What Are the Influences of Entertaining eWOM on Social Media-an Empirical Study on the Use of Brand-related Hashtags on Weibo and Customer Engagement

Zhao, Lisa (2019) What Are the Influences of Entertaining eWOM on Social Media-an Empirical Study on the Use of Brand-related Hashtags on Weibo and Customer Engagement. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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The influences of eWOM has been extensively investigated due to its beneficial marketing outcomes on product purchase intention, brand perception, CE (customer engagement) etc., which has been largely examined and approved in previous literature. However, preceding studies mainly focus on “legacy” forms of eWOM involving consumer’s statements through product ratings and reviews (Lamberton and Stephen 2016), thus fail to keep pace with the prevalent marketing practice on new forms of eWOM such as Hashtag campaigns on social media. Additionally, entertaining content has long been considered as a silent antecedence of CE in eWOM by many researchers, given the lack of study on such content generated by users, this research combined the two gaps and concerns the influences of such entertaining eWOM on CE in a specific context on social media in an attempt to provide marketing implications to practitioners.

The study conducted an online self-reported questionnaire survey among the users on Weibo, a mainstream social media platform in China, in order to examine the participants’ (n=201) responses regarding instant and extant CE behaviours after being exposed to entertaining eWOM in brands’ hashtag campaigns. Derived from Mehrabian and Russell’s (1974) S-O-R framework, the tested model specifically examined the psychological process by which entertaining eWOM acts as a stimulus to evoke consumer’s internal responses (emotional and cognitive responses) and external CE behaviours (eWOM consumption, eWOM creation and consumer brand engagement behaviours) in the study context. The results have shown that entertaining eWOM is significantly related to increased CE behaviours on social media through the internal paths, as the established model yielded good value of R2 for each type of CE behaviour (R2 =0.591/0.546/0.615). In other words, this research has empirically verified the business effectiveness of entertaining eWOM on social media. Moreover, the relative importance of each internal predictor that determines different types of CE behaviours has essential marketing implications for brands in the design of their future digital marketing campaigns.

Key words: entertaining; eWOM; social media; Weibo; CE (customer engagement); S-O-R framework; internal and external responses; hashtag campaigns; viral marketing

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Zhao, Lisa
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2022 08:57
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2022 08:57
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/58173

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