This study tests hypotheses integrating relational
aspects of social networks, self-expressive brands, and consumers’ brand
advocacy. We explore the relationship
between homophily and social ties, and the extent to which strong ties are
associated with Facebook users’ incorporation of self-expressive brands in
their personal profiles by ‘liking’ them. We also examine the relationship
between self-expressive brands ‘liked’ on Facebook, and consumers’ brand
advocacy in online and offline settings.
A survey of 265 Facebook users reveals stronger social ties influence
consumers to ‘like’ brands that express their inner and social selves. Self-expressive brands reflecting one’s
inner or social self encourage consumers to offer positive WOM on social
networks. Further, self-expressive
brands ‘liked’ on Facebook positively influence consumers’ brand acceptance,
and their willingness to forgive ‘liked’ brands for wrongdoing. Managerial implications along with implications
for theory development are explored.