Recently, a number of cultural institutions such as museums, galleries, art auctions, events, and performance centers have been utilizing social network sites (SNS) for promoting and marketing their culture, art content, and events. The online social space is appropriate for cultural products to be viral, since users of SNS mainly share personal interest and spread hedonic consumption with close friends and acquaintances. If viral content drives strong emotions such as joy, arousal, pleasure, sorrow, or horror, it will be transmitted to more people, and rapidly. This study investigates how a certain type of motivation for using a social network service such as Facebook influences trust in art and culture exhibition information providers and the content of the information itself. Results show that people who have an informational motivation for using social media expressed a higher degree of trust in exhibition information provided by institutions such as museums. On the contrary, those who have relational motivation for using social media credited acquaintances such as friends, families, and colleagues more. Trust in the information provider resulted in trust in the content itself, and hence, increased the possibility of word-of-mouth for the corresponding information. An empirical survey was implemented, using followers of the Facebook page of a national museum and users who clicked “Like” on postings of exhibitions. Finally, the potential applications of the result for promotion and marketing of exhibitions of art and culture for public will be discussed.
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