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The cultivation of brand knowledge and purchase intention among brand followers on social media
Social media marketers use various narrative methods to attract and engage followers. Unfortunately, however, the extent to which such marketing impacts on consumer brand perception and behaviour is difficult to measure, and the social media marketing literature offers little in the way of guidance. This study draws on the cultivation theory to investigate how following a brand on social media (specifically, Twitter) for three months can increase brand knowledge and influence purchase intentions. The findings indicate that brand followers can learn brand knowledge from stable, pervasive and regular tweets on Twitter, and this in turn has a positive impact on purchase intentions. The impact on purchase intentions, however, is moderated by brand type (hedonic or utilitarian) and consumer age. Thus, when formulating social media marketing campaigns to optimise purchase intentions among consumers of both hedonic and utilitarian brands, marketers must adapt their content strategies in line with their followers’ needs for brand knowledge, and tailor the experience to meet the needs of different age groups.
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Yujie Wei Yujie (Jack) Wei is Professor of Marketing of Marketing & Real Estate Department at the University of West Georgia. He received his doctoral degree in business administration with a major in marketing at Georgia State University. His research has appeared in many academic journals, including the Journal of Business Research, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, Journal of Promotion Management and Journal of Interactive Marketing. His research interests focus on social media marketing and e-commerce, marketing strategy and international marketing.