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Word of mouth (WOM) is a highly credible form of marketing information. However, because it is difficult to study WOM in the face-to-face context, researchers have limited understanding of its sources of effectiveness or its effects beyond product and brand communications. We analyzed computer-mediated data and conducted face-to-face interviews with beauty product enthusiasts in China to understand electronic WOM (eWOM) in a consumption-interest virtual community. Our findings reveal four categories of responses: (1) sources of social capital, (2) brand choice facilitation, (3) persuasion knowledge development, and (4) consumer reflexivity. We then propose a model and offer a set of postulates to outline future research directions.
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