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Title: Timing effects of opinion leader's electronic word of mouth

Authors: Tong Bao; Tung-Lung Steven Chang

Addresses: College of Management, Long Island University, C.W. Post 720 Northern Blvd. Brookville, NY 11548, USA ' College of Management, Long Island University, C.W. Post 720 Northern Blvd. Brookville, NY 11548, USA

Abstract: Companies are increasingly interested in recruiting opinion leaders to spread electronic word of mouth (eWOM). Prior research has demonstrated the sales effects of such eWOM. An unexplored question for this practice is when the opinion leaders should disseminate their eWOM. An implicit assumption is that companies should use opinion leaders at the beginning of product launch. Using a dataset of Amazon customer review, we demonstrate that opinion leader's eWOM should be spread out by arriving as early as possible, and continuing to be present. In addition, the impact of variance of timing on sales follows an inverse U shape. The marketing implications of timing effects of opinions leaders' eWOM in terms of entry, span and intensity are addressed.

Keywords: online user reviews; opinion leader; electronic word-of-mouth.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2018.089217

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2018 Vol.12 No.1, pp.69 - 90

Available online: 26 Dec 2017 *

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