While social media provides rich opportunity for brand and consumer engagement, companies struggle to overcome the paradox of attempting to manage activity that is seemingly beyond their control. This study examines how the organisation can leverage influence over customer social media brand interaction and engagement, with the ultimate goal of enhanced customer retention. Examination of the Resource-based View (RBV) and the social media marketing and customer retention literature has yielded three key marketing capabilities: customer linking, brand management, and social media management, which are proposed to be critical in channelling an organisation’s influence on consumer social media brand interaction, and act as firm-level determinants of customer retention. As the population of interest is consumers who interact with brands on various social media platforms and have purchased the brand before, an online survey was distributed in two phases across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit, resulting in 670 usable responses. The findings provide empirical support for a model of marketing capabilities optimising customer retention through the mediators of customer social media brand interaction, brand engagement and affective commitment, with 56% of the variation in customer retention explained. Surprisingly, social media capability does not have an effect in the model. This study makes a significant contribution in providing insight into a number of important theoretical issues: confirming the role of the organisation in influencing social media brand interactions; empirically testing an integrated model of customer retention in the social media context, the conceptualisation of customer brand engagement, and identifying both firm-level and customer-level antecedents to customer retention. There is also an addition to the RBV and marketing capabilities literature through providing theoretical support for a relationship between marketing capabilities and unbiased measures of performance. This stems from the measurement of customer retention, and the capabilities, from the customer perspective. The findings provide guidelines for marketing managers on how organisations can enhance customer retention through the development of key marketing capabilities. Limitations of the research relate to the data collection method, including a lack of inference due to non-probability sampling, and a difference in findings between phases of data collection. Finally, a platform is established for future research on identifying firm level antecedents to customer-brand interaction online; the determination of other mediators between marketing capabilities and customer retention, and further empirical examination of the model in an online brand community context.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2020|
- Social media marketing