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Consumer engagement with eWOM on social media: the role of social capital

Yaniv Gvili (Department of Business Administration, Ono Academic College, Kiryat Ono, Israel)
Shalom Levy (School of Graduate Studies, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 30 July 2018

Issue publication date: 21 August 2018




The nature of digital media channels are important factors in explaining consumers’ behavior over the Web, and specifically on social network sites (SNS). The purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework explaining consumer engagement with electronic word of mouth (eWOM) communication via SNS, based on key attributes of this media channel.


Based on the expectancy value theory (EVT), a conceptual framework is proposed to model the effect of eWOM channel attributes on eWOM engagement process. Consumer eWOM engagement is conceptualized as a second-order construct. A structural equation modeling procedure was employed to empirically test the model using data collected from two social media communication channels.


First, results suggest that engagement with eWOM can be conceptualized as a second-order construct based on user tendency to receive or share eWOM with other network members. Second, the path analysis model supports the employment of EVT and shows that two key attributes of eWOM channels, social capital and credibility, significantly affect consumer attitude toward eWOM via SNS. Attitude toward eWOM, in turn, affects eWOM engagement. Third, SNS channel type moderates the effect on attitude.

Practical implications

Marketing communication practitioners should note that the strength of social ties plays a key role in spreading eWOM on SNS effectively. This insight should be employed a part of social media marketing strategy.


This is first research that models the effect of social media attributes on eWOM engagement and demonstrates the moderating role of channel type. The model is highly valuable in light of the importance of the concept of engagement in internet research.



Gvili, Y. and Levy, S. (2018), "Consumer engagement with eWOM on social media: the role of social capital", Online Information Review, Vol. 42 No. 4, pp. 482-505.



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