Online word-of-mouth communication on social networking sites: An empirical study of Facebook users

Setenay Kucukemiroglu, Ali Kara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the factors influencing online word-of-mouth communication engagement behavior of college students on social networks such as Facebook. Design/methodology/approach – A survey instrument designed to measure the constructs assumed to have an influence on word-of-mouth communication on social networks was administered to college students who are actively using Facebook. Structural equation model was used to test the hypothesized relationships. Findings – Results of the study show that social capital and trust were two important factors that positively influenced opinion-giving and opinion-seeking behaviors, which, in turn, influenced the word-of-mouth behavior on Facebook. Although these results were not significantly different from the findings reported in the literature, the results emphasize that the impact of social capital and trust on word of mouth increased through the opinion-seeking/giving path. Research limitations/implications – Although the college students are ideal users for Facebook, the use of college students could limit the generalizability of the results to other populations. Furthermore, the authors have only investigated a few constructs that are assumed to contribute to the online word-of-mouth communication behavior. Other studies should include a more comprehensive list of construct and test their impact. Practical implications – The study contributes to the literature on word-of-mouth communication in online social networking sites. Organizations could benefit from this knowledge by understanding that social networking sites should be considered as a key component of the integrated marketing communication strategy, and specific targeting efforts could be directed for those users with high levels of opinion-seeking/giving. Originality/value – Although online social networking has been popular, not many empirical studies have been conducted on consumers’ engagement in the word-of-mouth communication in social networking sites, such as Facebook. This study attempts to fulfill the gap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-20
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Commerce and Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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