Authors: Deske W. Mandagi and Andrew C. Aseng

Research Article

Year: 2021, Volume 21 Number 3

Pages: 102 – 121

Abstract

Despite the increasing interest in social media use in tourism, limited empirical work has been devoted to the effectiveness of social media marketing on festival tourism branding. The present study proposed a theoretical model that explains the effect of social media marketing (SMM) on festival brand gestalt and brand loyalty. Furthermore, this study examines the mediating effect of brand gestalt on the relationship between SMM and brand loyalty. Based on relevant literature, a conceptual model that explains the link among variables was developed and tested using structural equation modeling (SEM). An online survey was carried out from August 2019 to February 2020 on 865 millennial and generation Z (Gen Z) attendees of the two most popular festivals in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The analysis revealed three major findings. First, SMM exerted a significant and positive effect on brand gestalt’s dimensions (i.e., story, sensescape, servicescape, and stakeholder). Further, SMM and the two brand gestalt dimensions, sensescape and stakeholder, were found to be the significant determinants of brand loyalty. Finally, the results confirmed a partial mediating role of the brand sensescape and stakeholder on the effect of SMM on brand loyalty. 

Keywords: Social media marketing, millennials, Generation Z, branding, festival tourism, brand gestalt, brand loyalty