This paper examines whether guests contribute sWOM (social word of mouth) on different SNSs (social networking sites) regarding various personal motivations. SNSs have changed the way guests eat and experience their food and dishes. Marketing managers have effectively targeted SNSs as a marketing tool, yet have little research about drivers of guests' sWOM contribution on SNSs has been done. A model including the significant motives: (1) experiences, (2) opinion leadership, (3) reflection of self and (4) need for unique is tested to investigate their positive effects on contribution behavior of social media guests.
The data collected from 411 guests by using the snowball method was used for analysis. The structural equation modeling was applied to examine the relationships among the constructs and test the eight proposed hypotheses.
Results reveal that experiences, opinion leadership, reflection of self and need for unique were positively associated with contributing sWOM of restaurants. Furthermore, those who have positive experiences tend to be opinion leadership and reflection of self. And guests who show reflection of self, they are more likely to have opinion leaders and show need for uniqueness. Our study expands the existing frameworks of sWOM contribution by identifying various motivations and labeling sWOM. Findings provide restaurant managers with managerial implications for online marketing strategies on SNSs to attract sWOM contribution among guests.
It has some limitations while discovering the motivations of positive sWOM contribution. First, we only focused on the motivation of contributing positive sWOM, while negative sWOM received many arguments in changing attitudes toward buying products or services. Second, we collected data in Vietnam only without comparing with different countries. Future research could explore further cross-cultural perspectives to fill the gap. Third, this study explored sWOM contribution in service environment, sWOM contribution from service context may be slightly different from those of product brands.
These findings highlight the motivations of sWOM contribution that restaurant managers must recognize and make use of it. SNSs have given power to consumers to post everything at anytime and anywhere they like, therefore restaurant managers need to deeply understand why their consumers contribute sWOM. In digital era, customers and guests have become the ultimate tools for promoting product or service brands. The marketing managers should create an online platform in order to facilitate their consumers to discuss their brand frequently (Charu et al., 2018). Restaurants should have policies to push positive eWOM maximally and also reduce advertising costs.
This is one of the first studies on sWOM contribution of what motivate guests to contribute their sWOM on SNSs. Theoretically, this study offers deep insights into the links between various motivations and sWOM in foodservice context. Managerially, understanding these motivations allow marketing managers create effective policies that motivate guests to contribute positive word of mouth.
sWOM contribution, Experiences, Opinion leadership, Reflection of self, Need for unique