Who benefits from the wisdom of the crowd in crowdfunding? Assessing the benefits of user-generated and mass personal electronic word of mouth in computer-mediated financing

  • Jermain Kaminski
  • Christian Hopp
  • Christian Lukas
Original Paper


In this work, we explore the link between electronic word of mouth in the form of user-generated content (online forum interactions on Kickstarter) and through mass personal communication (sharing information through Facebook) on the performance of crowdfunding campaigns. Our formal theoretical model implies that the efficiency of electronic word of mouth is determined by the quality of the underlying crowdfunding campaign. Using a sample of 572 project observations, we test our theoretical predictions in cross-sectional logistic regression and ancillary Granger analyses. Our results highlight the interactive contingency of social media engagement and the success of the crowdfunding campaign. While a higher quality campaign is benefitting from user generated electronic word of mouth (online comments), the returns are diminishing. For mass personal electronic word of mouth (Facebook shares), we even find a reverse causal effect. Social media activity follows a successful campaign, but does not affect the success probability of the campaign. Crowdfunding campaigns need to approach their social media activities with a certain note of sensitivity to achieve the objective of successfully reaching their campaign goal.


Crowdfunding Social capital Entrepreneurial finance Electronic word of mouth 

JEL Classification

C31 C32 D91 G29 H31 L26 



The authors would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for supporting the project within the framework of the exploratory project "InnoFinance" (project number 01IO1702)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jermain Kaminski
    • 1
  • Christian Hopp
    • 1
  • Christian Lukas
    • 2
  1. 1.RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Friedrich Schiller University of JenaJenaGermany

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