Why recommend a brand face-to-face but not on Facebook? How word-of-mouth on online social sites differs from traditional word-of-mouth

Andreas B. Eisingerich*, Hae Eun Helen Chun, Yeyi Liu, He Michael Jia, Simon J. Bell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the conceptual difference between consumer electronic word-of-mouth on online social sites (sWOM) such as Facebook and traditional face-to-face word-of-mouth (WOM). We find that consumers are less willing to engage in sWOM than WOM. Such a difference in willingness to offer word-of-mouth can be explained by social risk associated with different communication modes. We show that the difference between people's desire to engage in sWOM and WOM is mediated by perceived social risk and amplified when social risk is made salient. Furthermore, we show that consumers' need to self-enhance mitigates the difference in willingness to offer sWOM versus WOM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-128
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Self-enhancement need
  • Social media
  • Social risk
  • Word-of-mouth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing

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