance, a brand) (Reynolds, 2009). Brand fan pages usually contain information about the brand, such as contact information and website information. On these fan pages, brands can post product/service-related information about new products/services, events, promotions, etc. Facebook users can also engage in different ways with the brands on fan pages. For example, they can 'Like' the fan page, 'Like'/'Share' content posted on the fan page, or comment on postings. According to Socialbakers.com (2012), there are more than 31 000 brand fan pages on Facebook, with brands such as Coca-Cola, Disney, Red Bull, Converse, Starbucks and Oreo leading the way, with each boasting more than 30 million fans. Consumers who become fans of these brand pages tend to be more loyal and committed to the firm, more open to receiving information, and more likely to engage in positive WOM (Hollenbeck and Kaikati, 2012).

In this study, the fan-page behaviour of interest was the 'Like' feature. On Facebook, the 'Like' feature is explained as a way for Facebook users to give positive feedback or to connect with things they care about on Facebook (Facebook.com, 2012). When a Facebook user 'Likes'a Facebook page, the user makes a positive cognitive connection with the page. A story about the 'Like' will appear on the Facebook user's 'Wall' (timeline), and may also appear in the News Feed. Furthermore, fan pages 'Liked' by the user may post updates to the user's News Feed or send messages. The Facebook user may also be displayed on the page he/she is connected to in advertisements about that page, or in social plugins next to the content that was 'Liked'. The Facebook pages that the user 'Liked' will also show at the bottom of the Info tab under Activities and Interests. Moreover, if the user's search visibility settings allow Facebook pages to be displayed to non-friends, they will also see the 'Liked' information when they find the user in a search (Facebook.com, 2012). Thus, the 'Like' feature creates a channel for communicating with Facebook users, while also creating awareness of the firm or brand among the Facebook user's friends and non-friends.

Research by Napkin Labs showed that only 6 per cent of fans engage with brands on Facebook via 'Likes', comments, polls or other means (Fiegerman, 2012). Therefore, strategies to increase the number of 'Likes' of Facebook brand pages, such as users first having to 'Like' the brand page before being allowed to enter a competition or to post a comment, may be effective in increasing the number of 'Likes' - but the marketing value of these artificially generated fans can be questioned. …

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