Consumer motivations for social media usage and its impact on customers' trust and long-term relationships

Algahtani, Ali Mohammed

Business
2016

Thesis or dissertation


Rights
© 2016 Ali Mohammed Algahtani. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Abstract

New challenges and opportunities have recently arisen for companies’ relationships with customers as a result of the increasing prevalence of social media. By enabling companies to build online communities, social media allow marketers to access information about consumers, identify consumers’ needs, and gain direct consumer feedback. Thus, social media can be a very important and helpful tool for interacting and communicating with customers. In order to sustain such relationships for the long term, however, efforts must be centred around building consumer trust and commitment.

This study investigates the role of social media based communities in building relationships with consumers, and the influence of such communities on consumers’ attitudes and behaviours. Specifically, the study investigates whether such influences can lead to trust, commitment, and loyalty towards the organisation. Drawing on Uses and Gratification Theory, Consumption Values Theory, and the Commitment-Trust Theory, the study examines the relationship between consumers using social media channels, trusting these channels, and trusting the organisation that owns these channels.

Adopting a positivist deductive approach, quantitative data was collected via a survey strategy. A questionnaire targeting telecommunications company fan pages users in Saudi Arabia was distributed through Twitter and Facebook with help from people who have many followers/likes such as celebrities. More than 700 responses were collected, of which 522 were usable for factor analysis.

Based on the results, a cognitive behavioural model was established in relation to social media uses and gratifications, perceived values of social media fan pages, organisational trust, commitment, and loyalty. Users who perceived utilitarian benefits from following a company’s fan pages were likely to trust these pages, whereas perceived hedonic and social benefits did not have an influence on trust towards organization’s fan pages. The findings additionally indicated that consumers who trusted the organization’s fan pages were likely to trust the company. Therefore, telecommunication companies’ fan page users who perceived trust were expected to be committed and loyal to the company, which would consequently, lead to more frequent and larger purchases. The findings contribute to marketing theory and suggest ways in which marketers can tailor companies’ web presence for more effective communication and relationship-building with customers.

Publisher
Business School, The University of Hull
Supervisor
Ratanayake, Nilanthi; Jayawardhena, Chanaka
Qualification level
Doctoral
Qualification name
PhD
Language
English
Extent
4 MB
Identifier
hull:16510
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