Restaurant Brand Pages on Facebook: Do Active Member Participation and Monetary Sales Promotions Matter?
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of members’ active participation in customer–brand relationships, considering brand trust and brand commitment in an online community context. It also investigates the moderating effect of monetary sales promotions in building and maintaining customer–brand relationships.
Design/methodology/approach – This study is based on an online survey sent to Facebook users who have been engaging with restaurants’ brand pages on Facebook. The empirical data analysis was conducted using structural equation modeling.
Findings – Results revealed that members who actively participated in activities on restaurant, Facebook fan pages were likely to feel that the brands were trustworthy and developed commitment toward the brands. The moderating effect of monetary sales promotions between active participation and brand trust was supported. In particular, active participation was more likely to generate brand trust for members who had less interest in monetary sales promotions on restaurant Facebook fan pages.
Practical implications – This study provides practical implications for restaurant marketers on the applications of Facebook as a branding tool. Marketers are advised to identify active members who can contribute to the maintenance of the community by encouraging active communication and engaging in marketing activities. As active participants are critical to the success of a restaurant Facebook page, marketers are encouraged to develop marketing strategies that can generate members’ interest and increase participation in a marketing campaign.
Originality/value – Although Facebook has been widely used to improve customer–brand relationships in the food service industry, research on the effect of an online community scares. The study proposes a conceptual model to examine the role of active participation in customer–brand relationships and the role of monetary promotions in enhancing customer–brand relationships. Management and marketing strategies for practitioners in the food service industry are suggested.