Title: The advent of the 'social moment of truth' in online communities

Authors: Zahy B. Ramadan; Maya F. Farah

Addresses: Lebanese American University, P.O. Box 13-5053, Chouran, Beirut 1102 2801, Lebanon ' Lebanese American University, P.O. Box 13-5053, Chouran, Beirut 1102 2801, Lebanon

Abstract: Social networking sites' current domination as a relationship-building platform with consumers is causing brand owners to lose power. Concurrently, retailers have significantly increased their social presence to influence shoppers' buying decisions. Surprisingly, this area is still largely under-examined in the literature despite its growing relevance. Indeed, a dire need exists to examine the opportunities and risks arising from the instance during which the shopper makes a specific brand purchase based on a set of determining factors on the retailer's social page. This paper coins that instance as the 'Social moment of truth', an original concept introduced to expand brands' ability to build upon retailers' engagement efforts to consolidate consumers' experience. By proposing a conceptual framework built around an exploratory qualitative design using 12 expert interviews based on the data saturation principle, this study expands the current limited theoretical and practical understanding of the online retailer-consumer relationship and suggests a number of social trade marketing strategies.

Keywords: online community; retailer relationship; brand relationship; consumer engagement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2017.086592

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2017 Vol.13 No.3, pp.364 - 378

Received: 08 Jun 2016
Accepted: 21 Nov 2016

Published online: 04 Sep 2017 *

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