Conversing and searching: the causal relationship between social media and web search

Partha Mukherjee, Bernard J. Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: It is important to measure the interaction between conversing in social media and searching on the web in order to understand the impact on electronic word-of-mouth marketing. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach: The authors research the relationship between social media conversing and web searching concerning brands on three major social soundtrack platforms (Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr) and on a major web search engine (Google). The authors examine the effects of changes in both volume and attitude of conversing and volume of searching for two phases (Pre and Post) concerning brands in commercials aired during Super Bowl XLIX. The authors perform Granger causality testing and panel data regression analysis to determine the causal relationship between social media conversing and web searching. Findings: Results show that volume and attitude of social media conversing has a significant causality relationship to the volume of web searching. Each unit increase of volume on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr significantly increases Google search volume for the same brands by 4.7 times, 11.9 times, and 8.7 times, respectively. Each unit increase of attitude score on Twitter significantly increases web search volume 3.96 times, while for Tumblr, search volume significantly increases 0.95 times with each unit. Interestingly, search volume also has a significant causality relationship on the volume of social media postings. Originality/value: This research seeks to understand the commercial impacts of the interaction among broadcast advertising, social media conversing, and web searching for which there is limited prior work, especially in the context of a major media event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1209-1226
Number of pages18
JournalInternet Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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