Antecedents of emotional attachment of social media users

Tien Wang, Ralph Keng Jung Yeh, David C. Yen, Mirhanna Gabrielle Sandoya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Emotional attachment has been documented to be an effective basis for consumer loyalty behaviors in many contexts; however, not much has been offered for new service formats enabled by information technology. This study explores the emotional attachment of social media users in terms of personality traits of users and websites. Drawing on literature on brand personality and brand–self congruence, this research proposes that a match between user’s individual personality and the personality traits of the digital artifacts promotes affective connection to social media websites. The social media, to which the user becomes emotionally attached, therefore becomes part of one’s self-definition and representation in the digital world. Self-expressiveness is also investigated as a motivational driver that helps users form such an emotional bond. Individuals with higher motivation to express themselves are more likely to develop an emotional attachment to social networking sites, exhibit loyal behavior, and experience a stronger effect than self-website congruence on emotional attachment. Results of this research provide support to the proposed relationships. Theoretical and managerial implications are elaborated in the discussion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-451
Number of pages14
JournalService Industries Journal
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 26

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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