Consumer Behavior on Social Media: A Thematic Exploration and an Agenda for Future Inquiry
In the past decade, social media use has dramatically expanded. According to recent estimations, by 2017 almost half of the worldwide population has at least one social media account. Recently, researchers have started to explore how consumers behave in this new digital environment and how that behavior is different from that in the physical world. This chapter reviews and organizes the academic literature on this topic. Authors then propose an integrative model that describes and helps explain how consumers behave and interact with brands on social media. Five themes are identified as the main consumer behavior factors in social media environments: (1) the motivators and (2) de-motivators for consumers to follow brands on social media, (3) the interactions that consumers have with brands on social media, (4) the effects of following brands on social media, and (5) interpersonal relationships as an important contextual element. Finally, the authors suggest areas of greatest potential for future exploration.
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