The social media value framework: development and validation of a conceptual framework for value creation


  • Kerry Littlewood University of Cape Town, GSB
  • Geoff Bick Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Neale Penman Wits Business School, Johannesburg, South Africa



social media engagement, social media measurement, value creation, social exchange theory


As social media sites continue to dominate attention, consumers are overwhelmed with content, campaigns and information in today’s virtual world. How do brands and marketers stand out and ensure that their social media communications result in value creation? While multiple studies have looked at behavioural and user acceptance theories to gauge social media use, the purpose of this study is to determine whether these factors are still relevant post COVID-19 and provide a holistic view across multiple behavioural theories. The study posits that perceived benefit and cost factors can be identified that statistically influence social media engagement with resultant creation of value to consumers. The methodology follows a deductive quantitative approach. Data was obtained using an online survey with closed-ended questions for demographic responses and a seven-point Likert scale as the measurement scale for the identified constructs. A total of 493 surveys were collected with 411 usable surveys from a global audience. Various statistical techniques were used for the analysis, including factor analysis and structural equation modelling. The preliminary findings of the study reveal that two of the benefit factors have influence on the intention to be satisfied when engaging with brands’ social media platforms: Perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment had a positive influence and were seen as perceived benefits to engagement. Five benefit and cost factors, including perceived usefulness, perceived enjoyment, reciprocal communication, privacy concern and social media fatigue had a significant influence on trust and loyalty. The intention to be satisfied is highly significant when driving loyalty and trust and plays a moderating role. This study brings together multiple behavioural models and extends current knowledge on social media engagement and value creation. The study’s findings will assist marketers and industry specialists to develop effective social media strategies to enhance engagement and result in increased trust and loyalty in the post COVID era.