The Effects of Fan Personality on Participation in Social Media Based Brand Community: Role of Personality on Participation in the Social Media

The Effects of Fan Personality on Participation in Social Media Based Brand Community: Role of Personality on Participation in the Social Media

Ali Balapour (University of Tehran, Iran) and Amir Khanlari (University of Tehran, Iran)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8586-4.ch009
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Facebook as the greatest social network has offered a new marketing tools for companies, agencies, organizations and even people like celebrities. We are witnessing a growing trend in emergence of online brand communities both in and out of social media. However, one of the important aspects that needs to be magnified is how brand's fans participate in their favorite brand pages? This study tries to answer questions like this. We introduce new variables which should be counted in the 3M model of personality in order to stimulate brand fans to participate on the brand page more than before. Entertainment, monetary and normative incentives are introduced as potential variables which affect situational traits of participants. Finally, we advise brand managers to not forget about entertainment mixed with promotions or representation of products over their online brand community; entertainment along with monetary and normative incentives can motivate fans to participate.
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With advent of social networks and growing number of participants in them (Facebook for instance), it is becoming imperative for brands to move to this platform as well. Many companies such as Burberry recognized the importance of these online brand communities. “In April 2011, Burberry staged a catwalk show in Beijing where live models are mixed with holograms, creating a new and unique experience for its audience. All the videos were immediately posted on YouTube for fans that had missed the shows. This social media strategy helped Burberry to rejuvenate the brand and reposition it as a more fashionable and aspirational one than ever” (Phan et al., 2011).The number of social network users in 2012 was 1.43 billion and it was expected to reach 2.55 billion by 2017 (Emarketer, n.d.), Facebook announced 1.23 billion monthly active users in Dec/2013 (Facebook, n.d.; Wikipedia, n.d.).What people seek in social media are: psychological needs (belongingness, need for interaction), shopping, researching, entertainment & making money (Laroche et al., 2013).People are sharing various types of information like picture, video, text and discussing about politics, economics and consumption-related issues in social networks virtual chatting, bulletin and Customers are at their most open, honest and candid when they are talking to each other about their product opinions and consumption experience; also social networks enable them to have both synchronous (real-time) communication and asynchronous (non-real time) communication (Noble et al., 2012; Sung et al., 2010).

Consumers have compelling stories to share about their brand experiences, seek recommendations and exchange product information with other users of social media (Kapoor et al., 2013).According to Nielsen “Social media plays an important role in how consumers discover, research, and share information about brands and products. In fact 60 percent of consumers researching products through multiple online sources learned about a specific brand or retailer through social networking sites (Nielsen, n.d.). According to Nielsen (n.d.), Internet users are spending more time on Facebook (a massive 7 hours per month on average) than they spend on Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Microsoft, Wikipedia and Amazon combined (Nielsen, n.d.). From a marketer’s perspective, this means that their company or product brand needs to be located within Facebook. Consumers are increasingly likely to watch a movie trailer or download a discount coupon if that activity happens inside Facebook, in preference to being pushed to an external website (Harris & Dennis, 2011). We can consider the importance of social media to the extant which companies like old spice shifted it’s budgeting from old traditional way to the social campaigns in Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. It helped them rejuvenating the old images of public looks to the brand and now it’s one of their most effective customer relationship tools (Datamonitor, n.d.).

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