The impact of eWOM (electronic word-of-mouth) communication on consumer behavior has been well-documented, but the effect of eWOM in online communities has only recently become an acknowledged research topic.
This article reviews Meta-analysis studies of eWOM communications, looking at the impact of storyteller identity on consumers’ satisfaction with online forums and their intentions to buy. This is something that online review websites like brianlett.com engage in heavily.
In addition, I discuss the role of valence and identity of forum administrators in eWOM effectiveness.
Meta-analysis studies on eWOM communications
In the current study, we examined the effect of social ties and eWOM on intention to purchase. We found involvement, social connections, and prior knowledge to influence the level of eWOM and credibility. The effect of the social tie was significant, but its impact on the intention to purchase was not. While we did not find prior knowledge and experience to influence the degree of eWOM, both factors affected the perception of information quality and credibility.
The influence of social networks, experience, and perceived risk on reader motivation in eWOM is based on the theory of “social learning.” In this theory, consumers learn from external agents such as peers, parents, and mass media. These factors may affect eWOM communication because they influence consumers’ tendency to conform to others’ expectations. For instance, when consumers visit a shopping website, they seek information. Once they find that information, they evaluate it as valuable and adaptable to their needs.
What the meta-analysis study revealed about eWOM
The results of the meta-analysis study revealed that positive eWOM was more influential than negative eWOM. This finding contradicts the previous findings, indicating that social presence and social identity are necessary for successful PeWOM communications. However, positive eWOM influenced consumers’ intentions to purchase. Thus, eWOM is highly influential in influencing consumer purchase intentions.
eWOM communications have more significant effects on sales than traditional WOM. Its impact on sales is more substantial when consumers share eWOM than when experts receive it. Inexperienced consumers tend to consider other people’s opinions as to their own and follow them based on what others say. The study also found that significant eWOM influences brand attitudes and quality more than low eWOM.
Effects of administrators’ identities on consumers’ satisfaction with forums
As consumers become increasingly savvy about online communities, they must understand why they stay and which features make them more likely to remain active. Prior research has analyzed online communities in detail, highlighting the importance of their usability and content. The practical implications of this research include providing shortcuts to long-term members and optimizing the efficiency of information. Consumer satisfaction with an online community depends on whether this goal is met.
This study found that perceived usefulness strongly predictor satisfaction, and contributing members are most likely to stay engaged in an online community. Contributing members promote excitement for other members by sharing personal experiences and knowledge of technical topics. This, in turn, builds engagement, commitment, and long-term use. As practitioners, we must understand what members value in an online community and how they can add value. For instance, if someone is looking to sell their gold for cash, eWOM communication can steer them to a gold buyer.
Empirical validation of the eWOM model
While this study is limited in scope, it makes crucial contributions to the literature by empirically validating a model of continued use. The study’s empirical validity allows it to explain a significant portion of the variance in continued use and satisfaction with an online community platform. In addition, this study utilizes a for-pay professional environment to test the model. Finally, the findings are consistent with prior research and theoretical bases.
These findings suggest that consumers’ perceptions of a virtual community’s administrators’ identity affect their future satisfaction and intention to use it. As a result, consumers’ satisfaction with an online community is positively related to perceived usefulness and the level of trust users have in the platform. The results also suggest that the more the community’s members identify with the company, the higher their satisfaction with the online community.
Effects of valence on intention to buy
A new study examines the relationship between valence and intention to buy in an online community’s word of mouth communication (WOM). The study includes 186,775 conversations involving 804 brands and examines the effect of valence and social tie strength. In particular, positive reviews are more influential than negative ones due to their perceived usefulness and credibility.
Valence is a powerful determinant of purchase intentions in word of mouth (WOM) communications relating to a new product or service. In particular, eWOM can influence the purchase intention of users based on their attitude towards the product. Valence, argument quality, and message trust all have a positive influence on the choice to buy. However, the effects of valence on the intention to buy are not universal. However, the results of this study are consistent with findings from other studies.
Context is vital with eWOM communications.
Valence and intention to buy are significant determinants of product purchases, but these studies are inconclusive. To make the most accurate and valuable comparisons, further studies must consider more contexts and assess the relative influence of various variables. For example, Rana et al. conducted a meta-analysis of existing studies’ findings to identify valence’s effects on buying intention.
The meta-analysis authors selected the articles based on their empirical nature, focus on eWOM, and statistical details. In all, we included 69 pieces in the meta-analysis. Overall, we examined 28 of the 28 factors at least three times. Twenty-eight articles had the required statistical data for meta-analysis. In addition, we did not include four pieces in the meta-analysis because they did not have enough data.
Effects of storytellers’ identity on the reliability of eWOM communications
Traditional WOM is more personal and private, while eWOM is more public and accessible. Unlike standard WOM, consumers can access eWOM communications during any period, and they can corroborate information with the information provided by others. In addition, because eWOM communications are public, consumers can easily retrieve them and use them to support their decision-making processes.
eWOM has various effects, including the ability to affect consumer preferences and purchase decisions. Regardless of the source, consumers use it to minimize risks. In addition, they tend to view the information provided by online communities as more credible if they have previously experienced the products or services being promoted. Although the effect of storytellers’ identities on the reliability of eWOM communications within online communities is unclear, research has shown that the impact of storytellers’ identities can have substantial and even positive effects on the quality of the content produced by these online communities.
The reliability of eWOM communications
The reliability of eWOM communications from friends and family is high, and they are often perceived as more trustworthy than commercial advertising. In addition to the reliability of eWOM from friends, the ability of a brand to generate positive eWOM communications has been identified as an essential promotional tool. In addition, Hennig-Thurau and colleagues (2004) discuss the role of eWOM and the motivations of consumers. Roy et al. and Maslowska focus on the part of eWOM in purchase behavior. Lastly, Lipsman and Fulgoni offer insights on the role of eWOM within digital communities.
Among other factors, social ties influence the motivational participation of readers, as well as the information’s quality and credibility. In addition, perceived risk and experience positively affect eWOM adoption. While the influence of social ties harms information quality and credibility, these factors are positively correlated with prior knowledge and experience.
Effects of network coproduction model (model C) on the reliability of eWOM communications
In this study, we examined the role of social media in eWOM communications. This study examines the antecedents and consequences of eWOM communications in online communities. Our study provides valuable insights into eWOM and a foundation for future research. We compared the behaviors of internet users who communicate through social media with those of older, less-involved generations.
We found that most respondents took eWOM from their friends and family into account, while the minor trustworthy sources were corporate and consumer-to-consumer communication. However, only 5% of respondents rated corporate and consumer-to-consumer communications as reliable. The remaining half of respondents found corporate and brand communications trustworthy, while the remaining third found these sources unreliable.
We used a multiple regression model to assess the reliability of eWOM communications in online communities. Our results revealed that consumers preferred offline WOM and face-to-face communication over eWOM and social media. However, 20% of respondents said they didn’t know the difference between offline and online communication, and 19% were undecided.
What we observed in this study
In this study, we observed that information communication between online users is positively related to responsiveness, which is directly linked to customer satisfaction. Hence, responsiveness to customer feedback and positive reviews from online communities are closely related to responsiveness. These findings have important implications for the practice and research of social media. However, future studies need to take this model into account other countries and emerging markets.
While the study is limited in scope, the study outlines the fundamental conceptual issues and research questions. It also focuses on the implications of word-of-mouth communication for companies and consumers. Ultimately, it provides insight into the role of social media in eWOM in digital culture. It also examines the role of new media and digital media in eWOM.