Consumers – Brand Communication in Social Media: Conceptualization of the Impact on Brand Equity

Ligita Zailskaitė-Jakštė


Purpose. To present a conceptual model defining the influence of consumer-brand communication in social media on brand equity.

Methodology. The model prepared by using methods of comparative and systematic analysis of scientific literature.

Results. The paper discloses an importance of consumers’ active engagement in brand communication in social media, which is more influential than company communication aimed for enhancement of brand equity. The model includes three blocks: antecedents (personal characteristics and motivation of consumers to engage in virtual environment); interaction (between brands and consumers, between consumers in social media, includes message creation, publishing, consumer generated content and other actions and brand equity (awareness, associations and loyalty). Positive influence on brands in social media depends on company capability to manage communication with consumers.

The theoretical contribution. Company efforts to make a positive impact on brand equity in social media are controvert. The main participators in communication in social media are consumers as they can choose by themselves how to respond to marketing communication: they can ignore the content about brand or just lurk (non-interactive participation), create content without interaction with brand, i. e. non-sponsored content, create content in interactions with brand, i. e. sponsored. All these types of interaction influence the brand equity.

The study extends the literature by examining communication in social media from company to consumer perspectives in order to disclose changes in marketing communication as source of brand equity in virtual context and to present key factors influencing brand equity in brand communication process. Therefore brand management perspective requires understanding of consumers’ role in social media.

Practical implications (if applicable). The study presents the approach how to manage brand-consumer communication in social media for higher brand equity.  

Keywords: communication in social media, brand equity, consumers-brand interaction, consumers generated content.

Paper type: Theoretical paper.


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KTU_school_economics and business Riga Technical University
Brno University of Technology Tallinn University of Technology