Title: Identification of influence in social media communities

Authors: Wouter Vollenbroek; Sjoerd De Vries; Efthymios Constantinides; Piet Kommers

Addresses: University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, NL-7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands ' University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, NL-7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands ' University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, NL-7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands ' University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, NL-7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: Individual usage of social media is expected to have a growing impact on the corporate reputation of organisations. Influential users of social media can disseminate positive or negative information and opinions about products, services, brands or businesses among members of their online networks in the social media spaces. The impact of such actions can often be substantial; negative information and opinions posted in social networks, blogs, online communities and forums has the potential to reach large numbers of people and substantially impact on the organisation's image and reputation. It is important for organisations to identify the online influencers - customers with important social networking impact - and identify ways to interact with them in order to respond efficiently to bad publicity or customer attacks. This study, based on extensive literature review and experts panel study based on the Delphi method, we construct a model identifying the social media influencers and the impact of these influencers on the corporate reputation.

Keywords: web-based communities; social media; interaction patterns; corporate reputation; social influencers; Delphi study; influence; virtual communities; online communities; social networking impact; literature review.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2014.062943

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2014 Vol.10 No.3, pp.280 - 297

Published online: 10 Jun 2014 *

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