EXPLORING THE BUSINESS VALUE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY EXAMINING USERS' INFORMATION SHARING BEHAVIORS, EVALUATION OF BENEFITS, AND USAGE CONTINUANCE DECISION MAKING
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Social media refers to a group of Internet-based applications that facilitate the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Social media platforms enable users to create, share, and exchange knowledge, and create new opportunities for people to interact and collaborate. Vendors are peers in online communities, and do not control the ‘word-of-mouth’ regarding their product line. Consumers can interact, create, and share brand content. Vendors must learn to effectively engage with their target groups as co-creators of the brand. Social media provides opportunities for businesses to gain economic value via collaboration with stakeholders such as customers, employees, and business partners. Firms can gain value from using social media if these stakeholders author content and interact with social media content. Continued research of user perceptions, motivations, decision-making, and usage patterns of social media applications and capabilities remains warranted.The dissertation presents three essays concentrating on issues surrounding individuals’ social media usage continuance decisions, information sharing behaviors, and social commerce behaviors. The first essay proposes an SNS continuance model by integrating SNS-oriented constructs into the established expectation-confirmation model of IS continuance (ECM-ISC) and introducing gender as a key moderator. This essay provides a deep understanding regarding the factors that influence online users’ decisions to continue using a specific social media. The second essay develops a comprehensive model to understand users’ information-sharing behaviors on social media sites by integrating social media-oriented factors and social capital constructs into the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) model. The third essay explores the economic value of social media in online shopping from a social commerce perspective and proposes a model of social commerce success. The model utilizes six dimensions: Social Commerce Website Quality, User-Generated Information Quality, Users’ Relationship Quality, Social Commerce Use, User Social Commerce Satisfaction, and Social Commerce Benefits.