Unpacking the relationship between social media marketing and brand equity: The mediating role of consumers’ benefits and experience
Social media marketing; Brand equity; Luxury brands; Brand experience; Online community; Millennials
Journal of Business Research
Consumers increasingly use social media brand communities to gather information about brands and to inform their purchase decisions. Building on uses and gratifications theory and brand experience we hypothesize that consumer benefits deriving from participation in such communities and brand experience mediate the relationship between social media marketing (SMM) activities and consumer-based brand equity (CBBE) among Millennials. Partial least squares path modeling (PLS) was used to test the research model with a sample of 326 followers of luxury fashion brands on social media. The findings reveal that cognitive, personal integrative, and social integrative benefits mediate the SMM–CBBE relationship, but hedonic benefits do not. Moreover, both emotional and rational brand experience significantly predict brand loyalty, brand awareness, and perceived quality. Luxury brand managers may use these findings to develop SMM strategies that enhance Millennials’ overall brand experience and assessments of brand equity in social media environments.