Self-presentation, privacy and electronic word-of-mouth in social media

Pasternak, O., Veloutsou, C. and Morgan-Thomas, A. (2017) Self-presentation, privacy and electronic word-of-mouth in social media. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 26(4), pp. 415-428. (doi: 10.1108/JPBM-04-2016-1150)

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Abstract

Purpose: Focusing on electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) in the context of social media communications, the study explores the nature of eWOM and the key drivers of this consumer-generated brand communication. Design/methodology/approach: The study employs inductive qualitative design, and the data has been collected via 22 semi-structured interviews with individuals who follow brands on Facebook. Findings: Building on interview data, the paper advances a conception of eWOM in the social media context and highlights that eWOM consists of a broad range of brand-related communications, which include such activities as consuming, commenting, posting, and forwarding information. The study also uncovers two major antecedents of eWOM, which are one’s concern for self-presentation and privacy. Research limitations/implications: Further research could examine additional drivers of brand-related eWOM in the context of Facebook brand pages, and investigate eWOM in other social media platforms. Practical implications: The findings have two important implications for brand management. Firstly, considering the importance of self-presentation, brands are advised to develop an in-depth understanding of the types of self-image pursued by their target audience. Secondly, given the concerns about privacy on social media, brands may carefully consider and manage the levels of privacy that should apply when communicating with their followers. Originality/value: The novel insights centre on the individual differences in eWOM activity, and the importance of one’s perceptions of self-image and privacy in explaining these differences. It seems that the propensity to engage in eWOM and the form that this communication takes are the reflections of one’s self-presentation and privacy preferences.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Morgan-Thomas, Professor Anna and Pasternak, Miss Oleksandra and Veloutsou, Professor Cleopatra
Authors: Pasternak, O., Veloutsou, C., and Morgan-Thomas, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School
College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Journal of Product and Brand Management
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN:1061-0421
ISSN (Online):2054-1643
Published Online:01 January 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Group
First Published:First published in Journal of Product and Brand Management 26(4): 415-428
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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