Exciting new research on drivers of electronic word of mouth in travel and tourism

One of Oxford Brookes University’s bright doctoral students is collecting data for her study on what drives consumers to talk online about their travel and tourism consumption experiences. Can you help by completing her survey? Link below.

The emergence of Web 2.0 has had tremendous impact on the volume and reach of electronic word of mouth (eWoM). Channels like social networks, blogs and discussion forums allow web 2.0 users to broadcast their preferences and experiences to other users. Indeed, their content often reaches users that they have never met, further amplifying the impact of what is shared.

eWoM is, undoubtedly, a market force not to be ignored. As discussed in this post, it has a complex effect on consumer behaviour, varying with the type of market and the stage of the product’s life cycle.

There are many advantages for organisations from embracing – and even encouraging – eWoM, as I discuss here. However, when handled poorly, it can quickly degenerate into public relations nightmares and produce costly damage.

That’s why, over the past year, I have been researching how organisations should respond to eWoM. In one of the research projects, I asked Social Media users to provide examples of companies that handled online customer feedback well and to justify their choice. The findings show – among other things – that SM users have clear preferences regarding which platforms to use, how and when. I am presenting the results at the next meeting of the Academy of Marketing – and, of course, I shall share the insights here, as well 🙂

There is still much work to be done, however. One of the areas that I have not explored is what motivates people to share their experiences online. Sure, I understand how some behavioural principles apply to the online channel, but that is not enough to fully understand eWoM.

Silvia Liang, a talented PhD student at Oxford Brookes University, is doing some really exciting work in this area. She is examining how a broad range of individual and contextual factors influence the likelihood that someone will comment on their consumption experiences online. Silvia’s study focuses on travel and tourism experiences.

She is now conducting fieldwork and it would be extremely useful if you could help. Can you answer this questionnaire for Silvia’s PhD research?

The survey is relevant for anyone who is above 16 years old and has ever commented online about their travel or tourism consumption experiences. This can be through social networks like Facebook or Twitter, on Skype, by e-mail, … And refers to any format – for example, text review, photos or videos.

Silvia clarifies:
The whole procedure will take you 15-20 minutes to complete. Since it is an online questionnaire, the answers you fill in will go to the database directly. You will not be required to share your personal details for this questionnaire. All of the data collected will be used for academic purposes only. The research has been approved by the Oxford Brookes University Research Ethics Committee.

More information and the web-based questionnaire can be found by following the link below:

The Electronic Word-of-Mouth Communication Survey

Can you help? Tell us in the comments what drives you to talk about your travel and holiday experiences… and, please, fill in the survey.

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