Consumer engagement with social media marketing: an empirical investigation in Australia

Deo, Kirtika (2019) Consumer engagement with social media marketing: an empirical investigation in Australia. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

The intensification of activity on and the importance of social media for marketing has revolutionised the way firms and brands interact, reach and engage with their consumers. Social media marketing helps to build a strong bond between consumers and firms that provides marketers with an opportunity to reach consumers on virtual social communities to develop deep relationships. This study explores factors influencing consumer engagement with social media marketing activities generated by firms by gaining profound insights from the users of social media in Australia. An empirical investigation was carried out to confirm the factors.

The study employed Uses and Gratifications (U&G) theory and Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) to understand the factors that influence consumer engagement on social media platforms from an individual and environmental perspective. An empirical investigation was carried out to confirm the factors by using exploratory sequential mixed method design which was conducted in two phases. The first phase included the exploratory stage of literature search and semi-structured interviews. From the literature search, a total of 72 sub-factors were identified from the literature and were systematically classified into seven factors (personal influences, psychological influences, buyers’ response, marketing communications, social influences, cultural influences, and laws and legislation) and further re-classified within individual and environmental influences. In order to confirm and validate the findings from the literature, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 participants from Australia who shared their knowledge and experiences with the engagement activities on social media. The findings from the semi-structured interviews confirmed and validated the seven factors and 62 of the 72 sub-factors identified from the literature search. Furthermore, the interviews found six additional sub-factors (accessibility, ease of use, cyber-bullying, identity theft, events or occasions, and fundraising).

The findings from Phase 1 were used to develop the survey instrument for Phase 2 of the study. A total of 353 participants from around Australia were recruited for the online and paper-based survey. Phase 2 of the study was conducted to empirically test crucial factors that influence consumers to engage with social media marketing. The study also included the demographics (age, gender, state, education, years of using social media) that enacted as moderating variables. The findings from Phase 2 confirmed that brands and psychological influences, classified under individual influences, positively influenced consumer engagement with social media marketing. Moreover, consumer engagement with social media marketing is positively influenced by social influences classified within the environmental influences. Also, education is the only demographic that positively moderates brands, psychological and social influences with consumer engagement within the social media marketing trajectory in Australia.

This study is a comprehensive investigation that advances knowledge in consumer engagement with social media marketing through the lenses of the U&G theory and SCT by investigating, verifying, validating and statistically testing factors and sub-factors affecting consumer engagement with social media marketing. The results are from the Australian consumer’s perspective, a perspective that has not been previously comprehensively explored in an empirical study. The study provides academics, practitioners and other stakeholders with insights that are relevant for developing strategies to manage consumer engagement with social media marketing activities that are generated by firms.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Business Administration thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Supervisors: Chimhundu, Ranga; Hafeez-Baig, Abdul
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2020 01:48
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2021 06:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: consumer engagement, social media, marketing, mixed methods, Uses and Gratifications Theory (U&G), Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), Australia
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1505 Marketing > 150502 Marketing Communications
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1505 Marketing > 150503 Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)
Fields of Research (2020): 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3506 Marketing > 350604 Marketing communications
35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3506 Marketing > 350605 Marketing management (incl. strategy and customer relations)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.26192/fxdj-qk37
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37960

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