Making your online voice loud: The critical role of WOM information

Minxue Huang, Fengyan Cai*, Alex S L TSANG, Nan Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    117 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: This paper seeks to explore factors that can help generate a bigger ripple for diffusive Word-of-Mouth (WOM) in an online environment. Specifically, the paper aims to demonstrate how the characteristics of WOM information influence the ripple effect. Design/methodology/approach: The paper used a survey based on real posts in online discussion forums to collect the data. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was utilized for analysis. Findings: WOM as diffusive communication could generate a ripple effect. All of the WOM characteristics, which were investigated (quality, authority, authenticity and interestingness), have a positive effect on resenders' acceptance toward WOM, which, in turn, have a significant positive impact on resenders' resending intention. Furthermore, the positive impacts of WOM characteristics on resenders' acceptance exist, regardless of whether the valence of WOM information is positive or negative. Research limitations/implications: This study provides insights into the role of WOM information in facilitating the WOM ripple effect. However, the specific characteristics of WOM information that influence consumers' perceptions of WOM are not explored in the present research. Originality/value: The results of the study may help practitioners manipulate and use online WOM information in order to make marketing communications more efficient and influential.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1277-1297
    Number of pages21
    JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Marketing

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Diffusive communication
    • Information characteristics
    • Internet marketing
    • Marketing communications
    • Online environments
    • Word of mouth


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