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Abstract

Social media platforms enable firms to communicate directly and often publicly with individual consumers. In this research, comprising four online studies, the authors investigate how the tone of voice used by firms (human vs. corporate) influences purchase intentions on social media. Findings suggest that a human tone of voice is not always the firm's best option. Study 1a (N = 174) shows that using a human voice, instead of the more traditional corporate voice, can increase a consumer's hedonic value on social media and also purchase intentions. However, that influence of a human voice on purchase intentions is stronger when the consumer is looking at a brand page with a hedonic goal in mind (versus a utilitarian one). Study 1b (N = 342) shows that the presence of several negative comments about a brand on social media acts as a boundary condition, nullifying the influence of a human voice on purchase intentions. Studies 2a (N = 154) and 2b (N = 202) show in different settings that using a human voice can even reduce purchase intentions in contexts of high situational involvement, due to perceptions of risk associated with humanness. The results contribute to the literature surrounding the effects of conversational human voice, while also providing managers with a set of guidelines to help inform and identify which tone of voice is best adapted to each communications scenario.

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... However, while social networks are perceived as a valuable tool for marketing and communication activities, many questions still remain open concerning the most effective techniques for companies to present their contents and to communicate with their audiences in such an interactive, intimate as well as public, colloquial domain [17]. Furthermore, by using social media (blogs, social networks and online communities), consumers not only have discussions, share opinions and thoughts but also determine and reconsider which items are significant for them also in terms of brands relationships [18]. ...
... Moreover, social media popularity is increasingly growing, and managers are called to strike the right balance in order to define a coherent and cohesive online presence and to present the adequate "tone of voice" to their audiences [17]. Some experts argue that brands should utilize a more human tone of voice on social networks [17], others suggest that companies that succeed in social media are those which have maximized their abilities to tailor contents, language and tone according to whether the audience is a consumer, a prospect, supporter or a detractor, and others expects brands to adopt a traditional corporate communication style [19]. ...
... Moreover, social media popularity is increasingly growing, and managers are called to strike the right balance in order to define a coherent and cohesive online presence and to present the adequate "tone of voice" to their audiences [17]. Some experts argue that brands should utilize a more human tone of voice on social networks [17], others suggest that companies that succeed in social media are those which have maximized their abilities to tailor contents, language and tone according to whether the audience is a consumer, a prospect, supporter or a detractor, and others expects brands to adopt a traditional corporate communication style [19]. ...
Chapter
The COVID-19 outbreak took place end of 2019 in Wuhan city in China, and since then, it has spread across the world. The virus has not only impacted the health of millions of citizens, since, in such a globalized and interconnected system, it has also impacted on human being’s daily life and activities. In this context, the volatility of the global economy has led many companies to modify and readapt their communication and marketing strategies and the fashion sector has not been exempted from these changes aimed at further engaging customers and at encouraging sales on e-commerce platforms. The present paper aims to provide an overview of the communication strategies on Instagram by fashion companies during an exogenous crisis, such as the first Covid19 wave, in a period that goes from January until end of May 2020. The research seeks to determine if and when the selected companies reacted on their Instagram accounts to the first wave of the pandemic, and which were the contents and the topics proposed across the considered period. The goal of the research is to present the state of the art of digital fashion contents offered during a period of crisis such as a global pandemic, where many fashion companies have decided to change their marketing and communication strategies to rebalance their usual conversational Instagram “tone of voice” with the needs and feelings of their stakeholders. It also aims to set the ground for further academic discussions on issues related to human computer interaction limits and potentials, when it comes to establishing alternative communication and marketing strategies during crises, such as the Covid19.
... Social media has become an essential part of digital marketing strategies (Arora et al. 2019). As such, brands strive to publish content that serves their marketing goals as well as engages customers' motivations and interests (Barcelos et al. 2018;Sabate et al. 2014). However, several questions remain concerning the best ways for brands to address their customers in this highly interactive, both personal and public, conversational environment. ...
... Aligning linguistic styles such as analytical thought, clout, emotional tone, and temporal focus may enhance authenticity in service interactions, thereby enhancing communication effectiveness (Burton et al. 2021). Moreover, recent studies have shown that the use of specific linguistics can stimulate the mechanics of brand relationships and lead consumers to engage with a brand's post through various actions (Barcelos et al. 2018;Labrecque et al. 2020). ...
... For instance, the use of pronouns can help identify the attentional focus and, in turn, reveal priorities, intentions, and processing (Tausczik and Pennebaker 2010). Pronoun choices can also drive different types of social media engagement with branded content (Barcelos et al. 2018;Labrecque et al. 2020). Other elements of linguistic style include analytical thinking, which reflects an argumentative text which presents logical or associative ideas and facts, in opposition to a narrative style (Pennebaker et al. 2015); clout, which means a communicator in a position of knowledge and authority, reflected in the use of confident language and more first-person plural (i.e., we) and second-person pronouns (i.e., you) (Tausczik and Pennebaker 2010); emotions and emotional tone, which represent the degree to which people express emotion and the valence of that emotion (Tausczik and Pennebaker 2010). ...
Chapter
In this article, we present the results of an empirical study on the influence of the linguistic style of global brands on digital consumer engagement. Our conceptual model is based on the analysis of more than 7,700 Facebook posts from 90 global brands across different categories and tests the effects of several linguistic elements such as pronoun choices, clout, emotional tone, informality, temporal focus, etc. The results show that these elements positively or negatively influence consumer engagement differently, depending on the type of engagement (likes, comments, shares, or reactions). By discussing these results, we inform managers on how to better communicate with consumers on social media to obtain more positive consumer responses.
... Cruz et al. (2017) applied one-factor ANCOVA analysis and determined that the second person pronouns are used at a high level by brands on Facebook and that they provide high level of engagement as likes, shares and comments. Barcelos et al. (2018) revealed that the use of first-person singular and plural pronouns by brands on Facebook increase hedonic value of consumers. In another study, WeChat was used as data source and the uses of the first-person pronouns in warm images advertisings, and the third-person pronouns in competent image advertisings have positive impacts on liking behavior of consumers (Chang et al., 2019). ...
... Fourth, existing studies used Facebook (Cruz et al., 2017;Barcelos et al., 2018;Labrecque et al., 2020) and WeChat (Chang et al., 2019) as data source to investigate the effect of pronouns on online consumer behavior. Thus, the present study extends the ongoing research focusing on Instagram platform and uncovers the linguistic motivations of consumers to engage the posts beyond various content strategies in airline sector (Leung et al., 2013;Menon et al., 2019;Sigurdsson et al., 2019). ...
... First, this study Bahri Baran KOÇAK focused on the Turkish airline industry which use Instagram as one of social media platforms. Zelenka and Hruška (2018) suggest that airlines establish marketing activities with various social media applications and previous studies considered Facebook (e.g., Cruz et al., 2017;Barcelos et al., 2018;Labrecque et al., 2020) and WeChat (Chang et al., 2019). Hence, further research needs to focus on other social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube. ...
Article
Full-text available
Leading consumers to engage with brand posts in social media has become one of essential branding strategies for airline industry. Linguistic characteristics of a social media message can also play an important role to increase consumer engagement (CE) level. This study investigates the effects of the uses of pronouns and "we" as a consumer-brand (c-b) relationship on CE with Turkish airline Instagram posts considering Social Presence Theory. Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) analysis using least squares model are conducted to analyze 817 Instagram data. The findings indicate that the use of first-person singular, first-person plural, third-person singular, and second-person pronouns in Instagram posts increase CE. Also, the use of "we-biz" as c-b relationship affect both liking and commenting behavior of consumers.
... Cruz et al. (2017) applied one-factor ANCOVA analysis and determined that the second person pronouns are used at a high level by brands on Facebook and that they provide high level of engagement as likes, shares and comments. Barcelos et al. (2018) revealed that the use of first-person singular and plural pronouns by brands on Facebook increase hedonic value of consumers. In another study, WeChat was used as data source and the uses of the first-person pronouns in warm images advertisings, and the third-person pronouns in competent image advertisings have positive impacts on liking behavior of consumers (Chang et al., 2019). ...
... Fourth, existing studies used Facebook (Cruz et al., 2017;Barcelos et al., 2018;Labrecque et al., 2020) and WeChat (Chang et al., 2019) as data source to investigate the effect of pronouns on online consumer behavior. Thus, the present study extends the ongoing research focusing on Instagram platform and uncovers the linguistic motivations of consumers to engage the posts beyond various content strategies in airline sector (Leung et al., 2013;Menon et al., 2019;Sigurdsson et al., 2019). ...
... First, this study Bahri Baran KOÇAK focused on the Turkish airline industry which use Instagram as one of social media platforms. Zelenka and Hruška (2018) suggest that airlines establish marketing activities with various social media applications and previous studies considered Facebook (e.g., Cruz et al., 2017;Barcelos et al., 2018;Labrecque et al., 2020) and WeChat (Chang et al., 2019). Hence, further research needs to focus on other social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube. ...
... Social media has become an essential part of digital marketing strategies (Arora et al. 2019). As such, brands strive to publish content that serves their marketing goals as well as engages customers' motivations and interests (Barcelos et al. 2018;Sabate et al. 2014). However, several questions remain concerning the best ways for brands to address their customers in this highly interactive, both personal and public, conversational environment. ...
... Aligning linguistic styles such as analytical thought, clout, emotional tone, and temporal focus may enhance authenticity in service interactions, thereby enhancing communication effectiveness (Burton et al. 2021). Moreover, recent studies have shown that the use of specific linguistics can stimulate the mechanics of brand relationships and lead consumers to engage with a brand's post through various actions (Barcelos et al. 2018;Labrecque et al. 2020). ...
... For instance, the use of pronouns can help identify the attentional focus and, in turn, reveal priorities, intentions, and processing (Tausczik and Pennebaker 2010). Pronoun choices can also drive different types of social media engagement with branded content (Barcelos et al. 2018;Labrecque et al. 2020). Other elements of linguistic style include analytical thinking, which reflects an argumentative text which presents logical or associative ideas and facts, in opposition to a narrative style (Pennebaker et al. 2015); clout, which means a communicator in a position of knowledge and authority, reflected in the use of confident language and more first-person plural (i.e., we) and second-person pronouns (i.e., you) (Tausczik and Pennebaker 2010); emotions and emotional tone, which represent the degree to which people express emotion and the valence of that emotion (Tausczik and Pennebaker 2010). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to analyse how consumers adopt webrooming and showrooming purchasing processes for different products (textile-fashion, home appliances and groceries). A crossover study was carried out in two countries, Spain and Colombia, applying an exploratory model through the analysis of PLS structural equations. The results showed differences in the adoption of this type of purchase depending on the type of product. The contributions of this study allow companies to choose and manage omnichannel processes depending on the type of products they sell.
... In 2018, illustrating that social media activity has grown and corporate engagement has advanced in sophistication, Barcelos, Dantas and Sénécal's study took an introspective view on social media conversations. In "Watch Your Tone: How a Brand's Tone of Voice on Social Media Influences Consumer Responses," Barcelos et al. (2018) recognized that an organization's online corporate voice has the ability to influence positive or negative emotions and suggested using "human voice manipulation" when interacting with customers (p. 71). ...
... 71). Barcelos et al. (2018) used case studies to determine if a personal or corporate voice is more appropriate based on whether an organization's goods or services are seen as hedonic or utilitarian. A hedonic organization has products or services with emotional benefits from purchasing or experience, like a pizzeria, wine shop, book store or hotel (Barcelos et al., 2018). ...
... Barcelos et al. (2018) used case studies to determine if a personal or corporate voice is more appropriate based on whether an organization's goods or services are seen as hedonic or utilitarian. A hedonic organization has products or services with emotional benefits from purchasing or experience, like a pizzeria, wine shop, book store or hotel (Barcelos et al., 2018). "It is a good idea for a brand to use a human voice in its interactions with customers on social media if its products or services are primarily hedonic" (Barcelos et al., 2018, p. 73). ...
Article
A negative comment on a corporate social media post can pierce like an arrow to the chest and puncture holes into an organization’s walls. A single negative voice in a sea of positive feedback can feel as though it is blaring from a giant bullhorn, striking fear into corporate community managers that an avalanche of negativity will overtake positivity like a contagious bandwagon. Why would a corporation consider telling its story in the online battlefield of social media and risk exposing its reputation to a cesspool of negativity? This paper will explore why negativity is an online barrier through research, industry advice and best practices – including from the researchers and experts who use the foregoing colourful idioms and metaphors to describe negative online comments. To answer the main question of why an organization would consider engaging on social media in the face of prolific negativity and hate speech, this paper will review the evolution of online emotions and the rise of negativity on social media. The paper will define negative online comments in the corporate context using research on trolls, cyberbullying and online personal attacks. Using the psychology of Pareto’s 80/20 rule and negativity bias, this paper will provide quantitative and qualitative perspectives on negativity to show why companies pay much more attention to negative comments than positive ones, and how analysis of negativity can help a company develop emotional intelligence. Examples will be presented from research and industry to understand and combat negativity and review research on user comments that classifies users to better understand their motivations. Using research on tone and voice in online conversation, this paper will share cautionary case studies that demonstrate how companies that are not self-aware can incite negative comments. Finally, this paper will review research on platform content moderation techniques to understand how social media platforms like Facebook manage negativity and will suggest similar solutions for corporations, including not only the online community’s ability but also our collective responsibility to moderate and overcome the online positivity deficit. Keywords: social media, community manager, online negativity, negativity bias, negative comments, online emotions, user categorization
... Social media has become an essential part of digital marketing strategies (Arora et al. 2019). As such, brands strive to publish content that serves their marketing goals as well as engages customers' motivations and interests (Barcelos et al. 2018;Sabate et al. 2014). However, several questions remain concerning the best ways for brands to address their customers in this highly interactive, both personal and public, conversational environment. ...
... Aligning linguistic styles such as analytical thought, clout, emotional tone, and temporal focus may enhance authenticity in service interactions, thereby enhancing communication effectiveness (Burton et al. 2021). Moreover, recent studies have shown that the use of specific linguistics can stimulate the mechanics of brand relationships and lead consumers to engage with a brand's post through various actions (Barcelos et al. 2018;Labrecque et al. 2020). ...
... For instance, the use of pronouns can help identify the attentional focus and, in turn, reveal priorities, intentions, and processing (Tausczik and Pennebaker 2010). Pronoun choices can also drive different types of social media engagement with branded content (Barcelos et al. 2018;Labrecque et al. 2020). Other elements of linguistic style include analytical thinking, which reflects an argumentative text which presents logical or associative ideas and facts, in opposition to a narrative style (Pennebaker et al. 2015); clout, which means a communicator in a position of knowledge and authority, reflected in the use of confident language and more first-person plural (i.e., we) and second-person pronouns (i.e., you) (Tausczik and Pennebaker 2010); emotions and emotional tone, which represent the degree to which people express emotion and the valence of that emotion (Tausczik and Pennebaker 2010). ...
... Its public nature makes it a source of information to prospective customers and has thus, dramatically changed customer-firm conversation to a dynamic and triadic interaction involving the customers, firm, and third parties who read and often comment in the trialogue (Li et al., 2017;Wei et al., 2013). Webcare increases customers' repeat patronage and recommendation intentions by more than 20 percent (Barsky and Frame, 2009) and has been found to increase customer purchase intention and profitability (Barcelos et al., 2018;Rose and Blodgett, 2016). Webcare signals firms' performance quality and value for its customers, thereby 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 J o u r n a l o f R e s e a r c h i n I n t e r a c t i v e M a r k e t i n g 2 enhancing the perceptions of its reputation, and increased consumers' confidence in the firm (Rose and Blodgett, 2016). ...
... The aim of reacting to customers' complaints is to enhance consumer satisfaction and mitigate the potential damage of the negative eWOM (Willemsen et al., 2013). When it addresses customers' compliments, it is an indication that the firm is listening, expressing appreciation and reinforcing positive WOM (Barcelos et al., 2018;Ma et al., 2015;Wei et al., 2013). Thus, such a response to positive eWOM can increase the engagement intention of potential customers (Schamari and Schaefers, 2015). ...
... Accordingly, positive WOM is desirable, which makes scholars and practitioners argue that firms should incentivize consumers to provide positive WOM (Hennig-Thurau et al., 2010). This preference for positive review is further explained by enormous research attention directed at positive reviews (Barcelos et al., 2018;Ma et al., 2015;Schamari and Schaefers, 2015;Wang and Chaudhry, 2018). ...
Preprint
The paper uses an experiment to discuss management response strategies directed to positive and negative eWOM and argues that appreciative customers feedback counts. In fact, it is more effective than saying sorry for a service failure.
... The effect of tone of voice was tested in several previous studies in public relations [27], marketing [28] and crisis management [24,29]. Although the academic backgrounds of the studies are somewhat different, all of them found consistent superior effects of conversational human voice on attitude toward an organization [29]. ...
... For example, it has been researched for companies to make online communication more effective [24,27]. By investigating the concept in a different area such as health communication, the theoretical implications of tone of the voice strategy were expanded, suggesting that the role of tone of the voice may vary depending on the subject [28]. Not only that, the main topic of health communication after COVID-19 was communication style in terms of how to deliver the content beyond what to deliver [44]. ...
... This phenomenon has been demonstrated in a recent study. According to Barcelos et al. [28], even people who responded positively to human voice messages may no longer be affected by the voice when they are exposed to negative information, which can cause risk perception toward a certain issue. Which means, in situations where there are many factors that cause risk perception such as vaccines, the role of the voice may appear differently. ...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to develop an effective health communication strategy to guide the decision-making process of parents considering getting their children HPV vaccines. Using inoculation theory and findings on tone of voice as theoretical frameworks, the present study conducted a 2 (message type: inoculation vs. supportive) × 2 (tone of voice: human voice vs. organizational voice) mixed experiment with a total of 231 U.S. parents (either mother or father of a child eligible for the HPV vaccine). The results revealed that HPV vaccination promotions based on the inoculation message were more likely to generate positive attitudes toward the vaccination, higher intention to vaccinate their children, and higher intention to spread positive word of mouth (WOM) about HPV vaccination. Also, HPV vaccination promotions in the human voice were likely to increase the WOM intention more than those in the organizational voice. In regard to an interaction effect, human voice turned out to be more effective than organizational voice to generate the WOM intention when it comes to supportive messages; inoculation-based messages were similarly effective across the human and the organizational voice condition.
... For example, should the message adopt an informal, human tone to signal a sense of empathy from the company (e.g. Kelleher, 2009;Park and Cameron, 2014), or should it adopt a formal, corporate tone to underscore rationality and professionalism (Kerkhof et al., 2011), which may be expected in official company responses to a crisis (Barcelos et al., 2018). Similarly, it is unclear whether disclosing information about the characteristics of the 'spokesperson' within the social media message, such as gender, would affect the effectiveness of the crisis response, despite some studies (e.g. ...
... "the brand X", "the staff") (e.g. Barcelos et al., 2018). Human style is also signalled through emotional statements (Yang et al., 2010), that may include expression of shame, regret (van der Meer and Verhoeven, 2014), anger or sadness (Kim and Cameron, 2011). ...
Article
Timely apologies to key publics on social media are becoming an important aspect of crisis recovery but little is known of how the spokesperson’s characteristics and the tone of apology may influence the outcome. Recognising the importance of the need to attract quality workforce, this study examines the impact of social media response to a preventable crisis on organisational attractiveness. Specifically, a 2 (message tone: corporate/formal vs. human/informal) x 2 (spokesperson’s gender: male vs. female) between-subjects factorial design was used to test the effectiveness of an apology. The results suggest a significant moderated mediation effect. We find that account acceptance mediates the relationship between message tone and organisational attractiveness, and this effect is conditional on gender of the spokesperson. The results are relevant to crisis managers and brand managers that seek to attract and retain talents.
... One reason why people like technology is the elimination of human interaction. Research has found that online shops or websites that employ human-like features or anthropomorphized contents might induce higher perceived risk and privacy concern (Barcelos et al., 2018). This is particularly true for consumers who have lower need for human interaction and employ technology to avoid human interaction . ...
... 481 mediated by technology, they might worry less about being watched and tracked (Barcelos et al., 2018). Hence, we propose that when travelers believe the personalized message was sent by a computer system/robot (rather than a real human), they might perceive lower privacy concern. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Prior to the pandemic, Malaysia ranked 22nd tourism destination in the world. However, the number of tourist arrivals in 2020, decreased by -83.4% compared to 2019. Malaysia has the potential to be one of the top destinations for travellers due to different cultural attractions, heritage, and natural attractions. Considering the importance of international tourism to Malaysia’s economic growth, and the image of the country current research applies a mixed-method approach to explore the reasons for international tourists' intention to visit and revisit Malaysia and provide practical implications for the further development of international travel in Malaysia for the Covid-19 recovery.
... sustainability (Smith et al., 2012). Like human tone, brands' social-media tone of voice impacts customers' purchasing inclinations (Barcelos et al., 2018). ...
... Thus, AI can analyze the data it obtains from brands and organizations' communication channels, certify the data as credible or inaccurate, and curate ideas depending on brand and customer behaviors . This helps design and recommend how branding can be done across various multimedia channels, what customers to target, and what tone of voice is suitable to target those customers (Barcelos, 2018). AI determines the right brand voice across platforms. ...
Article
Full-text available
Digital automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have transformed over decades as more organizations communicate with audiences utilizing multimedia platforms globally. With digitalization, brand voice has become necessary in brand communication with users, and conversational AI interprets inputs. The aim is to explore how AI has evolved brand voice in multimedia and its interdependencies. Qualitative research design is applied based on content analysis of various multimedia applications. Initially, the role of AI in the evolution of brand voice, AI in multimedia, and the role of brand voice in multimedia were reviewed, highlighting the research gap. By drawing implications from shared study areas, the interdependence of these three notions was determined. This paper finds that AI plays a crucial role in evolving, developing, predicting, and analyzing brand voice in multimedia, resulting in the current life cycle of the brand voice. The interdependence diagram and brand voice life cycle reveal that AI defines brand voice's effectiveness and helps evolve it by offering suggestions. AI-powered engines are crucial to the success of multimedia platforms, and thus the paper introduces AI-powered two-way integration architecture.
... Since the proliferation of social media, employees' online behaviours are considered particularly vital for developing and maintaining the reputation of employer brands (Osburg et al., 2020;Schaarschmidt & Walsh, 2018). Even so, the internal market (i.e., employees) has received limited attention from researchers in contrast to the consumer perspective (e.g., Alves et al., 2016;Barcelos et al., 2018). To develop a strong employer brand image externally, there must first exist a good internal relationship between employees and their employer's brand (Yoganathan et al., 2018), which necessitates organisational support systems for ensuring employee wellbeing and resilience. ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the significant and increasing influence of social media on employees’ work lives, there is limited focus on employees’ social media competencies from an employer branding or internal marketing perspective. Building on social identity and social exchange theories, this paper links employees’ social media competence to an increase in online brand citizenship behaviour and reduction in feelings of psychological contract violation towards their employer’s brand. We also examine the distinct mediatory effects of two forms of online social capital – Bonding mediates the influence of employee social media competence on online brand citizenship and feelings of psychological contract violation, whilst Bridging only mediates the effect of social media competence on feelings of psychological contract violation. In doing so, we contribute to extant literature in two ways: 1) Address the need for research on social media in relation to employer branding; and 2) Highlight the importance of building employee-to-employee and employee-to-employer relationships by virtual means in the context of employer branding. Therefore, this paper responds to calls for research that advances more responsible approaches to employer branding and internal marketing, i.e. approaches that take into account employee competencies (emphasise need for skill development) as well as wellbeing (emphasise need for support).
... Although animism can be triggered more easily than anthropomorphism (as the former requires signals of life in general rather than specifically human features), most prior investigations in the field of marketing have been limited to anthropomorphism and have examined a narrow set of cues that relate to the human body (Landwehr, McGill, & Herrmann, 2011;Maeng & Aggarwal, 2017), the first-person conversation style (Aggarwal & McGill, 2007;Araujo, 2018;Hubner Barcelos, Dantas, & Sénécal, 2018;Puzakova & Kwak, 2017;Toure-Tillery & McGill, 2015), or that are based on a simple request to imagine a given product as a person (e.g., Aggarwal & McGill, 2012;Chandler & Schwartz, 2010;Chen, Sengupta, & Adaval, 2018). While embodiment is the most popular method for eliciting anthropomorphic thinking (and is often combined with the first-person conversation style, e.g. ...
... Although animism can be triggered more easily than anthropomorphism (as the former requires signals of life in general rather than specifically human features), most prior investigations in the field of marketing have been limited to anthropomorphism and have examined a narrow set of cues that relate to the human body (Landwehr, McGill, & Herrmann, 2011;Maeng & Aggarwal, 2017), the first-person conversation style (Aggarwal & McGill, 2007;Araujo, 2018;Hubner Barcelos, Dantas, & Sénécal, 2018;Puzakova & Kwak, 2017;Toure-Tillery & McGill, 2015), or that are based on a simple request to imagine a given product as a person (e.g., Aggarwal & McGill, 2012;Chandler & Schwartz, 2010;Chen, Sengupta, & Adaval, 2018). While embodiment is the most popular method for eliciting anthropomorphic thinking (and is often combined with the first-person conversation style, e.g. ...
Article
Full-text available
Although marketers have been using various message tactics to breathe life into their brands, the concepts of animism and animistic cues, particularly in social media marketing, have received little theoretical and empirical attention. Therefore, we conducted two studies to uncover what drives animistic thinking on social media, how animism is linked to anthropomorphism, how animism can benefit brands online, and what the boundary conditions for this phenomenon are. The findings demonstrate that animistic (vs. non-animistic) cues elicit animistic thinking, which leads to more favorable brand evaluations. This effect is moderated by superstitious beliefs. The results provide new knowledge for both marketing researchers and practitioners, revealing that it is easier to activate animism than anthropomorphism on social media and that such activation can be done via easily devisable cues (such as simple movement), particularly when addressing highly superstitious consumers.
... Although animism can be triggered more easily than anthropomorphism (as the former requires signals of life in general rather than specifically human features), most prior investigations in the field of marketing have been limited to anthropomorphism and have examined a narrow set of cues that relate to the human body (Landwehr, McGill, & Herrmann, 2011;Maeng & Aggarwal, 2017), the first-person conversation style (Aggarwal & McGill, 2007;Araujo, 2018;Hubner Barcelos, Dantas, & Sénécal, 2018;Puzakova & Kwak, 2017;Toure-Tillery & McGill, 2015), or that are based on a simple request to imagine a given product as a person (e.g., Aggarwal & McGill, 2012;Chandler & Schwartz, 2010;Chen, Sengupta, & Adaval, 2018). While embodiment is the most popular method for eliciting anthropomorphic thinking (and is often combined with the first-person conversation style, e.g. ...
... Although animism can be triggered more easily than anthropomorphism (as the former requires signals of life in general rather than specifically human features), most prior investigations in the field of marketing have been limited to anthropomorphism and have examined a narrow set of cues that relate to the human body (Landwehr, McGill, & Herrmann, 2011;Maeng & Aggarwal, 2017), the first-person conversation style (Aggarwal & McGill, 2007;Araujo, 2018;Hubner Barcelos, Dantas, & Sénécal, 2018;Puzakova & Kwak, 2017;Toure-Tillery & McGill, 2015), or that are based on a simple request to imagine a given product as a person (e.g., Aggarwal & McGill, 2012;Chandler & Schwartz, 2010;Chen, Sengupta, & Adaval, 2018). While embodiment is the most popular method for eliciting anthropomorphic thinking (and is often combined with the first-person conversation style, e.g. ...
... Most research in this area has relied on controlled experiments to isolate consumer reactions to different response strategies. For example, Barcelos, Dantas, and Sénécal (2018) showed that the effectiveness of a human versus corporate voice in brand response depends on the type of consumer goals and the valence of the original consumer comment. Similarly, Johnen and Schnittka (2019) compared accommodative versus defensive responses to negative consumer comments and found that a defensive response is more suitable for hedonic contexts, whereas an accommodative response is better in utilitarian settings. ...
... The operational details and textual content of the responses, which may include more service failure or appreciation, is not considered. For example, the writing style or tone (e.g., formal or informal) (Barcelos et al., 2018), the response categories (e.g., apology, acknowledge, or thanks) (B. A. Sparks and Bradley, 2017), the coverage of response content of review text (C. Li et al., 2018) would could be influencing factors. ...
... Following that, it is important to explain some of the content elements of social media posts that bolster social presence. Accounts that are perceived to be bot-like (auto-generated by bots for some business accounts) will be felt as cold and uninviting for online engagement, whereas interactive accounts increase perceived warmth and trustworthiness (Barcelos et al., 2018). When visiting some corporate brand accounts on Instagram or any other SNSs, one would miss the personal anecdotes and use of casual language that can be found in personal accounts. ...
Article
Purpose Social media campaigns by fashion brands typically rely on two types of accounts: official brands' accounts and social media influencers' accounts. The current study investigates relevant mechanisms that explain the effectiveness of Instagram posts contingent upon their account types (commercial brand's Instagram account versus influencer's Instagram account) and content types (the absence versus presence of human figures in the posted contents). Design/methodology/approach Conducting an online experiment ( N Females = 195), it was tested if parasocial interaction (PSI) and feelings of social presence moderate the effects of Instagram accounts' promotional posts on consumers' perceived trustworthiness of the endorsed fashion brand. The experiment employed a 2 (Type of Instagram posts: product-only posts versus product posts with a person content) × 2 (Type of Instagram account: a fashion-brand account versus a a fashion-influencer account) between-subjects factorial design. Findings Results demonstrate three-way interaction effects among the type of the Instagram account, the type of Instagram posts and PSI/social presence on the perceived trustworthiness of a brand. When the content is coming from a fashion-influencer account, there is no difference between product posts with a person and product-only posts conditions with regard to the positive relationship between PSI/social presence and trustworthiness. In contrast, when the source is a fashion-brand account on Instagram, the positive relationship between PSI/social presence and trustworthiness is stronger for product posts with a person. These findings suggest that Instagram posts that are promoted by fashion influencers would have similar effects of PSI and social presence, even if they do not appear themselves in the branded content. Originality/value This research contributes to our understanding of the effective antecedents of trustworthiness in social media-based fashion marketing and fashion brand management. Instagram account types and content types influence the extent to which social media communication allows for the formation of emotional ties with and positive evaluation of the fashion brand.
... In the field of business communication, researchers tend to look at the duality of organizational versus personal identity in personal pronoun use. Some studies lump the first-person singular and plural pronouns together and associate both with a personal and human perspective (e.g., Barcelos et al. 2018;Kwon and Sung 2011;Van Noort et al. 2014). For example, in their analysis of global brands' Twitter use, Kwon and Sung (2011) found that brands want to give the impression of a human personality in tweets by using first-person singular and plural pronouns (among other strategies). ...
Article
This cross-cultural study examines the differences in communicative styles between English and German email responses to customer complaints by analysing their discourse structure (through a rhetorical move analysis) and the frequency of first-person references ( I and we and their different forms). The framework is given by House (House, Juliane. 2006. Communicative styles in English and German. European Journal of English Studies 10(3). 249–267.), who suggests that English speakers tend to use a more interpersonal (i.e., people-oriented) communicative style, while German speakers show a preference for a transactional (i.e., content-oriented) style. In addition, first-person references within the genre of email responses to complaints are associated with either the customer service agent’s personal or corporate identity. The data consist of 150 English and 84 German authentic emails. The results of the move analysis reveal that the discourse structure of both data sets is mainly similar, but the few differences point into the direction of support for House’s framework, in particular the dimension on addressee- or content-orientation. Although agents generally use more we than I- references in both data sets, thus exhibiting mainly a corporate identity, they tend to use the opposite in some moves (e.g., Apology ), which points to pronominal shifting across move level, as suggested in previous research (Zhang, Yi & Camilla Vásquez. 2014. Hotels’ responses to online reviews: Managing consumer dissatisfaction. Discourse, Context and Media 6. 54–64.). Overall, the German agents use more we- references compared to their British colleagues. Finally, agents use pronominal shifting within move level to distance themselves from the company.
... A través de estos escenarios los usuarios de una comunidad virtual, unidos por diversos intereses y preferencias, interactúan entre los parámetros de la fugacidad, la liquidez y la instantaneidad propia de la red. Con un alcance de 2,95 mil millones de usuarios en 2020 (Rehman, Baharu y Salleh, 2020) y un promedio de 2 horas de uso al día por usuario (Baccarella, Wagner, Kietzmann y McCarthy, 2018;Barcelos, Dantas y Senecal, 2018), las redes sociales se han convertido en uno de los espacios virtuales más populares y frecuentes entre los jóvenes. ...
... One of the essential benefits of social media for research is the rapidity with which information of interest can be spread to a larger audience when compared to traditional outlets like print media. On average, users spend more than 2 hours of their time on social media daily (Baccarella, Wagner & Kietzmann, 2018;Barcelos, Dantas & Sénécal, 2018). Social media users create, share as well as exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and they can connect with different individuals who share a common interest, dreams, and objectives (Sharma & Shukla, 2016). ...
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This study sought to investigate the relationship between social media use and research productivity of lecturers in private universities in Ogun State, Nigeria. This study adopted the survey design. The population comprised of 1353 lecturers from seven private universities. The purposive sampling technique was used to select 621 respondents for the study. A pretested questionnaire was used for data collection, yielding the following Cronbach alpha value: Social media use-0.86 and research productivity-0.95. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistic. Findings revealed that social media use has a positive but very weak and significant relationship with the research productivity (r = 0.173 ** , P < 0.05). Social media tools, namely: Social networks, Collaborative tools, Web video sites, Blogs & Microblogs were found to be used. Social bookmarking and citation tools were not used for research. However, research productivity was found to be low. The study concluded by noting that research productivity can be greatly improved by the use of social media. It, therefore, recommends that lecturers improve their knowledge of social bookmarking and citation tools as these will help them in organizing information from social media specifically and the web, in general, amongst others.
... Previous research has also found that corporations can benefit from positive WOM as it creates a good reputation for the corporation (Walsh, Mitchell, Jackson, & Beatty, 2009). WOM has become even more important since the emergence of social media (Barcelos, Dantas, & Sénécal, 2018). CSR communication between a corporation and its publics in the digital media environment has focused on engagement via digitally mediated interactions and dialogue (Cortado & Chalmeta, 2016). ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine how individuals' skepticism and cynicism about an environmental corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity influence their positive and negative communication behaviors toward a corporation (megaphoning effects). The findings demonstrated the important mediating role of situational motivation in problem solving on a given environmental issue between skepticism/cynicism and mega-phoning effects. Using a nationwide survey of 504 participants living in the United States, this study found that skepticism and cynicism increased the negative megaphoning effect and decreased positive megaphoning behaviors. Furthermore, skepticism/cynicism and megaphoning behaviors were partially mediated by situational motivation in problem solving. In particular, skeptics who were motivated to solve an environmental issue were less likely to take and forward negative information about a corporation in an environmental CSR activity. This study provides new theoretical and practical insights into CSR strategies that address skepticism and cynicism in publics and their resulting communicative behaviors.
... In studies conducted on various social media applications, it has been revealed that informational, entertaining, and social content, as well as presentation style (videos, texts, or images), message date or links can increase CE (Cvijikj and Michahelles, 2013;Sabate et al., 2014;Luarn et al., 2015;Tafesse, 2016;Dolan et al., 2016;Schultz, 2017;Demmers et al., 2020). Additionally, recent studies on various industries found that linguistic styles such as certain words (Pezzuti et al., 2021), pronouns (Sela et al., 2012;Barcelos et al., 2018;Chang et al., 2019;Labrecque et al., 2020;Koçak, 2021), adverbs and punctuation marks (Tan and Chen, 2021) have impacts on CE. ...
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Consumer Engagement (CE) has been a remarkable concept for airlines that carry out many marketing activities such as product/service development and sponsorships on YouTube. This study examines the antecedents of CE in case of airline brands on YouTube and contributes to existing CE research. In this respect, the most popular 10 videos of each SKYTRAX 100’s YouTube pages were analyzed by conducting Multiple Linear Regression using Least Squares method. The hypotheses were tested by using 600 video descriptions. The results indicated that interactive descriptions, high-definition videos and captions generated more views. Besides, presentation of destinations and animations is related to CE. These findings revealed that vividness and interactivity were the effective determinants of different engagement scores, and the model gave clues on factors that can be used for building a successful airline channel and made popular videos on YouTube.
... Second, we controlled for twitter usage intensity (3 items, M = 3.62, SD = 2.09, a = .95; HübnerBarcelos, Dantas, and Sénécal 2018). ...
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The current research examines the way that observing consumers react when companies use humor to address online public complaints on social media. Drawing on, first, a field study using companies’ humorous responses on social media and, second, on two main scenario-based experiments, we use benign violation theory to capture simultaneously the unfavorable effect (i.e., inferred negative motives) and the favorable effect (i.e., humor appreciation) of employing humor in a public complaining context. The results reveal that online observers respond more favorably (in terms of likes, retweets, and purchase intentions) when firms use affiliative humor (e.g., laughing with the complainer) rather than aggressive humor (e.g., laughing at the complainer). Also, affiliative humor and an accommodative recovery (e.g., apologies and compensation) provide equal results in terms of observers’ purchase intentions. Because observers infer more negative motives of companies, affiliative humor compensates over an accommodative recovery by being funnier. Finally, our last study presents a reversal effect depending on brand personality; while sincere brands should always favor affiliative humor, aggressive humor elicits higher purchase intentions when performed by exciting brands. This research gives managerial insights about observers’ reactions to humorous responses to online complaints and the importance for humor to fit with brand personality.
... Influencers, appropriate tone and voice determine how often audiences come to listen to your campaign yet this is not considered as mandatory. Barcelos et al. (2018) argue that these are the fundamentals of social media marketing therefore, they need to be in the framework and should be mandatory and viewed as relevant. ...
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Small-scale contractors have been reported to be under performing partly because they are less visible to their possible client(s) due to poor marketing. This study aimed to develop and ascertain the elements that should be included in a social media-marketing framework for small-scale contractors in the Zambian construction industry to improve their visibility consequently their marketing and performance. The framework was developed through a mixed method sequential approach using observations and a survey of 35 firms already using some form of social media marketing using a questionnaire comprising open and closed ended questions which was conducted to ascertain the components needed to promote social media marketing among small-scale contractors. For any firm to be successful in using social medial marketing; audience assessment, content generation as well as Return on Investment evaluation were found to be more relevant than influencers, tone and voice. However, monitoring of the client posts and the competition was found to be an area needing much attention for subsequent marketing.
... Moreover, high engagement was observed when the communications that included emoji were aimed at customer service and care. Other studies showed that emoji use increased consumers' trust (but only when the brand is familiar; [30]) or purchase intentions [31]. Despite the novelty of our findings, we must also highlight that brands should be aware that emoji may not have a generalized positive impact on their communication with customers. ...
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The use of paralinguistic cues—including emoji—in computer-mediated communication has become prevalent in recent years. Brands and service providers have also been using these cues in their communication strategies. And yet, research examining how such emoji use influences customers’ perception and behavior is still scarce. In two experiments (combined N = 401 ), we tested if using emoji to reply to a customer request (restaurant reservation, Study 1) or online review (hotel experience, Study 2) influenced perceptions of the brands. The emoji used by the brand was always congruent with the valence of the situation. Results from both studies revealed that the presence (vs. absence) of emoji influenced consumers’ perception of the brand/service at several levels. Specifically, the restaurant/hotel was perceived to have a more informal communication style, have a warmer service, and be more modern. In Study 1, we also observed that emoji use had a positive impact on competence perception and reservation intentions. Importantly, these effects of emoji use were not moderated by the valence of the situation. Taken together, our results showed that emoji can influence different perceptions about brands and services and determine how customers relate to brands.
... To evoke behavioral resemblance in brands, researchers have used advertisements with photorealistic product images (Delbaere et al., 2011) and interactive brand communication based on social roles (Huang, Li, & Zhang, 2013), human-like brand interaction on social media with other brands and people (Barcelos et al., 2018;Liebrecht, Tsaousi, & van Hooijdonk, 2021;Ramadan, 2019), and attributes of people associated with the brand (such as employee appearance, mannerism, and behavior toward other employees and customers) (Garmaroudi et al., 2021). ...
Article
Brand Anthropomorphism (BA) is gaining prominence in both marketing research and practice. Researchers have often used different perspectives for studying humanized brands, but this has led to theoretical and conceptual confusion creating challenges in the theoretical development of this field. This paper aims to critically review the existing literature on brand anthropomorphism and propose an integrated framework for identifying future research opportunities. A systematic review of 101 articles spanning more than two decades (1997–2021) was conducted to investigate the concept of brand anthropomorphism and human-like brands. This review identifies and synthesizes two diverse research traditions- designed brand anthropomorphism and perceived brand anthropomorphism- on the basis of complementary yet unique features of both traditions. We outline the fundamental issues and the key limitations in the existing literature and provide recommendations for future research.
... Previous studies have suggested that the type of contents and tone of voice can increase perceived trust in celebgrams and brands. A loud and clear voice makes followers understand the content of the conversation (Kelleher, 2009;Beukeboom, Kerkhof & de Vries, 2015) and can influence perceived trustworthiness and purchase intention on social media (Barcelos, Dantas & Senecal, 2018), consequently increasing brand evaluation (Beukeboom et al., 2015), including brand trust, brand satisfaction, and brand commitment (Kelleher & Miller, 2006). A celebgram as a brand identity serves to sell products through follower endorse and the celebgram's personality touch and encourages consumer consumption through various communities (Holmes & Redmond, 2014;Centeno & Wang, 2017). ...
Article
Businessmen’s marketing strategies that take advantage of the fame of celebgrams as influencers are incredibly appropriate in the social media era. The present study deals with the dynamics of celebgram trustworthiness and social interaction with their followers in relation to possession envy and consumer purchase intention. To test the proposed model, the researchers collected data from 181 respondents in Indonesia through an online survey and analyzed it using the Smart PLS. The results of the present study showed that celebgram trustworthiness had no positive effect on possession envy but it had a positive effect on consumer purchase intention. Furthermore, parasocial interactions had a positive effect on possession envy and consumer purchase intention and possession envy had a positive effect on consumer purchase intention. The present study provides a theoretical contribution to the literature on retail and consumer services and offers managerial implications for instafamous-based marketing.
... In the sample, 46.9% were men and 53.1% were women. Procedure First, we manipulated the consumers' personal involvement by modifying their situational arousal according to previous research (Barcelos et al., 2018). In the scenario designed to induce low personal involvement, we asked the participants to imagine that they were searching for a mobile phone or facial mask for personal use. ...
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Due to extensive product differentiation and the personalized aesthetic needs of consumers, modern enterprises need different expressions of information to attract consumers’ interest and improve their purchase intention. This study draws from the elaboration likelihood model, anchoring theory, and media richness theory to explore how the expression of advertised information can be effectively matched to the product type to enhance consumers’ purchase intention. The mediating effect of information-processing fluency and moderating effect of consumers’ personal involvement on this relationship is also explored. Data from experiments and questionnaires involving 1,292 participants were analyzed. The results show that direct expression of advertised information is more suitable for advertising search products, while metaphorical expressions of advertised information are more suitable for advertising experience products. These combinations of product type and expression of advertised information can effectively improve consumers’ purchase intention. Meanwhile, the main combined effect of the product type and expression of advertised information is mediated by consumers’ information-processing fluency, and moderated by consumers’ personal involvement positively.
... CHV has been found to correlate positively with consumer trust, satisfaction, commitment, and relational outcomes with organizations (Kelleher, 2009). It also has been found to increase purchase intention in some situations (Barcelos et al., 2018). Previously, effectively mimicking a human tone in CMC was considered difficult from the lack of non-verbal cues, but as AI advances chatbot technology as measured by CHV, that barrier is waning. ...
Article
As organizations increasingly adopt artificial intelligence (AI) systems for their online communication with publics, conceptualizing and operationalizing perceived humanness presents an important challenge to understanding how consumers and other publics respond to both AI and human agents in live chats with organizations. This study develops a measure of consumer-perceived humanness derived from three related constructs: conversational human voice, anthropomorphism, and social presence. The new measure was tested for reliability and validity, including tests of criterion validity predicting how it would relate to perceived relational investment and trust as relational outcomes. Two online studies (N₁ = 172, N₂ = 375) were conducted in which participants interacted with either human or machine online chat agents. Greater perceived humanness of chat agents was found to correlate with greater perceived relational investment and trust in the organization, with perceived relational investment mediating the relationship between perceived humanness and trust. Perceived humanness can be utilized subsequently to assess both human and machine agents. Its corollary, perceived machineness, also was identified as a separate factor to be taken into consideration in future research and theory building.
Purpose This paper aims to examine the interaction effect among the subjective social class, service level and recovery type on post-failure service evaluations (recovery satisfaction and willingness to spread positive word-of-mouth). Design/methodology/approach A total of 270 US consumers were recruited via Amazon MTurk. This study adopted a 2 (Subjective social class: high vs low) × 2 (Service level: luxury vs mid-scale) × 2 (Recovery type: customer self-recovery vs joint recovery) between subjects’ factorial design using a scenario-based survey method. Findings The results from the three-way multivariate analysis of covariance confirmed that a joint recovery is ineffective for high subjective social class individuals in a mid-scale hotel setting. Moreover, the moderated mediation analysis revealed that this tendency can be explained by high subjective social class individuals’ tendency to attribute blame externally to self-service technologies (SSTs). Practical implications The results of this study suggest that mid-scale hotels should deploy employees in the SST service area based on the profile of their main customers. If a mid-scale hotel is positioning itself to appeal to high subjective social class customers, then employees should be aware of the fact that customers may not be highly satisfied if they receive assistance. Originality/value This study expands the current knowledge on customers’ psychological differences based on subjective social class. Furthermore, the findings of this study contribute to academia by providing evidence of external attribution among high subjective social class individuals.
Article
This study examines how organisations can respond effectively to negative user-generated content (NUGC) about their corporate social responsibility (CSR) on social media. Specifically, it investigates the role of speed and symmetry of response in mitigating the impact of NUGC on perceptions of the company's CSR and legitimacy. It was motivated by the fact that, despite the increasing importance of social media as a CSR communication channel, most companies appear unwilling or unable to respond effectively to NUGC, compromising the efficacy of their CSR communication on social media. Using a between-groups experimental design (n = 660), the study finds that: i) NUGC about a company's CSR post negatively impacts stakeholder perceptions of organisations' CSR and legitimacy; ii) NUGC's impact can be partially mitigated by company responses that are either fast or highly symmetrical; iii) NUGC's impact is only fully mitigated when company responses are fast and highly symmetrical. The findings establish speed and symmetry, in combination, as necessary conditions for effectively responding to NUGC about company CSR posts on social media. The authors recommend, to maximise the effectiveness of social media communication of CSR, managers should establish processes to identify, read, and respond to NUGC rapidly and with a high degree of symmetry.
Article
The use of intelligent virtual agents (IVA) to support humans in social contexts will depend on their social acceptability. Acceptance will be related to the human’s perception of the IVAs as well as the IVAs’ ability to respond and adapt their conversation appropriately to the human. Adaptation implies computer-generated speech (synthetic speech), such as text-to-speech (TTS). In this paper, we present the results of a study to investigate the effect of voice type (human voice vs. synthetic voice) on two aspects: (1) the IVA’s likeability and voice impression in the light of co-presence, and (2) the interaction outcome, including human–agent trust and behavior change intention. The experiment included 118 participants who interacted with either the virtual advisor with TTS or the virtual advisor with human voice to gain tips for reducing their study stress. Participants in this study found the voice of the virtual advisor with TTS to be more eerie, but they rated both agents, with recorded voice and with TTS, similarly in terms of likeability. They further showed a similar attitude towards both agents in terms of co-presence and building trust. These results challenge previous studies that favor human voice over TTS, and suggest that even if human voice is preferred, TTS can deliver equivalent benefits.
Article
Despite the extensive use of product-related questions on social media, little is known about what types of questions encourage consumer comments. This research examines product-related questions on social media advertisings, focusing on what the advertisings ask: product search or experience information. Through three studies, we found that search and experience questions are effective in increasing consumer response fluency, and thus commenting, for different product types. Search questions increase response fluency for utilitarian products, whereas experience questions do so for hedonic products. This research makes theoretical contributions to research on advertising content strategy, advertising language, and consumer–brand interaction and has practical implications for social media advertising strategies aimed at encouraging user comments.
Article
This study presents one of the earliest empirical investigations on how to harness the power of chatbots for improving key public relations outcomes. Specifically, this study integrates the construct of social presence that has been widely studied in the computer-mediated communication literature with the concept of conversational human voice in public relations to conceptualize chatbots’ social conversation. We evaluate chatbots’ social conversation as an important antecedent driving user perception, not only of chatbots’ listening capability, but also of the organizations’ listening efforts, which, in turn, enhance the essential perceptual outcomes of organizational transparency and organization-public relationships. Our theoretical model was tested through an online survey of 778 adult Facebook users in the US, who were directed to have a 5-minute conversation with a real chatbot. The study results advance the organizational listening literature and contribute to the growing body of knowledge on artificial intelligence in public relations.
Article
Social media has become an influential communication channel, and brands are increasingly using an informal style in their social media communication. Nonetheless, despite this development, little research has addressed the influence of social media communication style on brand perceptions. Hence, this study addresses the question on how the interaction of employing different communication styles and different hotel positioning strategies affects consumers’ perceptions and booking intentions in the hotel industry. Additionally, this study explores whether the fit between communication style and hotel positioning mediates the relationship on brand attitude and booking intention. A 2x2 between-subjects full-factorial design with 336 participants was conducted. Results of the experiment show that an informal communication style can be harmful for a utilitarian positioned hotel. A perception of fit between brand positioning and communication style leads to a more favorable brand attitude and higher booking intention. Despite the tendency for brands to increasingly use an informal style in their social media communication, only little research has analyzed the impact of communication style on consumer perceptions. Furthermore, considering a hotel’s positioning represents an important moderator in this relationship.
Article
Creating brand posts that stimulate consumer engagement on social media is both vital and challenging to digital marketers. Despite previous research on this topic, to date, little is known about how the linguistic styles of brand posts influence consumer engagement. Based on the communication accommodation theory, brand anthropomorphism literature, and linguistic research, this paper examined the effects of three brand post linguistic styles, namely, emotionality, complexity, and informality, on consumer engagement. Through analyzing the 15,396 brand posts collected from 104 Facebook pages, we found that the linguistic styles of brand posts can impact consumer engagement, but the effects vary regarding the three consumer engagement behaviors (i.e., like, share, comment). The findings of this paper improve our understanding of the role that language plays in brand-consumer communications on social media as well as provide guidelines for social media marketers on how to design engaging brand posts from the perspective of linguistics.
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The emergence of social media has sparked a lot of interest in academic libraries especially in the area of adoption. However, there appears to be limited knowledge on whether librarians' generation differs in the adoption levels of social media specifically in the Southwestern, Nigeria. In a bid to carrying out this focus, this study adopted the descriptive survey design. The population comprised seventy-nine (79) librarians from eight academic libraries. The total enumeration sampling technique was used to study all respondents for the study. A self-structured questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. Data gathered were analysed using descriptive (frequency, percentage & mean) and inferential statistics (ANOVA). The results indicate that there is a significant difference between the generations (Baby boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z) with respect to their adoption of social media, but that no significant differences were found between the generations and social media adoption for library services. The study concluded by noting that social media can be adopted by librarians across different generations. Library administrators should acknowledge these differences and formulate their social media strategy accordingly when designing plans on social media in Southwestern, Nigeria.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine how phygital luxury experiences can be generated from mobile-mediated service activities while enabling luxury apparel shoppers to attain status goals and hedonic goals. Phygital luxury experiences are defined in this context as shopping experiences that blend the participative and immersive components of mobile and ubiquitous media with physical luxury servicescapes. Design/methodology/approach This conceptual research draws on activity theory from the field of human-computer interaction to produce an activity-centric model of phygital luxury experiences. By drawing on activity theory, the authors develop research propositions and build a conceptual model. The conceptual model probes how phygital luxury experiences can be generated from mobile-mediated service activities that enable luxury apparel shoppers to attain status goals and hedonic goals. In turn, service activities are proposed to meld with luxury shopping goals when mobile devices allow luxury apparel shoppers to participate in community-, rules-, and labor-based service activities. Findings First, the conceptual model demonstrates that social validation and personalization are status and hedonic drivers for community-based service activities (e.g. content-sharing and multiplatform storytelling). Second, special privileges and new comforts are status and hedonic drivers for rules-based service activities (e.g. engaging in pseudo-webrooming, pseudo-showrooming, and seamless and on-demand resources). Third, know-how and domination are status and hedonic drivers for labor-based service activities (e.g. adopting self-service technologies and smart or intelligent displays). Originality/value This conceptual model contributes to the well-documented need for research on interactive luxury strategies and luxury retail innovation. Overall, these service activities provide luxury brands and shoppers new opportunities for building elite communities, bending store rules, and altering the division of labor within physical stores. At the same time, this model shows that exclusivity and allure of luxury consumption can be reproduced through luxury apparel shoppers’ embodied interactions with salespeople and relevant audiences in connected store environments.
Article
With the prevalence of social media that promote interactivity among people, more organisations rely on Key Opinion Leader (KOL) to interact with potential customers in various social media for brand building. This study explores how KOL’s characteristics affect the KOL effectiveness and the outcome of brand image building of skincare products. We also examine the contingent conditions when KOL is more effective in brand image building based on the skincare consciousness of the consumer and whether the consumer is affected by his/her social groups. The knowledge transferred through this study reshape the management models in Enterprise Information Systems.
Purpose Given the increasing need after the outbreak of COVID-19 to encourage restaurant customers to dine in, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effects that anthropomorphic cues jointly with brand awareness and subjective social class have on restaurant-visit intention. Design/methodology/approach To better comprehend the use of anthropomorphic cues, this paper involved two studies that used two types of anthropomorphic cues: (1) non-food (a spoon) and (2) food ingredients. For each study, a 2 × 2 mixed factorial design was used. Findings Using three-way mixed ANOVAs, the results from Study 1 confirmed that adding anthropomorphic cues to a non-food object (a spoon) could induce positive effects for restaurants with lower brand awareness, especially among individuals with low subjective social class. In contrast, Study 2 showed that adding anthropomorphic cues to a food ingredient (e.g. tomato, lettuce and olive) had a weaker effect on restaurants with high brand awareness, especially among individuals with a high subjective social class. Practical implications Marketers should use anthropomorphism strategies based on their target customers, especially if their brand is less popular. Originality/value Using the theoretical framework from the elaboration likelihood model, this paper contributes to the anthropomorphism literature by showing how an anthropomorphized image that fits an individual’s interests could trigger a careful thinking process that leads to differential behaviors based on brand awareness.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the topic “impact of digital marketing” over the span of past eight years, published in various prominent research journals in the past eight years. The purpose of this paper is to act as a starting point for several further researches in this area of study, and also to get the overview of the research that has happened and understand the relevant research gaps that exist in the area of digital marketing. Design/methodology/approach Scopus database is used to search the research publications on the selected topic. The papers selected for this paper have been published in the past eight years (2012–2020). Findings It has been concluded by many of the research papers reviewed that “Digital Marketing Efforts” influence the purchase intention of the customer. It can be also inferred that the distinction between the “marketing” and “digital marketing” is soon fading as every type of marketing effort will have an element of “digital marketing” in it. Research limitations/implications The approach to the review is theoretical and no primary data have been collected. This bibliometric review is expected to provide overview of the research that has happened over the span of past eight years in the area of digital marketing. Practical implications Many of the papers have expressed the limitations and opportunities for the future research. Few of the prominent and relevant research gaps are listed in this paper. This paper is expected to lay a foundation for several further studies in this area of study. Originality/value The paper is original in terms of reviewing the literature published on the topic, “impact of digital marketing”, between years 2012 to 2020. As the world has been forced to go digital due to COVID-19 outbreak, it has become all the more significant to take an account of developments in the field of “digital marketing”.
Article
People rely on heuristic cues to evaluate messages. An increasing number of studies found corrective messages useful in correcting misinformation, and the correction effect varies on heuristic cues. Existing studies, however, mostly focus on correction effects in the Western context. This study aims to compare the effects of corrective messages with different heuristic cues in an authoritarian society. We focused on the cues that suggest government authoritativeness. Using an online experiment, we compared the impacts of correction sources (official vs. professional vs. layperson) and tones (formal vs. conversational) on the believability of the correction. The results indicated corrections from a government source and delivered in a formal tone were more believable in China. In addition, we examined the moderating role of attitude congruence.
Article
The purpose of this study is to investigate how companies manage relationships with publics on social media. Based on the concepts of functional and contingency interactivity, the study examines the long-term implementation of three interactive strategies derived from research on organization-public relationships: dialogic communication, transparent communication, and informal communication. The study sheds further light on relational outputs and outcomes. The results of content analyses of leading German companies’ Facebook pages in 2012, 2015, and 2018 indicate the growing importance of dialogic communication and informal communication. There is a constant relation between dialogic communication and the extent of user interaction, with the analysis suggesting that dialogic communication is used to manage critical user comments. Hence, the long-term study contributes to a deeper understanding of professionalization in corporate social media communication. It provides evidence for PR scholars and professionals that there are effective features on Facebook for managing sustainable relationships.
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The conversational human voice (CHV) is an extensively studied and adopted communication style in online brand communication. However, in previous research the way in which CHV is operationalized differs considerably: the type and the number of linguistic elements used to establish a sense of CHV in online brand messages varies. Moreover, it is still unknown how CHV operationalizations contribute to consumers’ perceptions of CHV, which consequently could affect their evaluation regarding the message and the brand. In this paper, we addressed these issues by conducting an integrative literature review and a perception experiment, and consequently present a taxonomy of linguistic elements related to message personalization, informal speech, and invitational rhetoric that can be used to operationalize CHV systematically in future studies in online brand communication. Directions for future research and managerial implications are discussed.
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Purpose Keeping in mind the growing significance of online reviews, management of responses to the customer reviews – webcare – is becoming important in recent times. How a firm responds to online reviews can send a signal to the readers of the reviews contributing to their brand evaluations. From a strategic perspective, a firm should decide if they should respond to all reviews or respond to only a select few reviews. This study aims to provide an understanding of how exhaustive and selective webcare influence brand evaluations. It also explores the role of review balance and review frame, which potentially act as moderators, on such influences. Design/methodology/approach Three scenario-based experiments were used to manipulate the webcare strategy (exhaustive-selective) and the potential moderators (review balance and review frame). The 910 participants of the single-stage experiments were identified using an online panel managed by UK-based Prolific Academic. Findings Exhaustive webcare is found to be the most effective strategy for influencing brand evaluations in all conditions. Also, two interesting results were found, which can have practical implications. A selective negative strategy is as effective as an exhaustive webcare in almost all cases, and a selective positive webcare is as good as not having a webcare in nearly all cases. Changes in webcare effectiveness due to the influence of review balance and review frame were established. Research limitations/implications With the review reader perspective and focus on brand management, this study may trigger enquiries into effects of webcare strategies on brand evaluations and other outcomes such as word-of-mouth. The interaction effects of the various strategies adopted together on brand evaluation and loyalty have not been explored and would be of interest to academicians and managers. Practical implications Firms need to plan a careful resource deployment while responding to the online consumer reviews as responding to a select few reviews may yield the same effects as that of exhaustive webcare. Brand managers may find responding only to positive reviews futile, as it could be as good as having no webcare. Also, the strategy of responding to reviews needs to be adapted based on the online review platform where the set in which the review is read is different. Originality/value This is one of the few studies focusing on the effects of webcare on brand evaluations from a review reader perspective as against the dominant reviewer perspective. This research also presents hitherto unexplored effects of an exhaustive-selective webcare strategy on brand evaluations.
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Data quality is one of the major concerns of using crowdsourcing websites such as Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to recruit participants for online behavioral studies. We compared two methods for ensuring data quality on MTurk: attention check questions (ACQs) and restricting participation to MTurk workers with high reputation (above 95% approval ratings). In Experiment 1, we found that high-reputation workers rarely failed ACQs and provided higher-quality data than did low-reputation workers; ACQs improved data quality only for low-reputation workers, and only in some cases. Experiment 2 corroborated these findings and also showed that more productive high-reputation workers produce the highest-quality data. We concluded that sampling high-reputation workers can ensure high-quality data without having to resort to using ACQs, which may lead to selection bias if participants who fail ACQs are excluded post-hoc.
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Figurative language in advertising affects product attitudes positively across contexts. In contrast, the present research demonstrates that the use and effectiveness of figurative language in consumer-generated content is context specific, because of conversational norms unique to this form of communication. Study 1 shows that consumer reviews containing more figurative language lead to more favorable attitudes in hedonic, but not utilitarian, consumption contexts, and that conversational norms about figurative language govern this effect. Study 2 reveals that reading a review containing figurative language increases choice of hedonic over utilitarian options. Finally, via analysis of online consumer reviews and a lab experiment, studies 3 and 4 indicate that consumers use figurative language more when sharing experiences about hedonic than utilitarian consumption, and that review extremity influences figurative language use only in reviews of hedonic consumption. The studies highlight the critical role of conversational norms in interpreting and creating user-generated content.
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Conflicting results in the involvement literature arise from differences in the definitions and operationalizations applied to the term. This study argues that the construct should be treated as encompassing a number of related concepts and should be broken into its component forms. Two of these components, attention and perceptions of message relevance, were manipulated in an experiment designed to assess the impact of a message on heart disease risk reduction. Results indicate that attention to the message had primarily cognitive effects, leading to greater message recall, whereas perceptions of relevance influenced attitudes and behavior.
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This study examines how two psychological shopping motives (product related and hedonic or experiential) affect pleasure and arousal in the marketplace. We are particularly interested in consumers who visit a marketplace for the mere pleasure of looking around and enjoying the environment.
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Abstract This study examined how creating a human presence in organizational online communication affects organization-public relationships and publics' favorable behavioral intentions to engage in word-of-mouth (WOM) and dialogic communications. Four hypotheses were tested in the context of Twitter through a 2×2 (presence: human vs. organizational×organization type: nonprofit vs. for-profit) within-subjects design. The results revealed that conversational human voice was perceived to be higher for Twitter pages of organizations with a human presence than for those with an organizational presence. Providing a human presence on social media through the use of social media managers' avatars and names appeared to promote favorable organization-public relationships and positive WOM communication. However, dialogic communication intentions did not significantly differ between organizations incorporating a human presence versus an organizational presence into their Twitter pages. The proposed dynamic role of human presence versus organizational presence adds a new perspective as to how organizations can take better advantage of interpersonal aspects of social media.
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Organizations face unique challenges in communicating interactively online with publics that comprise dauntingly large numbers of individuals. This online survey examined the perceptions of people who had experienced interactive communication with a large consumer-tech-industry company via organizational blogs. Those reporting the greatest exposure to the blogs in this study were more likely to perceive the organization as communicating with a conversational voice. Conversational human voice and communicated relational commitment (relational maintenance strategies) correlated positively with trust, satisfaction, commitment, and control mutuality (relational outcomes). Building on prior research, this survey supports a model of distributed public relations-one in which key outcomes of public relations are fostered by a wide range of people communicating interactively while representing an organization.
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Avatars are lifelike characters created by technology. Research suggests that avatars can increase the persuasiveness of online sales channels. The authors investigate how the social cues inherent in avatars influence consumers' affect and shopping value. In Study 1, social cues induce perceptions of Web site socialness, leading to increased pleasure and arousal, both of which positively influence flow, hedonic and utilitarian value, and patronage intentions. Study 2 finds that social cue–induced arousal leads to increased pleasure only for consumers who are involved with the product category. Moreover, the influence of arousal on hedonic value is stronger for women, flow does not lead to pleasure for older consumers, and utilitarian value is less important for this group than for their younger counterparts. The findings suggest that there is a competitive advantage for online retailers that use social cues that provide consumers with enhanced perceptions of human connection and the formation of emotional bonds.
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Can subtle wording changes in marketing communications, such as saying “you and [the brand]” as opposed to “we”, affect people’s evaluations of real-world brands? Despite their importance in interpersonal communication, the effects of such variations in relationship-implying language on consumers’ perceptions of brands have received little research attention. Four experiments demonstrate that closeness-implying pronouns (e.g., saying “we” rather than “you and [the brand]”) can have either positive or negative effects on consumers’ attitudes toward real-world brands with which they have real working relationships. The experiments show that these effects depend on whether the closeness implied by the pronoun is consistent with people’s expected interactions with the brand, and are mediated by perceived brand trustworthiness. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
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