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Consumer Reactions to Social Publishing Sites

Presented by: Cathy Cole, University of Iowa, Sheila Goins, University of Iowa, Daryl Irby, University of Iowa

This research represents a preliminary study about how strength of consumers’ relationships with a brand affects responses to information on social publishing sites. Future research will evolve in several directions. First, we infer that differences in trust underlie the results. Future research could directly test the assumption that strong brand relationships lead consumers to distrust negative brand information on social publishing sites. Second, it is also possible that a different type of trust, known as generalized trust, may affect how consumers interact with information in social media. Generalized trust describes an individual's tendency to trust others in general (Grayson et al 2008). In future research, we will add shared audience opinions to the content site. Some prior research suggests that generalized trust affects responses to shared opinions more than the original content (Schul and Peri 2015). Finally, from a public policy context, future research will extend this into a public health domain by asking do relationships with existing brands (e.g. e-cigarettes) affect how consumers react to both health content and audience sharing on social publishing sites.

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