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Examining the information value of virtual communities: Factual versus opinion-based message content

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Social customer relationship management (SCRM) is an evolving discipline which uses technology as a communication channel. It is under-researched and is lacking in its use of traditional marketing principles to inform practice. We shed light on the type of content that is most valued in virtual communities (VCs), where search for information is a primary source of gratification. Contrary to findings from advertising research, our findings indicate that informational content is more highly valued. This is the first time such measures have been used to evaluate effectiveness of new media techniques. We discuss critical implications for brands hoping to develop or enhance customer relationships in these increasingly important channels. Specifically, we offer practical advice on how best to create content which may be valued by consumers seeking information.
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Keywords: customer relationship management; marketing management; new media; performance accountability; social networks; viral marketing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Bath, UK 2: Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK 3: University of the West of England, UK

Publication date: 01 February 2013

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