Special Issue "The Effects of Social Media Marketing on Online Consumer Behavior in Digital Era"

A special issue of Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research (ISSN 0718-1876). This special issue belongs to the section "Digital Marketing and the Connected Consumer".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021) | Viewed by 35302

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Maria Sicilia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Marketing and Market Research, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
Interests: online consumer behavior; social media; digital marketing; advertising; personality traits; WOM; influencer marketing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social media have experienced unparalleled growth worldwide in the past decade. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Youtube are increasingly being used not only to connect with friends and acquaintances but also to interact with companies and brands. More and more companies have decided to actively include social media in their marketing strategy by creating brand pages, developing content and promoting it. Product and brand decisions as well as communication and promotions need to adapt to the dynamism of social media and more research is needed to know how to effectively communicate through these platforms. As social media evolve, it is interesting to better understand what types of content (enriched content, co-creation, promotions, …) are still attracting customer attention and engagement. Influencers are also being increasingly used to promote products and brands on social media. Moreover, social media have also changed dramatically customer support services, since customers are the key element around which social media are articulated.

Encouraging consumer participation has also become a focal point of many companies and brands that wish to succeed in social media. Obtaining likes, shares and comments has become almost an obsession for many social media managers. However, companies have not yet completely understood what motivates consumers to participate in brand pages. Gaining social recognition may be an important driver of participation. Consumers are increasingly sharing product-related experiences through social media but companies have failed to incorporate these experiences into their brand pages. Understanding the selfie phenomenon may be also very useful for improving social media marketing decisions. In general, most self-related concepts (self-image, self-definition, self-disclosure, self-concept, self-brand connection) can increase our understanding of consumers’ motivations and behavior on social media.

Both original research and review articles with the objective of improving our understanding of social media marketing are encouraged. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Social media advertising and promotions
  • Effectiveness of different types of posts on social media
  • Effectiveness of promotions on social media
  • Integration of communication efforts through social media
  • Co-creation through social media
  • Encouraging positive eWOM through social media and brand pages
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Social recognition and self-related motivations on social media.
  • The role of selfies in social media marketing
  • Customer service and complaint management through social media
  • Managing online firestorms on social media

Dr. Maria Sicilia
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • online engagement
  • online consumer behavior
  • social media marketing
  • social recognition
  • brand pages
  • post content
  • selfies
  • eWOM
  • integrated communication
  • advertising
  • promotion
  • customer service

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Measuring Online Sensory Consumer Experience: Introducing the Online Sensory Marketing Index (OSMI) as a Structural Modeling Approach
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2022, 17(2), 751-772; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer17020039 - 01 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2035
Abstract
We present a novel quantitative approach to assessing sensory components on e-commerce websites. The Online Sensory Marketing Index (OSMI) provides a valuable measure of the sensory output exhibited by text, images, and other media. The OSMI enables website creators and marketers to communicate [...] Read more.
We present a novel quantitative approach to assessing sensory components on e-commerce websites. The Online Sensory Marketing Index (OSMI) provides a valuable measure of the sensory output exhibited by text, images, and other media. The OSMI enables website creators and marketers to communicate about sensory marketing elements and related components. Accordingly, websites could be designed to achieve better sensory appeal and mitigate weaknesses. Our index allows for the creation of sensory templates for various industries. Utilizing a field study of 16 websites in the tech, automotive, fashion, and food industries, we present sensory measures for websites’ acoustical and visionary elements that are easy to comprehend. Additionally, we introduce a score to quantify haptic, olfactory, and gustatory components to assess the online sensory consumer experience. We conclude and propose weighting offline and online sensory parameters per industry. Accordingly, we study quantitative parameters for online sensory overload and deprivation. Our assessment offers a comfortable determination of websites’ OSMI. Full article
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Article
I Wish I Could Be Like Her/Him! How Self-Congruence Stimulates a Desire to Mimic
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(7), 3025-3042; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16070165 - 02 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2539
Abstract
Influencer marketing acquires customers who follow their favorite celebrities, who have shared beliefs and opinions. This research explores the self-motives and influencer-related factors that lead to influencer congruence. Influenced customers subsequently recommend those influencers to others. No concrete scale of recommendation is available [...] Read more.
Influencer marketing acquires customers who follow their favorite celebrities, who have shared beliefs and opinions. This research explores the self-motives and influencer-related factors that lead to influencer congruence. Influenced customers subsequently recommend those influencers to others. No concrete scale of recommendation is available so far. This research also conceptualizes, develops, and validates a scale for recommendations. In this study, 451 respondents answered questions about the influencers they follow. Normality, reliability, and validity were used for hypothesis testing. Results show the positive and direct impacts of all proposed hypotheses. The findings contribute to the literature by presenting a balanced approach to studying two parallel yet integral aspects of influencer marketing: the influencer and the consumer. Full article
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Article
Social Networks and E-Loyalty: A New Means of Sports Training during COVID-19 Quarantines
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(7), 2808-2823; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16070154 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1787
Abstract
Globally, governments implemented several quarantine periods to attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As a result, people were unable to carry out their daily activities in person, and many began to undertake activities online. Gyms and sports schools were among [...] Read more.
Globally, governments implemented several quarantine periods to attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As a result, people were unable to carry out their daily activities in person, and many began to undertake activities online. Gyms and sports schools were among the economic sectors that were required to physically close their operations at the beginning of these quarantines. Thus, many people stopped exercising and turned to social networks as a form of entertainment. The aim of this study was to demonstrate how consumers found a new form of entertainment in the social networks of gyms and sports schools, which allowed them to be entertained and perform physical exercise at home. In this manner, consumers generated an e-loyalty towards the social networks of the gyms that they previously frequented physically. Thus, based on the e-loyalty of their social networks, gyms were able to identify a mechanism that enabled them to approach their consumers and continue offering a variety of products and services online, taking into account the context of COVID-19. Full article
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Article
Measuring Customer Engagement in Social Media Marketing: A Higher-Order Model
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(7), 2633-2654; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16070145 - 03 Oct 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6396
Abstract
Customer engagement has emerged as a vital component in social media marketing strategies, prompting considerable interest from both marketers and academics. This study investigates customer engagement (CE) in a framework that includes three antecedents and a main outcome (loyalty). Based on the survey [...] Read more.
Customer engagement has emerged as a vital component in social media marketing strategies, prompting considerable interest from both marketers and academics. This study investigates customer engagement (CE) in a framework that includes three antecedents and a main outcome (loyalty). Based on the survey method, we test a proposed model on social media users. The data analysis focuses on exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, as well as structural equation modeling to test the hypotheses, and a multi-group analysis. The results validate CE as a multidimensional construct and support all hypotheses of the conceptual model. As key contributions, the study reveals involvement as the strongest antecedent of customer engagement and emphasizes the importance of CE in predicting and fostering customer loyalty. This paper adds to the existing body of knowledge on customer–brand relationships by establishing the main drivers for customer engagement in digital settings, with valuable theoretical and practical perspectives. Finally, our findings provide managerial recommendations on the development of social media marketing strategies conveyed to enhance customer engagement. Full article
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Article
The Common Values of Social Media Marketing and Luxury Brands. The Millennials and Generation Z Perspective
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(7), 2532-2553; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16070139 - 25 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 8100
Abstract
As consumers spend more time on social media, brands can take advantage of this opportunity to better serve and communicate with their followers. Still, given the characteristics of luxury, luxury brands may be reluctant to use social media. To determine the extent to [...] Read more.
As consumers spend more time on social media, brands can take advantage of this opportunity to better serve and communicate with their followers. Still, given the characteristics of luxury, luxury brands may be reluctant to use social media. To determine the extent to which Millennials and Generation Z consumers perceive compatibility between social media marketing and luxury brands, a purposive sampling technique was employed. We collected data from 303 Romanian visitors of the Facebook page entitled Do You Like Luxury? This page, with postings from luxury producers, was specially created and sponsored in order to raise interest in completing the questionnaires. For data analysis, we used statistical tests, including confirmatory factorial analysis, regression, and independent-samples t-test. Our research shows that, for Millennials and Generation Z, luxury brands are compatible with social media apps as marketing channels. Even in the case of inadequacy, managers can still use the facilities of digital technologies to depict exclusivity, emotions, and sensory experiences specific to luxury. Unlike other studies, which only focused on a few dimensions, we proposed a multidimensional approach of the perceived value of luxury and social media marketing. Moreover, this is one of the few studies to focus on Eastern European consumers. Full article
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Article
Internet Celebrities’ Impact on Luxury Fashion Impulse Buying
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(6), 2470-2489; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16060136 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4858
Abstract
This study investigates how the endorsements of Internet celebrities (ICs) may drive consumer trust in their marketing campaigns, and subsequently affect impulse buying in relation to luxury fashion brands. Drawing on the framework of persuasion with a particular emphasis on the role of [...] Read more.
This study investigates how the endorsements of Internet celebrities (ICs) may drive consumer trust in their marketing campaigns, and subsequently affect impulse buying in relation to luxury fashion brands. Drawing on the framework of persuasion with a particular emphasis on the role of receivers, this study identifies five main characteristics, namely, the popularity of ICs, identification, IC adoration, social distance, and the perceived fit that may contribute to promoting impulse buying. A survey was conducted with 585 followers of IC in China. The findings reveal that trust is an essential factor that affects impulse buying. Identification and perceived fit both significantly contribute to increasing impulse buying through trust. Alternatively, large social distance may impair the relationship between trust and impulse buying. We conclude with implications for marketers that luxury fashion brands should seek cooperation not only with the most popular, but also with the most relevant ICs. An IC with a humble and relatable image can earn consumers’ trust and lead to an enhanced endorsement effect. Full article
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Article
Eye Tracking and an A/B Split Test for Social Media Marketing Optimisation: The Connection between the User Profile and Ad Creative Components
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(6), 2319-2340; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16060128 - 11 Sep 2021
Viewed by 2822
Abstract
In the era of digitally dominated competition, where the effectiveness of Facebook ads prompts the social media marketing strategy, new opportunities arise for most industries. In this context, this study aims to discover and summarize the key optimisations regarding the creative ad components [...] Read more.
In the era of digitally dominated competition, where the effectiveness of Facebook ads prompts the social media marketing strategy, new opportunities arise for most industries. In this context, this study aims to discover and summarize the key optimisations regarding the creative ad components needed to run highly personalized ads based on a user profile. The participants were Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 65+ who were interested in dental services. Qualitative methods were adopted in order to discover suitable options for professionals to grow their business. In the first stage, the A/B split test using the Facebook Ads manager labelled the most effective creative component. In the second stage, an eye-tracking experiment generated 30 heatmaps that showed the differences between the segments. The results show solutions for attracting users by increasing the level of personalization of the ads. They are more beneficial for social media campaigns aimed at brand awareness targeting women and showing them a happy human face. When the target audience is men, technical details are preferred in order for the ad to become more attractive for them. This study enriches the literature and empowers professionals to deploy social media marketing growth strategies to attract users and make them convert to their full potential. Full article
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Article
Benefits of Online Sources of Information in the Tourism Sector: The Key Role of Motivation to Co-Create
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(6), 2051-2072; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16060115 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2476
Abstract
Online sources of information are a matter of special interest in tourism research. In particular, they are key elements in the formation of destination image. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between online sources of information and destination image [...] Read more.
Online sources of information are a matter of special interest in tourism research. In particular, they are key elements in the formation of destination image. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between online sources of information and destination image and to analyze the mediating role of motivation to co-create in that relationship. A research model was developed, and hypotheses were tested on data collected from 394 usable responses about the World Heritage city of Cuenca (Spain). The results show that online commercial sources have a direct positive impact on the conative, affective and cognitive dimensions of the tourist image, in this order. Additionally, this study supports the view that motivation to co-create mediates the relationship between online information sources and destination image. Finally, motivation to co-create was also found to have a positive and direct impact, in this order, on conative, cognitive and affective image. The main value of our research is that it underlines the essential influence of motivation to co-create in the relationship between online information sources and destination image. This study also provides a critical review of the existing literature by positing a conceptual theoretical framework that links three types of online sources of information (social media sources, online commercial sources and online non-commercial sources) and destination image. Full article
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