Determinants of consumer engagement in electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) in social networking sites

Shu-Chuan Chu
DePaul University

Yoojung Kim
The University of Texas at Austin

Introduction

In recent years, social media have become a new hybrid component of integrated marketing communications (IMC) that allow organisations to establish strong relationships with their consumers (Mangold & Faulds 2009). As defined by Kaplan and Haenlein (2010, p. 61), social media are ‘a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content’. Social media encompass a variety of online information-sharing formats including social networking sites (SNSs) (e.g. Facebook, MySpace and Friendster), creativity works-sharing sites (e.g. YouTube and Flickr), collaborative websites (e.g. Wikipedia) and microblogging sites (e.g. Twitter) (Mangold & Faulds 2009). Among the various types of social media, SNSs have received mounting attention from researchers, educators, practitioners and policy makers (boyd & Ellison 2008; Ellison et al. 2007; Thelwall 2008, 2009; Valenzuela et al. 2009). With high levels of self-disclosure and social presence (Kaplan & Haenlein 2010), SNSs have recently outpaced email as the most popular online activity (Nielsen Online 2009), and have enabled consumers to connect with others by exchanging information, opinions and thoughts about products and brands. Given the collaborative and social characteristics of SNSs, this study focuses on SNSs as an emerging venue for consumer-to-consumer conversations, namely brand-related word-of-mouth (WOM).