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Factors influencing customer participation and engagement in Social media groups and networks- an empirical investigation of the retailing companies of Ireland

Thiruvattu Thodi, Ansas (2020) Factors influencing customer participation and engagement in Social media groups and networks- an empirical investigation of the retailing companies of Ireland. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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This dissertation aimed to find answers to three critical research questions, notably including, what factors or motivators prompt consumers to participate and interact within social media groups and communities; how such consumers can be influenced by retail brands on social media; and is it beneficial for brands to increase levels of engagement with consumers on social media in terms of advancing brand commitment and brand trust. These identified research subjects and questions were addressed mainly through empirically investigating relevant customer experience of consumers of Irish retail brands. Additionally, this research also aimed to find out ways and means that Irish retail brands can use to enhance their engagement with consumers on social media.

To achieve the above research purpose, the study started off with a positivist research philosophy and a deductive approach because of the exploratory nature of the study. The primary research method adopted within this study is a quantitative research method. This is because of the large size of the target population of this study – the users of social media platform in Ireland. Using a purposive sampling method, this study eventually got 103 survey respondents. The research used statistical software SPSS for data analysis.

Revealed from the empirical data collected, the study found that the primary perceived benefits that consumers looked for by participating in social media groups and communities were functional benefits and monetary benefits. Such functional benefits reported from the data collected include greater and easier access to information, brands solving their problems by being supportive and proactive on social media; whereas the reported monetary benefits include providing exclusive offers on social media. Consumers were also reported to have the need and ‘want’ to enjoy a status of being in touch with brands on social media and enjoy recommending appropriate brands to their peers.

The results of this study also found that companies can generate brand commitment and brand trust by being proactive, supportive and responsive to consumers on social media. The study concluded that it was possible to create better consumers engagement on social media by crafting vivid, interesting and interactive content. All these reported empirical findings are believed to contribute to existing knowledge of the focused research subjects.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Consumer Behaviour
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > e Marketing
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Specific Industries > Retail Industry
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in International Business
Depositing User: Dan English
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2021 15:58
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2021 15:58

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