Firms can leverage social media brand communities (SMBCs) to manage consumer relationships. This study investigated firm engagement tactics using a mixed-methods approach with qualitative (Study one) and quantitative (Study two) analyses. Building on uses and gratifications theory and the qualitative results, we identify brand-specific consumer education, reputation enhancement, incentives provision, interaction support, and entertainment support as firm engagement tactics. Next, we explore the moderating effect of firm engagement tactics on the SMBC identification/SMBC engagement and SMBC engagement/brand loyalty relationships using the partial least squares method. The results confirm that consumer engagement mediates the link between SMBC identification and brand loyalty. In addition, firm engagement tactics positively moderate the aforementioned relationships. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
- Firm-hosted social media brand communities
- brand loyalty
- consumer engagement
- firm engagement tactics
- uses and gratifications theory