The rapid proliferation of social networking sites (SNSs) provides marketers with ample opportunities to explore advertising strategies based on electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM). With that in mind, this study aims to understand the influence of the eWOM diffusion process on SNSs. We propose a theoretical framework to investigate the roles of curiosity and influence in SNS users’ decisions to adopt eWOM and to pass it along to their contact groups. Two forms of curiosity, specific and diversive, are proposed to initiate specific exploration (consistency checking and knowledge-based validation) and diversive exploration (referral visit behavior), and eventually, adoption and pass-along behavior. In addition, SNS influence, formed by maven, persuasiveness, and connectivity, is proposed as a moderator affecting information diffusion. The proposed framework is empirically validated using the data collected from online surveys of 590 Facebook users. Implications for theory and practice are also discussed.
International Journal of Advertising 37(3), p.360-384