Social Media Brand Community and Consumer Behavior: Quantifying the Relative Impact of User- and Marketer-Generated Content

48 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2012 Last revised: 31 Aug 2016

See all articles by Khim Yong Goh

Khim Yong Goh

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Cheng-Suang Heng

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Zhijie Lin

Tsinghua University

Date Written: October 31, 2012

Abstract

Despite the popular use of social media by consumers and marketers, empirical research investigating their economic values still lags. In this study, we integrate qualitative user-marketer interaction content data from a fan page brand community on Facebook and consumer transactions data to assemble a unique data set at the individual consumer level. We then quantify the impact of community contents from consumers (user-generated content, i.e., UGC) and marketers (marketer-generated content, i.e., MGC) on consumers’ apparel purchase expenditures. A content analysis method was used to construct measures to capture the informative and persuasive nature of UGC and MGC while distinguishing between directed and undirected communication modes on the brand community. In our empirical analysis, we exploit differences across consumers’ fan page joining decision and across timing differences in fan page joining dates for our model estimation and identification strategies. Importantly, we also control for potential self-selection biases and relevant factors such as pricing, promotion, social network attributes, consumer demographics and unobserved heterogeneity. Our findings show that engagement in social media brand communities lead to a positive increase in purchase expenditures. Additional in-depth examinations of UGC and MGC impacts show robust evidence that social media brand community contents affect consumer purchase behavior through embedded information and persuasion. Evidence also points to the different roles played by UGC and MGC, varying by the type of directed or undirected communication modes by consumers and the marketer. Specifically, the elasticities of UGC information richness are 0.006 (directed communication) and 3.140 (undirected communication), whereas those of MGC information richness are insignificant. Moreover, the elasticity of UGC valence is 0.180 (undirected communication), while that of MGC valence is 0.004 (directed communication). Overall, UGC exhibits a stronger impact than MGC on consumer purchase behavior. Our findings provide various implications for academic research and practice.

Keywords: social media, brand community, consumer behavior, user-generated content, marketer-generated content, communication mode, text mining, econometric modeling

JEL Classification: C5, D12, M31

Suggested Citation

Goh, Khim Yong and Heng, Cheng-Suang and Lin, Zhijie, Social Media Brand Community and Consumer Behavior: Quantifying the Relative Impact of User- and Marketer-Generated Content (October 31, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2048614 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2048614

Khim Yong Goh (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

15 Computing Drive
Singapore, 117418
Singapore
65-65162832 (Phone)
65-67791610 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~gohky

Cheng-Suang Heng

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

15 Computing Drive
Singapore, Singapore 117418
Singapore

Zhijie Lin

Tsinghua University ( email )

Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100084
China

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