Selective Electronic Word-of-Mouth
The Roles of Issue Controversiality and Issue Involvement
Keywords:eWOM, issue controversiality, issue involvement, source cue, cause-related marketing
Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) is associated with “going viral” that communicators strive for when designing their messaging strategies. These referrals could increase brand awareness, brand loyalty, and purchase intentions. The study focuses on cause-related marketing (CRM) strategies by exploring the effects of social issue controversiality (highly controversial issues vs. moderately controversial issues) on selective Electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) by considering source cues and issue involvement. The researchers conducted a two-wave survey experiment to explore the research topic. The findings suggest individuals’ decisions to eWOM depend on issue types and issue involvement. Social media users are motivated to share CRM featuring moderately-controversial issues rather than highly-controversial issues to a wider audience on Facebook. People who perceive the issue information with more personal involvement are more likely to share highly-controversial issues with their close friends. There is no source cue effect. The theoretical and practical contribution were discussed.
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