Customer Engagement Behaviour: A Case Study of Antecedents, Outcomes and the Moderating Role of Susceptibility to Informational Influences in Saudi Arabia’s on Twittersphere

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Alsahli, Mohammad Saad (2021) Customer Engagement Behaviour: A Case Study of Antecedents, Outcomes and the Moderating Role of Susceptibility to Informational Influences in Saudi Arabia’s on Twittersphere. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Customer engagement behaviour (CEB), which is a customer’s behavioural manifestation towards a brand beyond a purchase resulting from motivational drivers (van Doorn et al., 2010), has evolved with the advent of social media. CEB with brands is facilitated through social media in real time using a variety of methods, such as word of mouth activities, commenting and sharing in an online context. As many customers now depend on their social media for information about brands, CEB on social media platform has important consequences for brands, including the potential to enhance customerbrand relationships (Gómez et al., 2019; Hollebeek, 2011a). Nonetheless, there is limited knowledge regarding the concept of CEB within the context of social media platforms and brands lack enough knowledge and understanding of CEB to properly measure it and manage its drivers towards beneficial brand outcomes (e.g., Touni et al., 2020; Hamzah et al., 2021). This thesis aims to investigate the concept of CEB with brands in the social media platforms, with a focus on the Twitter platform, and to identify its antecedents and outcomes. This thesis proposed and tested a model that (a) conceptualises and measures CEB with the brand on Twitter; (b) tests the effects of tie strength, homophily and trust in driving CEB with the brand on Twitter; (c) tests for the moderating role of susceptibility to informational influences on the link between CEB and its antecedents; and (d) tests the impact of CEB on customer–brand relationships including brand trust, brand commitment and brand loyalty. Saudi Arabia and the Twitter platform were chosen as the contexts of the current study. Saudi Arabia is viewed as a lucrative customer market for a wide range of local and global brands (Abalkhail, 2018) and Twitter is one of the country’s most popular social media platforms (Statista, 2021). Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has surpassed other nations in social media usage, with an exponential annual growth rate of 8% (Kemp, 2021b). Quantitative research employing an online survey was conducted to collect data to examine the proposed model. Using the snowball sampling technique to recruit Saudi Arabians with Twitter accounts to participate in the research, a sample size of 400 was obtained. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were used to confirm the factorial stability and multidimensionality of the proposed factors, followed by Structural Equation Modeling to confirm the structural model and test the hypothesised relationships among the key variables in the model. The thesis theoretically and practically contributes to the literature of CEB regarding the social media context and enhances our understanding of the concept. Theoretically, the study provides conceptualisation and measurement of CEB on Twitter and identifies its key antecedents and relational outcomes. First, the findings validate the conceptualisation and operationalisation of CEB on Twitter as three dimensions— learning, sharing and endorsing. Second, they provide evidence regarding the role of trust in driving CEB with a brand on Twitter. Third, the findings provide support for the impact of CEB on enhancing positive brand-related behavioural outcomes on Twitter and offer evidence regarding the role that susceptibility to informational influence may have in strengthening the relationship between engagement behaviours and their antecedents. Practically, the proposed model enhances marketers’ understanding of CEB on Twitter and thus encourages the development of stronger consumer engagement strategies on Twitter.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3506 Marketing
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Current > Division/Research > VU School of Business
Keywords customer engagement behaviour, social media, brands, Saudi Arabia, Twitter, snowball sampling
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