Social Media Engagement in a Tourism Context: The Case of the Facebook Page VisitCopenhagen

Sonia Mokdad

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Social media has initiated a new digital disruption within the field of tourism. Tourists now have more trust in online communities for reviews and advice than in traditional tourism organisations. (Chung & Buhalis, 2008)Engagement is therefore a core metric in businesses marketing strategies. Motivations for using Facebook pages can differ between goods and services, because the nature of services relies heavily on “experiences”. This thesis seeks to investigate how tourists engage on social media, specifically on city branding Facebook pages, which are pages run by a city branding organization. The example used in this thesis is the VisitCopenhagen Facebook page, and the focus is on how users of the page respond to the content and the utilities of the platform. Through application of previous theories on social media engagement such as extended-self (Belk, 2013) and Uses and gratification theory (Tsai and Mens, 2013) and literature reviews on tourist social media use, six key variables are identified; (1) information, (2) entertainment, (3) self-expression, (4) social interaction, (5) sharing, (6) feeling of group identity. After conducting semi-structured interviews with Facebook users that were following the VCFP, a thematic analysis was applied. The findings of this thesis are within the scope of social media engagement level in relation and the motivations behind social media user behaviour. The sample had a consuming role on the VCFP, and were not likely to contribute. The engagement on the Facebook page was mainly motivated by information, entertainment, self-expression and feeling of group identity variables.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages93
SupervisorsNiels Kornum