School of Business and Law
Online brand communities (OBC) are growing in number and becoming an increasingly important interface where marketers can effectively facilitate the relationship between their brand and consumers. A qualitative study using a four-month netnography over three OBCs followed by focus groups with OBC members explored the dynamics of social capital in these communities. Findings indicate that social capital is an important driver in the success of OBCs, and all the elements of social capital including a shared language, shared vision, social trust and reciprocity are evident. Moreover, results from this study indicate that these elements are crucial in developing the network ties that are integral to building loyalty and brand equity.
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