When do customers engage in brand pages? Effects of social presence

Jahyun Song, Hyoungeun Moon, Miyoung Kim

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Drawing upon the social presence theory, this paper aims to propose three social presence variables in the brand page context (the brand page as a medium, the presence of other customers and interaction with the brand page manager) and to test their effects on customer engagement behavior (CEB) and customer-brand identification (CBI). Design/methodology/approach: A total of 340 responses were collected via an online research platform and analyzed using structural equation modeling analysis. Findings: The results revealed that both the social presence of the brand page and the interaction with the brand page manager are positively associated with CEB, whereas that of other customers negatively influences CEB, which in turn, positively affects CBI. Research limitations/implications: This paper presents the underlying process of driving customers’ engagement activities and building psychological closeness between customers and brands by applying social presence theory and social identity theory to Facebook brand pages. Practical implications: To enhance customers’ experiences on Facebook brand pages, practitioners should visualize brand page managers through diverse types of postings. Brand page managers need to balance the presence of others, as well as bring a sense of human-likeness on the pages using storytelling strategies. Originality/value: This research sheds light on the human side of a non-human world. The results suggest that the sense of a human presence in virtual brand communities is essential to engage customers with online activities toward brands while also building a closer customer–brand relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3627-3645
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Customer engagement behavior
  • Customer–brand identification
  • Facebook brand page
  • Social presence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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