Daan Muntinga conducted research into consumer behavior on social media. Central to his research are Consumers' Online Brand-Related Activities (COBRA's). This term stands for consuming, contributing and creating brand-related content on social media.
The main predictors of COBRA are the motives of consumers. There are two sources of motivation: internal and external. Extrinsic motivation comes from an external source, such as the prospect of reward or punishment. Intrinsic motivation (needs / bonuses) arises from a person or the behavior itself, for example the need to keep abreast of information about your social environment or the need to belong to a group. Muntinga suggests that especially intrinsic motivation are important drivers for COBRA's.
Information and entertainment are the main intrinsic motives. Followed by personal identity, social integration and interaction, and empowerment. The relative importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is dependent on the type of behavior. Very active behavior such as creating brand-related videos and uploading them to YouTube is primarily intrinsically motivated.
However passive brand-related behaviors, such as reading reviews of products is more driven by extrinsic factors. The motives for working with brands on social media are not fundamentally different from the motives for working with other things on social media. While brands with certain brand personality characteristics (such as romantic, sentimental, active, dynamic and innovative) are seen as more social mediable, the brand itself is not a determining factor. Brand-related behavior in social media is more about fulfilling needs (the aforementioned motivations) than the brand itself.