Drivers of social media disengagement: a study of young consumers in Vietnam

Long Thang Van Nguyen*, Rajkishore Nayak, Jeremy John Watkins, Phuong Ngoc Duy Nguyen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to identify and discuss selected reasons for social media disengagement (SMD). Drawing upon two-factor theory, it is argued that the determinants of consumer disengagement may be different from those that enable consumer engagement. Accordingly, extrinsic factors of social media experiences (SMEs), subjective norms (SN), perceived anonymity (PA) and perceived credibility (PC) trigger previously engaged consumers to terminate their interactions with the brand on social media.

Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative survey targeting young members from one of the largest social media communities in Vietnam was used in 2018. A total of 387 completed questionnaires were used for data analysis using covariance-based structural equation modelling.

Findings: Results reveal that PC is the main driver of SMD. Moreover, PA, SME and SN are indirectly related to SMD via PC.

Practical implications: The study provides some strategic recommendations for brand managers to re-design user interaction with social media brand pages to improve consumer retention and minimize consumer disengagement.

Originality/value: While consumer engagement with social media has received much attention from practitioners and academics, a research gap exists around the “dark side” of consumer engagement in which consumers can disengage from their relationship with brand on social media. This disengagement can lead ultimately to the termination of the relationship between the consumer and the brand. This research contributes to marketing literature by providing empirical evidence for relevant constructs driving consumer disengagement from the brand’s social media pages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
JournalYoung Consumers
Issue number2
Early online date8 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020


  • consumer engagement
  • social media

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