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Fostering Brand Community Through Social Media by Shannon B. Rinaldo, Debra A. Laverie, William F. Humphrey Jr.

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CHAPTER 5

Virtually There

Online Versus Face-to-Face Brand Communities

Academic brand community research has primarily focused on shared rituals and face-to-face gatherings of brand fans. With the widespread ­adoption of social media, brand supporters can share in virtual live ­gatherings via images shared on Facebook pages, YouTube ­streaming of live events, Vine video vignettes summarizing brand gatherings, ­descriptions in blogs, and a myriad other medium. While a face-to-face brand ­gathering, like a Harley Davidson bike rally, can create a strong emotional bond and positive memories for participants, social media allows a consumer to share in the experience from a distance. In this chapter, we discuss three successful online brand gatherings. ...

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