How to create a successful Facebook Brand Fan Page: The effects of common-bond vs. common-identity design on involvement with the community and the brand Dr. Sonja Utz1,2 & Linda van Engelen1 1VU University Amsterdam 2NHL LeeuwardenGor 2012, Mannheim
Social media and brandsSource: http://aytm.com/blog/research-junction/branding-and-how-it-works-in-the-social-media-age/
Prior research on Facebook Fanpages• Mostly case studies (e.g., Dholakia & Durham, 2010) or descriptive• Evaluation of existing Facebook fan pages – Buffardi (GOR 2011) – analysis of objective (e.g. number of videos) and subjective (ratings of wallposts) characteristics of Facebook fan pages • Correlations with number of fans • Conclusion: more features, more interactivity => more fans • Especially subjective characteristics influence Brand Facebook Page Love and Facebook Page Engagement • No effects on behavior (word-of-mouth; site visits) – Busse (Gor 2011), Veltins – Effects on evaluation, but not on buying behavior
Theoretical background: Common bond vs. commonidentity groups (Prentice, Miller, & Lightdale, 1994) Prior research on online consumer communities • social identification with the community important predictor of engagement and brand evaluationCommon bond groups Common identity groups• E.g., groups of friends • E.g., sport team, political party• Attachment to the group based • Attachment to the group based on interpersonal relationships on identification with the goal,• Members leave if the most values and norms of the group popular member switches to • Members stay even if the most another group popular member switches to another group
Design principes (see also Ren et al, in press)
Analysis of the most successful Dutch brand pages• based on SocialBakers.com• 2010: 19 Dutch brands listed (now 162) – Often mix of both strategies (Top 5) – 9 brands employ primarily a common-identity strategy – None uses a pure common-bond strategy – Interaction with customers important – Number of pictures and videos made by fans correlates with growth of the Fan page
Hypotheses• General assumption: common bonds/pictures from fans good for smooth interaction on fan page, but common identity/brand pictures better for (transfer to) brandDesign strategy:• H1: Common bond design better for community (attitude towards the fan page, word-of-mouth (WOM) fan page) than common identity design• H2: Common identity design better for brand (engagement on fan page, attitude towards the brand, brand loyalty, WOM brand) than common bond designPicture source:• H3: Pictures uploaded by fans better for community (attitude towards the fan page, WOM fan page) than pictures from brand• H4: Pictures from brand better for brand (engagement on fan page, attitude towards the brand, brand loyalty, WOM brand) than pictures from fans
Experiment• 2 (common bond vs. common identity) x 2 (picture source: brand vs. fan) – design• Dependent variables: attitude fan page, WOM fan page, intention to follow (repeated visits)/participate, attitude brand, WOM brand, brand loyalty• N = 161• Manipulation common bond vs. common identity: screenshots based on design principles + fake pretest (people you could become friends with based on interests and personality (common bond); people with similar age and occupation (common identity))
Example stimulus materialCommon identity, pictures from brand Common bond, pictures from fans
Resultats – the effects of design strategy common bond common identity65 *4 * <.103 * *210 attitude fan WOM fan intention to intention to attitude loyalty WOM page page follow participate brand brand brand
Resultats – the effects of picture source fans brand65 <.104 *3 * * *210 attitude fan WOM fan intention to intention to attitude loyalty WOM brand page page follow participate brand brand
Resultats – interaction effects design x picture source intention to follow intention to participate common bond common identity common bond common identity6 65 54 43 32 21 10 0 fans brand fans brand
Resultaten – interaction effect design x picture source loyalty common bond common identity543210 fans brand
Conclusions• Common bond design results in a more positive attitude towards the fan page and more WOM for the fan page• Common identity design stimulates active participation and results in a more positive attitude towards the brand• Pictures by fans result in a more positive attitude towards the fan page and more WOM for the fan page => people look for social relationships on SNS• Pictures by the brand stimulate active participation• Especially the combination common identity + brand pictures stimulates active participation• Mismatch common bond – brand pictures decreases loyalty
Discussion• Different forms of attachment have different consequences – Common bond: positive attitude and WOM towards the community – Common identity: positive for brand (active participation within community as well as attitude) – Similar pattern for picture source
Discussion• Implication: optimal strategy depends on goal – Awareness, attracting many visitors/light and medium buyers: common bond design, fan pictures – Active participation, transfer to brand: common identity + brand pictures• Again: weaker effects on buying intention• Limitations: Experiment, only screenshots => effects stronger for real communities?• Strength: Experiment => independent influence of factors, causal relationship, avoid selection effects• Future research: generalizability to other products, role of interactive apps• Take home message: theory-based design works!
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