Why people use online social media brand communities: A consumption value theory perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • Ton Duc Thang University
  • University of Helsinki
  • Swansea University


Purpose - The success and survival of any form of online community relies on the presence and active participation of its users. Hence, ensuring active user participation and retaining existing users is a key concern of the moderators of online communities. To address these challenges, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the epistemic, emotional, and social values that influence users' intention to continue using an online social media brand community. Moreover, the study also investigates the differences in the influence of the investigated constructs and users' various activity levels. Design/methodology/approach - This study utilized the consumption value theory framework for testing the relationship between different measures. An empirical analysis of the consumption values of 577 users in an online social media brand community was accomplished using structural equation modeling. Findings - The study findings revealed that emotional and social values exert partial influence in predicting users' intention to continue using online social media brand communities. In particular, social enhancement and playfulness predict users' continuation intentions. Moreover, the results show that the influence of the investigated constructs (except playfulness) is consistent across users with various activity levels in online social media brand communities. Research limitations/implications - These findings pave the way for further theoretical and practical considerations of the role of consumption values in resolving challenges of user participation and retention. However, there are still some open gaps concerning the generalizability of the findings as well as other factors that could potentially influence the user intentions. Future studies should validate the findings by recruiting diverse users in terms of their age and cultural background. Practical implications - The study findings are of special relevance for the service operators interested in practicing user-centric innovation. Moreover, the findings can help online social media brand community managers to kick start user-centric innovation activities in their community. Originality/value - The study provides a novel perspective on the challenges of assessing users' consumption behavior. The perceived values have been conceptualized using the constructs of social influence, problem solving, playfulness, social enhancement, and social interaction.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-221
Number of pages17
JournalOnline Information Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Communities, Consumption value theory, Continued use, Customer value, Social networks

ID: 18948792