Social presence and customer brand engagement in social media
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To enhance consumer brand experience, marketers are increasing engagement in brand communities by using social media technology enabling them to interact directly with customers. Past studies reported that perceived social presence contributes to positive consumer attitudes towards websites selling physical products, but there has been limited research about how this works for social media corporate webpages. This pilot study examines the effects of social presence on customer engagement with the brand in a corporate Facebook environment. In-depth interviews were conducted with 18 corporate and 4 marketing communications manager Facebook users. Results show that brand engagement results from viewing information, followed by clicking the like button, comments, and sharing. Motivations include informational, entertainment, economic, self-expression and socializing benefits. Social presence is important for engagement with products and people in the online brand community, which makes consumers more informed and positive about the brand, thus enhancing the brand experience.