Electronic word-of-mouth via consumer-opinion platforms: What motivates consumers to articulate themselves on the Internet?

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Abstract

Through Web-based consumer opinion platforms (e.g., epinions.com), the Internet enables customers to share their opinions on, and experiences with, goods and services with a multitude of other consumers; that is, to engage in electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) communication. Drawing on findings from research on virtual communities and traditional word-of-mouth literature, a typology for motives of consumer online articulation is developed. Using an online sample of some 2,000 consumers, information on the structure and relevance of the motives of consumers' online articulations is generated. The resulting analysis suggests that consumers' desire for social interaction, desire for economic incentives, their concern for other consumers, and the potential to enhance their own self-worth are the primary factors leading to eWOM behavior. Further, eWOM providers can be grouped based on what motivates their behavior, suggesting that firms may need to develop different strategies for encouraging eWOM behavior among their users.

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