Exploring interaction differences in Microblogging Word of Mouth between entrepreneurial and conventional service providers

In this study, we explore the interaction network properties of Microblogging Word of Mouth (MWOM), and how it is utilized by two different types of service providers, namely entrepreneurial and conventional. We use social network analysis, involving network metrics, sentiment, content and semantic analysis of real time data collected via Twitter, to compare two providers in terms of how they leverage MWOM in their social interactions. Results demonstrate that MWOM is utilized in an inherently different manner by an entrepreneurial provider, compared to a conventional one. Based on the findings, the study identifies distinctions between the entrepreneurial and conventional service providers in how they utilize MWOM on social media. Specifically, the entrepreneurial provider capitalizes on the interactive nature and dialogic capabilities of Twitter; whereas the conventional provider mostly relies on focal information sharing, thus neglecting the network members' content creation and relationship building capability of social media networks. The study has significant implications as it provides key insights and lessons in terms of how companies should respond to emerging digital opportunities in their online social interactions.