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Type: Theses
Title: Social media engagement behaviour: a uses and gratifications perspective
Author: Dolan, Rebecca Marie
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: Business School
Abstract: The proliferation of social media platforms in recent years has precipitated a paradigm shift among consumers, as they become more proactive in their direct interactions with brands. Practitioners recognise the value of these interactions, and are endeavouring to build engagement through their social media content. However, despite recent research in this field, theoretically-based academic guidance on a strategic approach to developing engagement in new-media social networks remains limited. In addition, while the Uses and Gratifications theoretical perspective has long claimed that media users are motivated by a need to engage with content, it is unclear whether this perspective can explain the engagement of customers in a social media context. This dissertation aims to advance existing knowledge on social media content types by examining the effect of informational, entertaining, remunerative and relational content on the engagement behaviour of social media users. A social media engagement behaviour (SMEB) construct is developed to provide a richer understanding of the nature of engagement behaviour in this context. This construct includes six discrete levels of behavioural intensity that recognise the positively- and negatively-valenced nature of engagement behaviour. This study used Facebook Insights and NCapture to extract data from Facebook to provide insight into the actual behaviours of consumers using social media, rather than relying on self-reported data to examine the proposed hypotheses. Social media data was collected from twelve Australian wine brands, yielding a total of 2,236 social media posts. Quantitative content analysis (QCA), binary logistic regression, and Process moderation analysis were used to analyse the set of data and establish the significance of the hypothesised relationships. The results show that the four social media content types have distinct and independent effects on SMEB, demonstrating the need to consider each individually. Supported by the notion of information overload, the results demonstrate that for each type of content, the positive relationship with SMEB only exists at lower levels of each content type. This demonstrates that the amount of content is an important consideration impacting on the resultant engagement behaviour. Minimal interaction effects among content types were found, which suggests that there is little benefit in designing social media content that attempts to simultaneously appeal to users’ needs for information, entertainment, remuneration and relational interaction. The results also showed significant moderating effects of media richness, community size, and congruity of the social media content, which affect the relationships with SMEB. This study contributes to our knowledge of engagement by exploring online engagement behaviour in greater depth and integrating specific levels and valence of behaviour into a singular construct. It extends the utility of Uses and Gratifications Theory in engagement research, demonstrating how this theory can be evolved to explore emerging media such as social networking sites. The study supports the need for the strategic design of social media content in business by linking specific types of content to different aspects of SMEB. In doing so, it provides guidance to managers on delivering social media content to enhance engagement among social media users.
Advisor: Fahy, John
Conduit, Jodie
Goodman, Steven Paul
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, Business School, 2016.
Keywords: engagement
social media
uses and gratifcations
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
DOI: 10.4225/55/5a20bffcea4e3
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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