Determinants of influence in electronic word of mouth communication within Facebook

Stone, Russel John (2020). Determinants of influence in electronic word of mouth communication within Facebook. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Word of mouth (WOM) communication is being magnified and amplified on a vast and unprecedented scale by free, easy to use technologies. Where once thoughts and experiences regarding products and brands were shared orally one-to-one or in small groups, WOM has been transformed by social media into electronic word of mouth communication (eWOM) with hundreds of friends and acquaintances. Consumers can now discuss and share their experiences with brands and products on social networking sites such as Facebook.
Using the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), this study identifies factors that affect the influence of eWOM in the Facebook News Feed. Argument strength, source expertise, tie strength and purchase decision involvement are identified as important variables in this study and their effect on attitude towards a product and intention to purchase a product are investigated.
The study found that contrary to the expectations of the ELM, Facebook users were not using the strength of the argument contained in the eWOM to make judgements about their intention to purchase a product. Users were instead using the heuristic cue of source expertise to inform their purchase behaviour. Tie strength was also used as a heuristic cue to determine whether an eWOM message was worthy of their attention. This study adds to the literature regarding the influence mechanism of eWOM in Facebook and provides further insight for social media marketers.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications


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