The Danish Consumer's Engagement with Companies on Facebook

Stine Skonning Plasmann-Hansen & Christine Dybdahl Avlund

Student thesis: Master thesis


This Master’s thesis has its outset in the new dominant logic of marketing and the dynamics of the digital era given by Web 2.0. Literature from this era argues that an organization’s stakeholders, including consumers, are considered active contributors in the communication and marketing processes. Thus, the value of a company and its brand is seen as an ongoing process, arising in the interplay between the organization and its stakeholders. The present study tabs into the complexity of today’s empowered, well-informed and digitally savvy consumer and is centered around our curiosity about why the consumer chooses to engage with some particular content over others on social media networking sites. Guided by the inductive research method, this source of inspiration provides the research question of the thesis.
Based on the case study method the study explores the Danish consumer’s engagement with content on the Facebook brand page of the Danish cocktail brand Nohrlund, which successfully manages to create user engagement on its content on Facebook through the discipline of content marketing. While it is evident that consumer engagement in content on Facebook brand pages can be seen as a co-creational activity, the study seeks to understand the underlying motivational factors for the engagement from the consumer’s point of view. Thus, through the qualitative method of netnography and in-depth interviews, the study explores the characteristics of the concept of engagement with five consumers, who have all voluntarily liked Nohrlund’s Facebook brand page. The analysis provides a deeper understanding of how each of the consumers makes sense of their engagement and in what way they are motivated towards the conscious and active choice of engagement. The study reveals several patterns of interest, which are all put up for discussion in relation to the theoretical framework and finally provides some implications for organizations to consider in order to overcome the challenge of engaging consumers on Facebook.
The present study shows that the consumer makes sense of engagement with content on Nohrlund’s Facebook brand page depending on the individual and the context, which calls for a complex concept. Thus, consumer engagement is individually bound, multidimensional, and context dependent, which is significant in the understanding of the underlying and personal motivational factors that generate the drive for engagement. Following this, the study shows that the consumer is driven by different motivations, which underlines the complexity of our problem area. However, the study reveals, that the consumer is initially motivated by egocentric needs, and thus, consumer engagement in content on Facebook brand pages is driven by the individual’s personality and the object’s relevance. Finally the study shows that motivation is dynamic in nature with the ability to develop or change over time and in line with the individual’s personality and level of engagement.
Despite the complexity of the problem area it is clear that the engagement with Nohrlund makes sense to the individual in either way, why it is suggested that Nohrlund should continue the practice of content marketing and focus on attracting, retaining, and engaging the consumer through continuous, valuable, and relevant content and thereby create and ensure the relationship between the organization and consumer.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages173