Can Social Media Interaction and Message Features Influence Nonprofessional Investors’ Perceptions of the Firm?
49 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2017 Last revised: 28 Feb 2018
Date Written: January 23, 2017
We investigate the impact of social media messages on nonprofessional investors’ assessments of management credibility and firm value. In a 2 x 2 x 2 between participants experiment with 276 participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk, we examine the joint effect of social media message vividness, valence, and micro-blogger influence on nonprofessional investors’ assessments of management credibility and firm value. We find that when social media messages are pallid and negative (positive), high micro-blogger influence decreases (increases) nonprofessional investors’ assessments of management credibility. In contrast, the effect is absent when messages are vivid. Further, we find that the effect of micro-blogger influence on nonprofessional investors’ assessments of blogger credibility and management credibility is mediated by social media interactions. The assessment of management credibility, in turn, significantly impacts nonprofessional investors’ firm valuation assessment. The results have implications for regulators (SEC 2013) who may wish to update their guidance to managers on how to monitor or even control nonprofessional investors’ interaction on social media platforms.
Keywords: Social media interaction; Three-way communication channel; Message valence; Micro-Blogger influence; Message vividness; Nonprofessional investors; Management credibility
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