The purpose of this paper is to build a conceptual framework which provides both practical and theoretical insights into drivers of consumer use of social network sites (SNSs) as an electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) tool and its impact on brand image (BI) and purchase intention (PI).Design/methodology/approachFor assessment of the research constructs, the measures proposed in the social psychology and marketing literature were adapted. These scales were examined for the face validity by the authors’ academic colleagues. Using the survey data collected from the students of the Islamic Azad University, these scales were further examined in terms of convergent and discriminant validity as well as reliability. Structural equation modelling technique was used to test the effect of eWOM antecedents on consumer eWOM intention and the eWOM impact on BI and consumer PI.FindingsThe results confirmed significance of the constructs consumer trust, informational influence, sense of belonging, altruism, moral obligation, and knowledge self-efficacy for consumer engagement in eWOM. The results further indicated that eWOM, in turn, played a significant role in shaping BI in the mind of consumers and their PI.Research limitations/implicationsObviously, university students do not exactly represent the whole population of SNSs members. The eWOM intention can be investigated across generations in terms of intergenerational differences. The authors admit that in addition to the constructs used in this study there are other equally important constructs that can be adapted from relevant fields (e.g. psychology) as the eWOM antecedents. As for eWOM consequences, different aspects of brand equity could be additionally explored and investigated.Practical implicationsThe results of this study would help marketing department of companies and advertising agencies make advertisements in accordance with consumer characteristics. The results would also benefit providers of online platforms by giving them insight into behaviour of their members. Finally, the finding that eWOM intention is likely to create PI among consumers is of particular interest to producers of goods.Originality/valueGiven its bidimensional perspective to eWOM behaviour (i.e. considering both antecedents and consequences of eWOM), this study provides valuable insights into the phenomenon eWOM in the context of social networks as well as a basis for further research in this field.
Journal of Advances in Management Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 10, 2018
Keywords: Brand image; Purchase intention; Social network sites; eWOM behaviour
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