Online communities offer attractive opportunities and challenges to advertisers. Using a revised source credibility framework, this study proposes that interpersonal trust and platform credibility are core to consumer search and consumption behaviors that allow advertisers to harvest value from online communities. We postulate that (1) quality Web features, and user instrumental and relational need fulfillment are antecedents of interpersonal trust and platform credibility; (2) interpersonal trust is distinct from, and an important driver of, platform credibility; and (3) both constructs drive a user's online community usage and brand variety seeking behavior. An online survey of 899 consumers in China supports these propositions and offers both research and managerial implications for this new media platform.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Business and International Management