Service encounter microblog word of mouth and its impact on firm reputation

Jennifer Barhorst, Alan Wilson, Graeme McLean, Joshua Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose – It has now become a normal part of the consumption journey for consumers to share their positive and negative service encounters with firms on microblogs such as Twitter. This study examines the impact of SEMWOM (service encounter microblog word of mouth) on an important actor in the microblog domain—receivers of positive and negative valence SEMWOM. As such, this study aims to understand the comparative effects of positive and negative valence SEMWOM on perceptions of firms’ reputation. Design/methodology/approach – An experiment exposed 372 Twitter users to positive and negative valence SEMWOM about airlines. To determine whether changes in perception of firm reputation occurred on exposure to both positive and negative valence SEMWOM, participants’ perceptions of a range of U.S. airlines were measured before and after exposure to the SEMWOM. To confirm the factors that influence the perception of reputation on such exposure, six structural equation models (SEMs) were crated to determine the comparative effects of positive and negative valence SEMWOM on three eWOM media: video, photo, and text. Findings – Both positive and negative valence SEMWOM affect receivers’ perceptions of airlines’ reputations on exposure. Furthermore, the factors that influence perceptions of reputation on exposure to SEMWOM vary depending on valence and type of media contained in a Tweet. Originality/value – Although consumers now routinely share their positive and negative service encounters with brands on microblogs, scant research has examined receivers of positive and negative valence SEMWOM, important actors in the microblog domain. This study addresses this research gap by empirically investigating the impact of both positive and negative valence SEMWOM on receivers’ perceptions of firm reputation on exposure to it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Mar 2020

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Keywords

  • social media
  • Twitter
  • corporate reputation
  • airlines

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