Does Twitter Matter? An Investigation of the Impact of Microblogging Word of Mouth on Consumers’ Adoption of New Products
University of Muenster; Cass Business School, City University London
City University London - Sir John Cass Business School
University of Muenster
February 11, 2013
The authors introduce microblogging word of mouth (MWOM) as a new, unique type of word-of-mouth communication. Shared through Twitter and similar services, MWOM combines the real-time character and personal influence of traditional (offline) word of mouth with electronic word of mouth’s ability to reach large audiences, and adds a limited message length (140 characters on Twitter). Because they increase the speed of dissemination of concise postpurchase quality evaluations from consumers, these characteristics of MWOM have been argued to affect early product adoption behaviors to a degree that threatens the existing business model for experiential media products. This research develops a conceptual model of the impact of positive and negative post-purchase product reviews shared through MWOM on product adoption and tests the model in the context of the movie industry. Studying the 4 million MWOM messages that were sent via Twitter about 105 movies on their respective opening weekends, the authors find evidence of a negativity bias in that negative MWOM reviews affect early adoption to a significant degree but positive MWOM reviews do not. The impact of negative MWOM reviews remains in the following weeks, and positive MWOM reviews also influence product adoption in the week after the release, over and above ordinary evaluation. The authors identify implications of these findings for managers of experiential media products and word-of-mouth researchers.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: Word of mouth communication, microblogging, Twitter, early adoption, entertainment, motion pictures
JEL Classification: M31, L82working papers series
Date posted: March 5, 2012 ; Last revised: September 24, 2013
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