Twitter as a social actor: How consumers evaluate brands differently on Twitter based on relationship norms

Zongchao Li, Cong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The consumer-brand relationship literature indicates that consumers follow certain norms in their relationships with brands, and adherence or violation of those norms affects their brand evaluations. However, whether consumers use similar principles to guide their interactions with brands in computer-mediated communication (CMC) environments such as social networking sites remains unknown. To address this question, this study tests how consumers evaluate brands on Twitter depending on their own Twitter usage intensity. Based on social response theory, it is argued that a CMC context (as represented by Twitter) acts as an independent social actor and people follow offline interpersonal relationship rules in their interactions with brands on Twitter. Through a 2 (relationship type: exchange vs. communal) × 2 (Twitter usage intensity: light vs. heavy) experiment, it is found that light Twitter users follow exchange relationship norms and evaluate a brand with exchange relationship-oriented messages more favorably than communal relationship- oriented messages. Heavy users, however, do not show such differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume39
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Keywords

  • CMC
  • Consumer-brand relationship
  • Social response theory
  • Twitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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