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Social impact theory: An examination of how immediacy operates as an influence upon social media interaction in Facebook fan pages

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This paper proposes that Social Influence Theory is an appropriate approach for understanding social media interaction. More and more, organisations are looking for ways to develop an effective presence in social media to increase awareness, customer satisfaction, sales, and consumer engagement with the brand. The influence of interpersonal interaction upon attitude, beliefs and behaviour has been studied within social psychology. Different forms of immediacy - physical, temporal and social - are theorised as exerting distinct influences upon individual behaviours. This paper reviews the concept of social influence, and introduces social impact theory (SIT) as a conceptual framework to guide research enquiry and inform practice within social media marketing. It examines in detail the concept of immediacy, and indicates how an understanding of immediacy might explain Facebook behaviours.
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Keywords: FACEBOOK; LITERATURE REVIEW; ONLINE BRANDING; SOCIAL IMPACT THEORY; SOCIAL INFLUENCE; SOCIAL MEDIA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2016

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