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Influence of WOM and content type on online engagement in consumption communities: The information flow from discussion forums to Facebook

Tri D. Le (International University, VNU-HCM, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) (RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 9 April 2018




The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of word-of-mouth (WOM) types, WOM valence, content types and discussion topics of user posts on online engagement in two channels of a consumption community. The posts are composed by users on the discussion forum and shared to the Facebook channel of the consumption community by the administrators.


The data for this study were obtained from a popular car consumption community in Vietnam. A total of 505 user posts on the discussion forum were manually coded and assigned to WOM types, valence and content characteristics. The online engagement metrics were measured by the number of views and replies on the discussion forum, and the number of likes, comments and shares on Facebook.


The results indicate that the WOM types and valence have a significant impact on online engagement and the popularity of posts on Facebook is associated with the number of views on a discussion forum. The content type and discussion topic partially influence some factors of the online engagement metrics.

Practical implications

The findings are helpful for consumption community administrators to understand and manage their users’ engagement. Moreover, it indirectly supports brands and companies, since the consumption communities also include sub-communities of particular brands and marketers cooperate with consumption communities for their social media marketing strategies.


This research contributes to the literature of online engagement in two aspects. First, this study examines the impact of WOM types and valence. Second, this is the first study investigating the effects of posts by users within an information flow from a discussion forum to Facebook.



This paper forms part of a special section on Information flow and Wom in Social Media and Online Communities.


Le, T.D. (2018), "Influence of WOM and content type on online engagement in consumption communities: The information flow from discussion forums to Facebook", Online Information Review, Vol. 42 No. 2, pp. 161-175.



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