Beyond liking or following: Understanding public engagement on social networking sites in China

Linjuan Rita Men, Wan Hsiu Sunny Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Corporate pages on social networking sites (SNSs) have become the key platform where publics interact with companies and organizations around the world. Focusing on one of the most important world economies, China, this study explored the types of public engagement with corporate pages on leading Chinese SNSs as well as the motivations and antecedents that drive such engagement. Given the participatory and communal nature of SNSs, this study proposed a conceptual model incorporating social media dependency and several social relationship factors, including parasocial interaction, perceived source credibility, and community identification, that influenced Chinese publics' engagement with companies on SNSs. We conducted a web survey with a random sample of 245 Chinese SNS users to test the proposed model. The results confirm that with the exception of perceived credibility, social media usage and relationship-oriented factors played a significant role in inducing public engagement in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • China
  • Corporate communication
  • Public engagement
  • Social networking site

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Communication


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