The recent emergence of WeChat-based brand communities in China is regarded as an effective channel for user-centric service marketing. However, Brand-related information dissemination and acceptance are the main hindering force in their sustainability. Despite the growing popularity of these brand communities, there has been only limited research modeling the brand-related information dissemination rule and process. The present study examines the factors affecting brand-related information dissemination and models the process of brand-related information dissemination in WeChat-based brand communities. Based on the characteristics of WeChat, this paper presents a modified information dissemination model. It quantifies the brand information dissemination process through MATLAB simulation and gets the law of information propagation. The influence of user acceptance threshold and social motivation in information dissemination is examined. The study findings suggest that the user acceptance threshold and relative motivation have obvious positive effects on the width and the speed of brand information dissemination. The findings have implications for organizations intending to use WeChat-based brand communities to practice user-centric service marketing.
WeChat-based brand community User acceptance threshold Social motivation Information dissemination SIR model
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The final draft of this paper was assisted by Zhang Yisong who comes from the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology. He collected a large number of social relationship data about WeChat community network and made a preliminary analysis. Moreover, he put forward constructive suggestions on the model construction of this paper. This paper was supported by the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (No.17DZ1101005).
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