The Influence of Sense of Virtual Community on Customer Engagement ——Mediated by Commitment and Moderated by Community Identification
WU Xiu-fang1 and LIU De-wen2 （1.Nanjing University，Nanjing210046，China；2.Shanghai University of Finance & Economics，Shanghai200433，China）
Abstract：With the access to information technology，marketing through virtual brand communities has been favored by more and more companies and has become an excellent field for companies to develop new products and promote their products. However，how to stimulate the high integration of members in the virtual brand community has become a huge practical proposition. The influencing mechanism between sense of virtual community and customer engagement is analyzed after taking commitment as the mediation variable and occupational community identification as the moderating variable. The analysis was conducted through 267 valid questionnaires obtained from users of MI community. The results show that in the virtual brand communities，sense of virtual community has different impacts on commitment and customer engagement，affective commitment has a positive impact on customer engagement while calculative commitment hasn't significant impact on customer engagement. At the same time，only the affective commitment has a significant mediating effect on the influence of membership/immersion on customer engagement and this mediating effect is positively and significantly moderated by community identification. However， community identification negatively moderates the relationship of membership/immersion and consumer engagement. In practical terms，companies can stimulate their engagement level by cultivating community members' sense of virtual community and commitment mechanisms. In addition，companies should adopt different marketing strategies for different consumers in order to promote the good development of virtual brand communities.
Key words：sense of virtual community；commitment；customer engagement；community identification