Social Media Brand Engagement as a Proxy for E-Commerce Activities: A Case Study of Sina Weibo and JD

Weiqiang Lin, Pedro Saleiro, Natasa Milic-Frayling, Eugene Chng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

E-commerce platforms facilitate sales of products while product vendors engage in Social Media Activities (SMA) to drive E-commerce Platform Activities (EPA) of consumers, enticing them to search, browse and buy products. The frequency and timing of SMA are expected to affect levels of EPA, increasing the number of brand related queries, clickthrough, and purchase orders. This paper applies cross-sectional data analysis to explore such beliefs and demonstrates weak-to-moderate correlations between daily SMA and EPA volumes. Further correlation analysis, using 30-day rolling windows, shows a high variability in correlation of SMA-EPA pairs and calls into question the predictive potential of SMA in relation to EPA. Considering the moderate correlation of selected SMA and EPA pairs (e.g., Post-Orders), we investigate whether SMA features can predict changes in the EPA levels, instead of precise EPA daily volumes. We define such levels in terms of EPA distribution quantiles (2, 3, and 5 levels) over training data. We formulate the EPA quantile predictions as a multi-class categorization problem. The experiments with Random Forest and Logistic Regression show a varied success, performing better than random for the top quantiles of purchase orders and for the lowest quantile of search and clickthrough activities. Similar results are obtained when predicting multi-day cumulative EPA levels (1, 3, and 7 days). Our results have considerable practical implications but, most importantly, urge the common beliefs to be re-examined, seeking a stronger evidence of SMA effects on EPA.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2018 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence, WI 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages375-382
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781538673256
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2019
Event18th IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence, WI 2018 - Santiago, Chile
Duration: 3 Dec 20186 Dec 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2018 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence, WI 2018

Conference

Conference18th IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence, WI 2018
Country/TerritoryChile
CitySantiago
Period3/12/186/12/18

Keywords

  • Cross-sectional Data Analysis
  • E-commerce Platform Activities
  • Multi-class Categorization
  • Quantile Level Prediction
  • Social Media Activities
  • Time Series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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