Virtual community loyalty: An interpersonal-interaction perspective

Yung Cheng Shen, Chun Yao Huang, Chia Hsien Chu, Hui Chun Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The virtual community (VC) delivers an intangible service for social interactivity among its members. In many instances, social interaction is a key determinant of members' continual patronage of the VC, but until now VC loyalty has been studied mostly from a managerial perspective. This paper investigates VC loyalty from the perspective of interpersonal interaction among group members, treating interpersonal attraction and influence as antecedents to loyalty. It finds that the three interpersonal attraction factors (perceived familiarity, perceived similarity, perceived expertise) have a positive effect, direct or indirect, on VC loyalty via the mediation of normative influence. In addition to their implications for the academic study of VC loyalty, the results help explain the success of VCs like Facebook, because the design of these successful social media is consistent with the principles studied in this research. Interpersonal interaction factors also provide insights into the design and branding strategies of social media. VC managers are advised to design and brand the community site by facilitating member interaction because frequent member interaction promotes interpersonal attraction and influence, which in turn enhances member loyalty and ultimately builds the brand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-74
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Electronic Commerce
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct 1

Keywords

  • Group interaction
  • interpersonal attraction
  • interpersonal influences
  • loyalty
  • virtual community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics

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