Purpose: This study explores attitudes
of consumers who engage with brands through Facebook ‘Likes’. It explores the extent to which these brands
are self-expressive and examines the relationship between brand ‘Liking’ and
brand outcomes. Brand outcomes include
brand love and advocacy, where advocacy incorporates WOM and brand acceptance.
Design/methodology/approach: Findings are presented from a
survey of 265 Facebook users who engage with a brand by ‘Liking’ it.
Findings: Brands ‘Liked’ are expressive
of the inner or social self. The study
identifies a positive relationship between the self-expressive nature of brands
‘Liked’ and brand love. Consumers who
engage with inner self-expressive brands are more likely to offer WOM for that
brand. By contrast, consumers who engage
with socially self-expressive brands are more likely to accept wrongdoing from
Research Limitations: The research is exploratory
and is limited to consumers who are engaged with a brand through ‘Liking’ it on
the Facebook social network.
Practical Implications: The study offers suggestions
for managers seeking to enhance brand engagement through Facebook ‘Liking’, and
to encourage positive brand outcomes (such as WOM) among consumers already
engaged with a brand on Facebook.
Originality: This paper provides new
insights into consumer brand engagement evidenced through Facebook
‘Liking’. It charts the relationship
between ‘Liked’ self-expressive brands and brand love. Distinctions are drawn between brand outcomes
among consumers who ‘Like’ for socially self-expressive reasons, and consumers
who are brand engaged by ‘Liking’ to express their inner selves.