The rapid growth of the Internet has led to a revolution in the relationship between customers and companies. After the first experiences on social media platforms, companies started hosting their own online customer networks where formerly passive consuming customers are able to connect, share, and cooperate with each other and the company. This social engagement of customers is generally considered as an incredible value for the hosting company. However, while previous research regu-larly takes a positive relationship between users’ social engagement and customer profitability in online customer networks for granted, there is still a lack of research rigorously analyzing this aspect in detail. Against this background, the aim of our paper is to provide an in-depth investigation of the relationship between users’ social engagement and customer profitability in online customer networks using a unique dataset of a German direct banking institution. This leads to interesting results that do not support either existing statements in literature or best current practices. Indeed, in our case we do not generally observe significant higher social engagement for “buyers” compared with “non-buyers”.
Klier, Julia; Klier, Mathias; and Lindner, Georg, "SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT AND CUSTOMER PROFITABILITY IN ONLINE CUSTOMER NETWORKS" (2016). Research Papers. 69.