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Examining the antecedents of persuasive eWOM messages in social media

Shasha Teng (Taylor's Business School, Taylor's University, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia)
Kok Wei Khong (Taylor's Business School, Taylor's University, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia)
Wei Wei Goh (School of Computing and IT, Taylor's University, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia)
Alain Yee Loong Chong (Nottingham University Business School China, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, People's Republic of China)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 9 September 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

Numerous electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) studies have been conducted to examine the effectiveness of persuasive eWOM messages. Despite the impact of eWOM messages in decision-making processes, few researches have directly tested potential antecedents of persuasive eWOM messages among message recipients in social media context. The purpose of this paper is to critically discuss and examine the determinants of persuasive eWOM messages when message recipients intend to accept and use eWOM messages.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors reviewed extant literature of eWOM and proposed hypotheses regarding persuasive eWOM messages in social media context. A survey of 78 respondents was conducted and the data were analysed using SmartPLS.

Findings

This study found that argument quality, source credibility, source attractiveness, source perception and source style are critical antecedents of persuasive eWOM messages. The PLS results suggested that source credibility (trustworthiness), source perception (usefulness, social ties) and source style (visual cues, number) are main characteristics of credible eWOM messages in relation to users’ intention to accept and use online reviews. The variance of information acceptance and intention to use were also explained in the findings.

Practical implications

This paper identified critical antecedents of persuasive eWOM messages and suggested eWOM messages as a credible source. An integrated conceptual framework was developed to illustrate comprehensive antecedents of persuasive eWOM messages, and the relationships between these messages, information acceptance and intention to use.

Originality/value

The significance of the study is to identify the effectiveness of eWOM messages and its impact on intention to accept and use these messages. Moreover, this study will provide insightful guidelines for marketers with practical implications in approaching emerging markets via eWOM initiatives.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Editor-in-Chief and reviewers of Online Information Review for their helpful comments on this paper.

Citation

Teng, S., Wei Khong, K., Wei Goh, W. and Yee Loong Chong, A. (2014), "Examining the antecedents of persuasive eWOM messages in social media", Online Information Review, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 746-768. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-04-2014-0089

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited