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Identifying the Role of Social Media in Brand Loyalty and Desertion

May 09, 2016

Dr. Sagit Bar-Gill (MIT IDE) and Dr. Shachar Reichman (MIT IDE and TAU)


Online word-of-mouth for a non-digital product (such as a car) is likely to be triggered by an offline experience.  A trigger experience may be the purchase of a new car, a positive or negative service experience, or even advertising and promotional activities (where these may occur offline or online). Online social networks therefore have the potential of increasing both the magnitude and reach of brand-related word-of-mouth. In this research we will construct a comprehensive database of BMW’s CRM and service data, activity on the BMW website, and talk of brand-related experiences in online forums and social networks. We will then analyze the effects of social media traffic on offline repurchasing and desertion behavior by both originators and followers of brand-related online word-of-mouth, further measuring the spillovers of one customer’s offline experiences on fellow customers’ decisions, created by social media.