Electronic word-of-mouth communication (eWOM) is an important force in building a digital marketplace. The study of eWOM has implications for how to build an online community through social media design, web communication and knowledge exchange. Innovative use of eWOM has significant benefits, especially for start-up firms. We focus on how users on the web communicate value related to online products. It is the premise of this paper that generating emotional value (E-value) in social media and networking sites (SMNS) is critical for the survival of new e-service ventures. Hence, by introducing a formal value theory as a coding scheme, we report a study on E-value in SMNS by analyzing how a Swedish start-up industrial design company attempted to build a global presence by creating followers on the web. The aim of the study was to investigate how the company's website design and communication can affect eWOM over time. This was done by capturing a series of “emoticon and value expressions” generated by community members from three different e-communication campaigns (2011–2012) with changing website content, hence giving different stimuli to viewers. Those members who expressed emotional value, often incorporating emoticons, displayed both shorter verbal expressions and reaction time. These value expressions, we suggest, are important aspects of eWOM and need to be actively taken into account. The study has implications for information management strategies through using eWOM.