The concept of the model of the destination image creating based on the strengthening social media user engagement

Krzysztof Stepaniuk

Abstract


Purpose. The scientific goal of this article is to create a concept of the model of creating the image of a tourist destination through strengthening the involvement of social media users. The analysis of scientific literature has demonstrated the existence of research gaps related to the lack of scientific publications relating to the modelling of image creation through strengthening behaviours associated with the involvement of social media users.

Methodology. The main research method used was the comparative analysis of scientific literature.  Individual components of the proposed theoretical model were developed on the basis of: a. the concept of the image of destination by Baloglu and McCleary (1999); b. the model of the behaviour of users of AIDAT social media (Charlesworth, 2012) and the typology of consumers' online corporate-related activities (Munting et al. 2011); c. the behaviour-aware user response to modelling in social media concept (Chen et al., 2015).

The heuristic method was used to develop causal relationships and structures associated with these hypotheses in the proposed model.

Results. The proposed theoretical model was based on the assumption of the dominant influence of the subject of the shared items of content on the formation of diverse behaviour of the users of the social media (Mahan et al. 2014). At the same time, this content semantically relates to the individual components of the image of destination. Stepaniuk (in press) suggests that the subject of content items may have an impact on the level of involvement of the SM users.

The essence of the model was therefore to develop theoretical cause-effect relationships in the system: user behaviours → creation of the image, while maintaining the broad context of the themes of content items shared in the SM and their management.

The theoretical contribution. The work represents an innovative look at the problems of contemporary marketing of tourism products and services in the context of managing the content shared on the social media.

Practical implications (if applicable). The proposed theoretical model can serve as a basis for the efficient creation and management of the image of the reception area (a tourist destination). The model can also provide an important theoretical basis for the management of the image of a destination in the social media, as well as building and managing virtual communities involved in the brand of a destination. Therefore, the assumptions of the model will have a practical application in the decision-making processes of diverse entities associated with the creation and management of tourism in the regions.

Keywords: social media, content management, destination image, user engagement.

Paper type: Theoretical paper.


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