The impact of social media activities on brand image and emotional attachment: A case in the travel context


Purpose: The study aims to develop a theoretical model that portrays the antecedents of emotional attachment in the travel context by combining branding, marketing and information systems theories.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors gather empirical data through a Web-based questionnaire from 236 respondents. The proposed theory-driven model is examined empirically by using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling.

Findings: The findings suggest that social media rewards and benefits impact users’ brand commitment. Social media interactivity and rewards help building a stronger brand image. Brand commitment and brand image, in turn, affect emotional attachment positively.

Research limitations/implications: Other unexamined constructs may add to the explanation of building brands using social media platforms. As this is an exploratory study in relation to enhancing emotional attachment in an online travel setting, other constructs such as brand page commitment, annoyance, social benefits and telepresence may be considered in future studies.

Practical implications: Practitioners might encounter ways to influence favorable perceptions and brand commitment when consumers use social media sites. The model addresses questions regarding the significant role of social media activities on influencing brand image and brand commitment that in turn influence the development of a strong emotional attachment.

Social implications: This study examined the effects of social media activities including interactivity, psychological benefits and rewards on brand image and brand commitment, and the effects of brand image and brand commitment on emotional attachment in the travel context. The results offer further verification for the theory-based model presented in the study. Evidently, statistically significant and meaningful associations exist among the factors.

Originality/value: The key contribution of this study is that it presents and validates a theory-driven model that reveals the antecedents of sustainable emotional attachment. The proposed framework stresses the positive relationships among constructs and offers research basis for expansion in other settings.


Hospitality Leadership

Document Type





Brand commitment, Brand image, Emotional attachment, Social media activities, Social media interactivity

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology