Title: Examining the role of relationship factors on eWOM effectiveness in social media

Authors: Junga Kim; Chunsik Lee

Addresses: Department of Communication, University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA ' Department of Communication, University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA

Abstract: This study empirically tests the impact of receiver characteristics and interpersonal relationship factors on consumer learning, attitude, and behavioural intention in electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) in the context of social media. This study also explores the moderating roles of consumer expertise and product involvement on the relation between interpersonal relationship factors and eWOM effectiveness. Data were collected via online survey with general social media users. Our findings reveal that source credibility and perceived similarity with eWOM message senders significantly influence various outcomes of eWOM communication including knowledge gain, further information search, pass-along behaviour, attitude toward product or service, and purchase intention. The strength of ties with the eWOM sender does not influence any eWOM outcomes. eWOM receivers' prior knowledge about product/service and product involvement serve as critical moderating factors for the effect of interpersonal relationship factors on consumer responses toward eWOM communications in social media.

Keywords: word-of-mouth; eWOM; social media; balance theory; elaboration likelihood model; WOM effectiveness; relationship factors; source credibility; strength of ties; product involvement; expertise.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2017.084078

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2017 Vol.11 No.2, pp.103 - 123

Available online: 04 May 2017 *

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