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27/11/2017

Loyalty towards Facebook

A UOC doctoral thesis studies the key factors


Unlike many other studies focusing on loyalty towards brands in Facebook, this study set out to discover factors that help build loyalty towards Facebook itself. In recent times loyalty analysis has become a priority for companies in every sector, but surprisingly few efforts to have been made to discover what factors help build loyalty towards Facebook. The study was conducted by Fernando Doral Fábregas for a doctoral thesis supervised by Antoni Meseguer Artola and Inma Rodríguez Ardura, professors from the UOC Faculty of Economics and Business, combining two concepts that have risen to positions of key importance: loyalty and social networks. The study’s chief goal was to discover what factors help build loyalty among Facebook users.

Research methods

After revising hundreds of relevant papers, the author proposed a model composed of 8 constructs, among which 15 relationships were hypothesized. The significance of those concepts in the construction of loyalty should be tested by fieldwork. The study focused on the use of Facebook, was implemented using a self-administered questionnaire, and received as many as 700 responses from Facebook users. The data analysis was performed using structured equation modelling, a very complex method which combines various statistical techniques.

Findings

The model demonstrated its reliability for assessing the validity of the relationships hypothesized and resulted in interesting findings. The most important contribution was the discovery of a relationship never highlighted before: the positive impact of ‘spatial presence’ (the feeling of being mentally transported) on ‘social presence’ (the feeling of being surrounded by friends in the e-environment). Moreover, factors such as the interactivity of the environment, the optimum stimulation level of users, their attitudes and the achievement of flow states from users were all revealed as important in the construction of loyalty towards Facebook. The study was able to reveal nine relationships never before been found in any hedonic social network studies. It also stated the role of different factors in the construction of loyalty in hedonic social networks: attitude, interactivity, social presence and social pressure as direct factors; and spatial presence, optimum stimulation level and flow as indirect factors.