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We examine the conceptual difference between consumer electronic word-of-mouth on online social sites (sWOM) such as Facebook and traditional face-to-face word-of-mouth (WOM). We find that consumers are less willing to engage in sWOM than WOM. Such a difference in willingness to offer word-of-mouth can be explained by social risk associated with different communication modes. We show that the difference between people’s desire to engage in sWOM and WOM is mediated by perceived social risk and amplified when social risk is made salient. Furthermore, we show that consumers’ need to self-enhance mitigates the difference in willingness to offer sWOM versus WOM.


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© Elsevier. Final version published as: Eisingerich, A. B., Chun, H., Liu, Y., Jia, H., & Bell, S. J. (2015). Why recommend a brand face-to-face but not on Facebook? How word-of-mouth on online social sites differs from traditional word-of-mouth. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 25(1), 120-128. doi:10.1016/j.jcps.2014.05.004

This version of the work is released under at Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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