Current Issue

korean management review - Vol. 50, No. 2

[ Article ]
korean management review - Vol. 50, No. 2, pp.283-312
Abbreviation: kmr
ISSN: 1226-1874 (Print)
Print publication date 30 Apr 2021
Received 26 Aug 2020 Revised 09 Oct 2020 Accepted 21 Oct 2020

The Influence of Social Media Content Characteristics on Brand Equity by Mediating Customer Engagement: Comparison between Korea and the US
Jungwon Lee ; Cheol Park
(First Author) Korea University (
(Corresponding Author) Korea University (

소셜미디어 콘텐츠 특성이 고객인게이지먼트를 매개하여 브랜드 자산에 미치는 영향: 한국과 미국의 비교

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recently, main marketing channels of brands are moving from traditional media to social media. Social media platforms are regarded as an effective tool for developing brand equity, and companies are expanding the use of social media content to induce customer engagement. However, there are not enough studies to verify the complete path of how a company's social media strategy affects brand equity through customer engagement, and it is limited in terms of differences in the effectiveness of social media content strategies according to culture. This study analyzed whether the characteristics of social media content mediate customer engagement and have a positive influence on brand equity. In addition, the moderating effect was analyzed to see if there were any differences in the effects of these pathways according to the cultural characteristics of the United States and Korea. Facebook data of US and Korean companies from 2013 to 2018 and brand equity data of Interbrand were collected, and a total of 405 company-year data were analyzed by the PLS-SEM method. As results, it was found that customer engagement mediates the relationship between social media content characteristics and brand equity. In addition, it was found that these paths differ according to culture.

Keywords: Social media content characteristics, customer engagement, brand equity, international comparison

1. Agarwal, M. K., and V. R. Rao(1996), “An empirical comparison of consumer-based measures of brand equity,” Marketing Letters, 7(3), pp. 237-247.
2. Babić Rosario, A., F. Sotgiu, K. De Valck, and T. H. Bijmolt(2016), “The effect of electronic word of mouth on sales: A meta-analytic review of platform product, and metric factors,” Journal of Marketing Research, 53 (3), pp.297-318.
3. Bagozzi, R. P., M. Gopinath, and P. U. Nyer(1999), “The role of emotions in marketing,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 27 (2), pp.184-206.
4. Baker, A. M., N. Donthu, and V. Kumar(2016), “Investigating how word-of-mouth convertsations about brands influence purchase and retransmission intentions,” Journal of Marketing Research, 53(2), pp.225-239.
5. Batra, R., and K. L. Keller(2016), “Integrating marketing communications: New findings, new lessons, and new ideas,” Journal of Marketing, 80(6), pp.122-145.
6. Berger, J., and K. L. Milkman(2012), “What makes online content viral?,” Journal of Marketing Research, 49(2), pp.192-205.
7. Black, I., and C. Veloutsou(2017), “Working consumers: Co-creation of brand identity, consumer identity and brand community identity,” Journal of Business Research, 70, pp.416-429.
8. Brodie, R. J., L. D. Hollebeek, B. Jurić, and A. Ilić (2011), “Customer engagement: Conceptual domain, fundamental propositions, and implications for research,” Journal of Service Research, 14(3), pp.252-271.
9. Centola, D.(2015), “The social origins of networks and diffusion,” American Journal of Sociology, 120(5), pp.1295-1338.
10. Chen, Z., and N. H. Lurie(2013), “Temporal contiguity and negativity bias in the impact of online word of mouth,” Journal of Marketing Research, 50(4), pp.463-476.
11. Cho, C. H.(2003), “Factors influencing clicking of banner ads on the WWW,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, 6(2), pp.201-215.
12. Choi, S. M., Y. Kim, Y. Sung, and D. Sohn(2011), “Bridging or bonding? A cross-cultural study of social relationships in social networking sites,” Information, Communication & Society, 14(1), pp.107-129.
13. Chu, S. C., and S. M. Choi(2011), “Electronic word-of-mouth in social networking sites: A cross-cultural study of the United States and China,” Journal of Global Marketing, 24(3), pp.263-281.
14. Cobb-Walgren, C. J., C. A. Ruble, and N. Donthu (1995), “Brand equity, brand preference, and purchase intent,” Journal of Advertising, 24(3), pp.25-40.
15. Colicev, A., A. Malshe, K. Pauwels, and P. O'Connor (2018), “Improving consumer mindset metrics and shareholder value through social media: The different roles of owned and earned media,” Journal of Marketing, 82(1), pp. 37-56.
16. Colicev, A., P. O’Connor, and V. E. Vinzi(2016), “Is investing in social media really worth it? How brand actions and user actions influence brand value,” Service Science, 8(2), pp.152-168.
17. Coyle, J. R., and E. Thorson(2001), “The effects of progressive levels of interactivity and vividness in web marketing sites,” Journal of Advertising, 30(3), pp.65-77.
18. Davcik, N. S., R. V. Da Silva, and J. F. Hair (2015), “Towards a unified theory of brand equity: conceptualizations, taxonomy and avenues for future research,” Journal of Product & Brand Management, 24(1), pp.3-17
19. De Mooij, M.(2018), Global marketing and advertising: Understanding cultural paradoxes. SAGE Publications Limited.
20. de Oliveira Santini, F., W. J. Ladeira, D. C. Pinto, M. M. Herter, C. H. Sampaio, and B. J. Babin(2020), “Customer engagement in social media: a framework and meta-analysis,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 48(6), pp.1-18.
21. De Vries, L., S. Gensler, and P. S. Leeflang(2012), “Popularity of brand posts on brand fan pages: An investigation of the effects of social media marketing,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26(2), pp.83-91.
22. De Vries, L., S. Gensler, and P. S. Leeflang(2017), “Effects of traditional advertising and social messages on brand-building metrics and customer acquisition,” Journal of Marketing, 81(5), pp.1-15.
23. De Vries, N. J., and J. Carlson(2014), “Examining the drivers and brand performance implications of customer engagement with brands in the social media environment,” Journal of Brand Management, 21(6), pp.495-515.
24. Dessart, L.(2017), “Social media engagement: a model of antecedents and relational outcomes,” Journal of Marketing Management, 33(5-6), pp.375-399.
25. Dhaoui, C., and C. M. Webster(2020), “Brand and consumer engagement behaviors on Facebook brand pages: Let's have a (positive) convertsation,” International Journal of Research in Marketing. In press.
26. Dwivedi, Y. K., E. Ismagilova, D. L. Hughes, J. Carlson, R. Filieri, J. Jacobson, … Y. Wang (2020), “Setting the future of digital and social media marketing research: Perspectives and research propositions,” International Journal of Information Management, 102168, In press.
27. Ein-Gar, D., B. Shiv, and Z. L. Tormala(2012), “When blemishing leads to blossoming: The positive effect of negative information,” Journal of Consumer Research, 38(5), pp. 846-859.
28. Goh, K. Y., C. S. Heng, and Z. Lin(2013), “Social media brand community and consumer behavior: Quantifying the relative impact of user-and marketer-generated content,” Information Systems Research, 24(1), pp.88-107.
29. Goodrich, K., and M. De Mooij(2014), “How ‘social’ are social media? A cross-cultural comparison of online and offline purchase decision influences,” Journal of Marketing Communications, 20(1-2), pp.103-116.
30. Granovetter, M.(1983), “The strength of weak ties: A network theory revisited,” Sociological Theory, 201-233.
31. Hair Jr, J. F., G. T. M. Hult, C. Ringle, and M. Sarstedt(2016), A primer on partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLSSEM), Sage publications.
32. Hall, E. T.(1976), Beyond Culture, New York (Anchor Press) 1976.
33. Hanson, S., L. Jiang, and D. Dahl(2019), “Enhancing consumer engagement in an online brand community via user reputation signals: a multi-method analysis,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 47(2), pp. 349-367.
34. Hoffman, D. L., and M. Fodor(2010), “Can you measure the ROI of your social media marketing?,” MIT Sloan Management Review, 52(1), pp.41.
35. Hofstede, G.(2001). Culture's consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. Sage publications.
36. Hollebeek, L. D., J. Conduit, and R. J. Brodie(2016), “Strategic drivers, anticipated and unanticipated outcomes of customer engagement,” Journal of Marketing Management, 32(5-6), pp.393-398.
37. Hollebeek, L. D., M. S. Glynn, and R. J. Brodie (2014), “Consumer brand engagement in social media: Conceptualization, scale development and validation,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 28(2), pp.149-165.
38. Hong, H., D. Xu, G. A. Wang, and W. Fan(2017), “Understanding the determinants of online review helpfulness: A meta-analytic investigation,” Decision Support Systems, 102, pp.1-11.
39. Hult, G. T. M., J. F. Hair Jr, D. Proksch, M. Sarstedt, A. Pinkwart, and C. M. Ringle (2018), “Addressing endogeneity in international marketing applications of partial least squares structural equation modeling,” Journal of International Marketing, 26(3), pp.1-21.
40. Jang, J. Y., H. J. Hur, and H. J. Choo(2019), “How to evoke consumer approach intention toward VR stores? Sequential mediation through telepresence and experiential value,” Fashion and Textiles, 6(1), pp.1-16.
41. Ji, M. F., and J. U. McNeal(2001), “How Chinese children's commercials differ from those of the United States: A content analysis,” Journal of Advertising, 30(3), pp.79-92.
42. Johnen, M., and O. Schnittka(2019), “When pushing back is good: The effectiveness of brand responses to social media complaints,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 47 (5), pp.858-878.
43. Kaplan, A. M., and M. Haenlein(2010), “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media,” Business Horizons, 53(1), pp.59-68.
44. Keller, K. L.(2003), “Brand synthesis: The multidimensionality of brand knowledge,” Journal of Consumer Research, 29(4), pp.595-600.
45. Keller, K. L., and D. R. Lehmann(2006), “Brands and branding: Research findings and future priorities,” Marketing Science, 25(6), pp. 740-759.
46. Kerin, R. A., and R. Sethuraman(1998), “Exploring the brand value-shareholder value nexus for consumer goods companies,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 26(4), pp.260.
47. Kim, H., and Z. Papacharissi(2003), “Cross-cultural differences in online self-presentation: A content analysis of personal Korean and US home pages,” Asian Journal of Communication, 13(1), pp.100-119.
48. Kim, H., J. R. Coyle, and S. J. Gould(2009), “Collectivist and individualist influences on website design in South Korea and the US: A cross-cultural content analysis,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14 (3), pp.581-601.
49. Kumar, A., R. Bezawada, R. Rishika, R. Janakiraman, P. K. and Kannan(2016), “From social to sale: The effects of firm-generated content in social media on customer behavior,” Journal of Marketing, 80(1), pp.7-25.
50. Kumar, V., and R. Mirchandani(2012), “Increasing the ROI of social media marketing,” MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(1), pp.55.
51. Lee, D., Hosanagar, K., and H. S. Nair(2018), “Advertising content and consumer engagement on social media: evidence from Facebook,” Management Science, 64(11), pp.5105-5131.
52. Lee, Y. H., and D. Y. Wohn(2012), “Are there cultural differences in how we play? Examining cultural effects on playing social network games,” Computers in Human Behavior, 28 (4), pp.1307-1314.
53. Lee. J. W. and C. Park.(2020), “The Effects of Online Reviews on Movie Sales: A Comparison of Korea and US,” Korea Management Review, 49(6), 1575-1594.
54. Lee. J. W. and C. Park.(2021), “An Analysis on the Relationship Between Content Topics of Social Media and Customer Engagement Using Machine Learning Methodology,” Korea Management Review, 50(1), 115-142.
55. Lothia, R., N. Donthu and E. K. Hershberger(2003), “The impact of content and design elements on banner advertising click-through rates,” Journal of Advertising Research, 43(4), pp. 410-418.
56. Malthouse, E. C., B. J. Calder, S. J. Kim, and M. Vandenbosch(2016), “Evidence that user-generated content that produces engagement increases purchase behaviours,” Journal of Marketing Management, 32(5-6), pp.427-444.
57. Malthouse, E., and C. Hofacker(2010), “Looking back and looking forward with interactive marketing,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 24(3), pp.181-184.
58. Marbach, J., C. R. Lages, and D. Nunan(2016), “Who are you and what do you value? Investigating the role of personality traits and customer-perceived value in online customer engagement,” Journal of Marketing Management, 32(5-6), pp.502-525.
59. Mishra, D. P., J. B. Heide, and S. G. Cort(1998), “Information asymmetry and levels of agency relationships,” Journal of Marketing Research, 35(3), pp.277-295.
60. Mudambi, S. M., and D. Schuff(2010), “Research note: What makes a helpful online review? A study of customer reviews on Amazon. com,” MIS Quarterly, pp.185-200.
61. Muntinga, D. G., M. Moorman, and E. G. Smit (2011), “Introducing COBRAs: Exploring motivations for brand-related social media use,” International Journal of Advertising, 30(1), pp.13-46.
62. Nath, P., J. Devlin, and V. Reid(2018), “The effects of online reviews on service expectations: Do cultural value orientations matter?,” Journal of Business Research, 90, pp.123-133.
63. Naylor, R. W., C. P. Lamberton, and P. M. West (2012), “Beyond the “like” button: The impact of mere virtual presence on brand evaluations and purchase intentions in social media settings,” Journal of Marketing, 76(6), pp. 105-120.
64. Oh, C., Roumani, Y., J. K. Nwankpa, and H. F. Hu(2017), “Beyond likes and tweets: Consumer engagement behavior and movie box office in social media,” Information & Management, 54(1), pp.25-37.
65. Pansari, A., and V. Kumar(2017), “Customer engagement : the construct, antecedents, and consequences,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(3), pp.294-311.
66. Park, C. W., and D. J. MacInnis(2006), “What's in and what's out: Questions on the boundaries of the attitude construct,” Journal of Consumer Research, 33(1), pp.16-18.
67. Park, C., and T. M. Lee(2009), “Information direction, website reputation and eWOM effect: A moderating role of product type,” Journal of Business Research, 62(1), pp.61-67.
68. Pentina, I., L. Zhang, and O. Basmanova, (2013), “Antecedents and consequences of trust in a social media brand: A cross-cultural study of Twitter,” Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), pp.1546-1555.
69. Purnawirawan, N., M. Eisend, P. De Pelsmacker, and N. Dens(2015), “A meta-analytic investigation of the role of valence in online reviews,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 31, pp.17-27.
70. Putnam, R. D.(2000), Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. Simon and schuster.
71. Sabate, F., J. Berbegal-Mirabent, A. Cañabate, and P. R. Lebherz(2014), “Factors influencing popularity of branded content in Facebook fan pages,” European Management Journal, 32(6), pp.1001-1011.
72. Schultz, D. E., and J. J. Peltier(2013), “Social media's slippery slope: challenges, opportunities and future research directions. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 7(2), pp.86-99.
73. Shannon, C. E., and W. Weaver(1962), The mathematical theory of communication, University of Illinois Press.
74. Shin. H. C. and S. E. Byun(2016), “The Role of Customer Engagement in Facebook Brand Communities,” Korea Management Review, 45(2), pp.659-685.
75. Siano, A., A. Vollero, and M. Palazzo(2011), “Exploring the role of online consumer empowerment in reputation building: research questions and hypotheses,” Journal of Brand Management, 19(1), pp.57-71.
76. Soares, A. M., M. Farhangmehr, and A. Shoham (2007), “Hofstede's dimensions of culture in international marketing studies,” Journal of Business Research, 60(3), pp.277-284.
77. Sprott, D., S. Czellar, and E. Spangenberg(2009), “The importance of a general measure of brand engagement on market behavior: Development and validation of a scale,” Journal of Marketing Research, 46(1), pp. 92-104.
78. Stephen, A. T., and J. Galak(2012), “The effects of traditional and social earned media on sales: A study of a microlending marketplace,” Journal of Marketing Research, 49(5), pp. 624-639.
79. Steuer, J.(1992), “Defining virtual reality: Dimensions determining telepresence,” Journal of Communication, 42(4), pp.73-93.
80. Swani, K., and G. R. Milne(2017), “Evaluating Facebook brand content popularity for service versus goods offerings,” Journal of Business Research, 79, pp.123-133.
81. Tafesse, W.(2015), “Content strategies and audience response on Facebook brand pages,” Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 33(6), pp.927-943.
82. Tang, L.(2017), “Mine your customers or mine your business: The moderating role of culture in online word-of-mouth reviews,” Journal of International Marketing, 25(2), pp.88-110.
83. Tirunillai, S., and G. J. Tellis(2012), “Does chatter really matter? Dynamics of user-generated content and stock performance,” Marketing Science, 31(2), pp.198-215.
84. Torres, A., T. H. Bijmolt, J. A. Tribó, and P. Verhoef (2012), “Generating global brand equity through corporate social responsibility to key stakeholders,” International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29(1), pp.13-24.
85. Torres, A., T. H. Bijmolt, J. A. Tribó, and P. Verhoef (2012), “Generating global brand equity through corporate social responsibility to key stakeholders,” International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29(1), pp.13-24.
86. Tsai, W. H. S., and L. R. Men(2017), “Consumer engagement with brands on social network sites: A cross-cultural comparison of China and the USA,” Journal of Marketing Communications, 23(1), pp.2-21.
87. Tylor, E. B.(1871), Primitive culture: Researches into the development of mythology, philosophy, religion, art and custom (Vol. 2). J. Murray.
88. Van Dijck, J.(2013), “‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media,” Culture and Society, 35(2), pp.199-215.
89. Van Doorn, J., K. N. Lemon, V. Mittal, S. Nass, D. Pick, P. Pirner, and P. C. Verhoef(2010), “Customer engagement behavior: Theoretical foundations and research directions,” Journal of Service Research, 13(3), pp.253-266.
90. Van Lange, P. A., C. E. Rusbult, S. M. Drigotas, X. B. Arriaga, B. S. Witcher, and C. L. Cox(1997), “Willingness to sacrifice in close relationships,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(6), pp.1373-1395.
91. Villanueva, J., S. Yoo, and D. M. Hanssens(2008), “The impact of marketing-induced versus word-of-mouth customer acquisition on customer equity growth,” Journal of Marketing Research, 45(1), pp.48-59.
92. Wetzels, M., G. Odekerken-Schröder, and C. Van Oppen(2009), “Using PLS path modeling for assessing hierarchical construct models: Guidelines and empirical illustration,” MIS Quarterly, pp.177-195.
93. Wu, J., V. J. Cook Jr, and E. C. Strong(2005), “A two-stage model of the promotional performance of pure online firms,” Information Systems Research, 16(4), pp.334-351.
94. Würtz, E.(2005), “Intercultural communication on web sites: A cross-cultural analysis of web sites from high-context cultures and lowcontext cultures,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(1), pp.274-299.

∙The author Jungwon Lee is a Ph.D. Candidate of Corporate Management at Korea University and an Instructor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Dankook University. He received his B.B.A in International Business from Chungbuk National University and M.S in e-business from Korea University. His research interests include digital marketing, social media, and he has published papers in Korean Management Review, Korean Marketing Review, Journal of IT Service, and Information Systems Research.

∙The author Cheol Park is a Professor of Marketing, College of Global Business at Korea University. He received his B.A. in Economics, M.B.A. and Ph.D. in Business Administration from Seoul National University. He had worked for Samsung General Trading Company before joining academic area. He has been a visiting scholar at Vanderbilt University, University of Hawaii, Mongolia International University, and University of Jinan in China. His research interests include digital marketing and cross-cultural studies. He has published papers in influential journals such as International Journal of Information Management, Journal of Interactive Marketing, International Marketing Review, and Journal of Business Research, etc..