Word-of-mouth has always been a powerful mantra for marketing, whereby a positive consumer passes on their recommendation of product or service to their friends, family, and work colleagues. In the age of social networking, electronic word-of-mouth (eWoM) becomes a potentially even more powerful tool. Social media can amplify the positive message especially of those one might refer to as “influencers” people with larger than average reach and audience on the various websites and apps. Of course, the negative of the power of eWoM is the potential for negative messages to be amplified too.
Writing in the International Journal of Grid and Utility Computing, an international team has looked at the world of online information bombardment and how eWoM within that might affect consumer purchase intentions.
Muddasar Ghani Khwaja and Shaheed Zulfikar of the Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, in Islamabad, Pakistan, and Saqib Mahmood and Ahmad Jusoh of the Azman Hashim International Business School at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, in Skudai, Johor, Malaysia, suggest that eWoM is a great marketing opportunity. Social media conversations can grow exponentially given how such a large proportion of the world’s population now has access to always-connected devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and how so many of those people use social media and networking as well as email on a daily basis.
The team surveyed some 342 social media users with respect to their purchasing intentions and how eWoM affected their decision-making process. Statistical analysis of the responses provided a framework around which the team could build their conclusions. As one might expect the quality of information users receive had a positive effect on their perceptions of how useful that information is and whether it would influence their purchase intentions. The implication is that marketing management has to keep abreast of information that is being disseminated about their products. They must ensure that the information being shared is useful and of the highest quality to ultimately reflect a positive message through eWoM that can translate into sales.
Khwaja, M.G., Mahmood, S. and Jusoh, A. (2020) ‘Online information bombardment! How does eWOM on social media lead to consumer purchase intentions?’, Int. J. Grid and Utility Computing, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp.857–867.