How 'social' are social media? A cross-cultural comparison of online and offline purchase decision influences

Kendall Goodrich, Marieke de Mooij
2013 Journal of Marketing Communications  
Traditional word of mouth (WOM) involves personal communications among family, friends, and others. Today, social media sites like Facebook offer the possibility of electronic word of mouth (eWOM), a mediated form of WOM. Little is known about the best way for marketers to use social media. Even less is known about international differences in consumer usage of social media and how eWOM influences consumer decision-making. This study helps address that research gap and uses cultural dimensions
more » ... ultural dimensions to compare the use of social media and other information sources for consumer decision-making across 50 countries. The results indicate that the use of information sources that influence online purchase decisions strongly varies by culture. For example, relationship-oriented collectivists rely to a greater extent than individualists on social media, which are an alternative for interpersonal WOM communication. Interestingly culture affects the influence of social media on purchases differently than the influence of traditional WOM through family or friends. Furthermore, there are major differences in online complaint behavior by country, due to cultural variations.
doi:10.1080/13527266.2013.797773 fatcat:arjoejjtsbgijaccwzgu7sqpsa