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The levers of engagement: an exploration of governance in an online brand community

Tony Cooper (), Constantino Stavros and Angela R. Dobele
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Tony Cooper: RMIT University
Constantino Stavros: RMIT University
Angela R. Dobele: RMIT University

Journal of Brand Management, 2019, vol. 26, issue 3, 240-254

Abstract: Abstract Online brand communities represent an increasingly important touchpoint for establishing effective consumer–brand relationships. Growing consumer empowerment and an absence of empirical research on the subject, however, have left many firms struggling to balance the often contradictory goals of community propagation for corporate gain with the autonomy demanded by such groups. This exploratory study investigates the management of this tension between control and engagement in a single Facebook brand community to understand how a firm can balance community goals with corporate needs. Our analysis of more than 13,000 Facebook comments and 2988 company posts reveals that online brand community governance can be conceptualised as a continuum. We identify three critical levers that the case study firm manipulated to establish equilibrium between commercial and community imperatives. The levers represent appealing, consulting and affiliating actions and are manifest in a range of social media marketing tactics exhibited by the company which we examine in the context of engagement theory.

Keywords: Engagement; Control; Social media; Brand community management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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