HCBE Faculty Articles

Reciprocal Influences and Effects of Viral NWOM Campaigns in Social Media

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Publication Title

Journal of Marketing Communications

Publication Date



Negative perceptions of United Airlines’ corporate reputation increased 500% after an event regarding the forcible removal of a ticketed passenger in April 2017, a video that became viral and traveled the world first-class through social media. This study explores the way consumers interact online during a significant negative word-of-mouth social media event for a service company. It analyzes how different negative word-of-mouth events interact and affect each other regarding social media and the public’s attention. The paper then focuses on the long-term relationship between negative word-of-mouth and fluctuations in the stock market price. Results show the reciprocal influence effect between social media NWOM events promoted by consumers, and the effect that informational social influence has on the development of negative social media firestorms for a service. Findings also emphasize consumer focus on comparing negative experiences and events between brands, including those competing in the marketplace. This study can contribute to the word-of-mouth literature by providing a more precise picture regarding consumers’ reaction to adverse brand events for a service as opposed to a product, and their responses in social media.



Peer Reviewed

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