The Effect of Transmitter Activity on Information Dissemination Over Online Social Networks
Andrew T. Stephen
University of Pittsburgh
Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem School of Business Administration; New York University (NYU) - Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem School of Business Administration
September 6, 2012
A critical aspect of social media marketing involves individuals disseminating content (e.g., links, videos) over online social networks (OSNs) by sharing it with their friends. For marketers hoping to get information to spread, a major concern is finding characteristics of people who transmit content that are associated with the extent to which that information spreads (e.g., for viral seeding and targeting purposes). Prior research has focused on connectivity (how many connections transmitters have to others). This paper introduces a new transmitter characteristic not directly associated with connectivity: activity (how frequently people transmit content). We develop a framework explaining the mechanisms through which transmitter activity can affect information dissemination in OSNs and use simulations to show that the activity effect is plausible and should become stronger as OSNs become denser (e.g., as they grow in popularity). We empirically test these predictions in two large OSNs (LiveJournal and Twitter) and find that transmitter activity is a positive predictor of the extent to which socially shared information disseminates. Finally, we examine the individual-level mechanism underlying the effect of activity on information dissemination with two experiments.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 47
Keywords: diffusion, social sharing, networks, social media, activity, viral marketing, word of mouth
JEL Classification: M3, M31working papers series
Date posted: May 17, 2010 ; Last revised: September 24, 2012
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.485 seconds