Cross-national differences in eWOM engagement: social capital, trust and tie strength in a sample of German and Portuguese Millennials

Raphaela C. Hurter, Luis F. Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nowadays, consumers are knowledgeable about what they consume and seek opinions of peers through social media. Accordingly, marketers need to understand consumers online engagement and the factors influencing electronic word-of-mouth behavior (eWOM). Although culture plays a vital role in this process, it has received little attention in previous research. This study commenced with an online survey of 107 German and 48 Portuguese Facebook users, focusing on Millennials. We sought to understand how engagement in opinion seeking, giving and passing on differs between the two nationalities and which factors influence behavior. Our focus was the social relationship variables bridging and bonding social capital, trust, and tie strength. Findings revealed no significant differences for Germans and Portuguese in engagement and social capital. More importantly, differences were found in the characteristics of social relationships within the network. For German participants, key influencing eWOM factors are bridging and bonding social capital, perceived tie strength, and strong ties. Bridging social capital and weak ties predicted German opinion-seeking and passing on. For Portuguese participants, only strong ties and bridging social capital were found to influence eWOM. The findings suggest that eWOM engagement of users needs to be fostered by marketers with targeted, engaging content.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-80
JournalCiências e Políticas Públicas
Volume5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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