Firestorms on social media have become one of the biggest challenges for organizations engaging with such online platforms. Handling a firestorm on social media has not been easy because customers' responses towards the incident is influenced by not only the original content, but also others’ responses towards the firestorm on the platform. Drawing on social impact theory and the dual-process model of social influences, this study develops a conceptual framework and explores the effects of social information characteristics (i.e., strength, number, and immediacy) on the customers' perceptions of social influences (i.e., social proof and social pressure), and then their immediate and distal responses towards the organization. The conceptual framework will be tested with social media users using a focus group study and an experiment. This study is expected to contribute to the growing body of knowledge of firestorms on social media and provide organizations with insights into tackling such firestorm.
Chan, Tommy K. H.; Skoumpopoulou, Dimitra; and Yu, Qianshu, "Firestorms on Social Media: Effects of Social Information Characteristics on Customer Responses" (2018). PACIS 2018 Proceedings. 69.