Social Media Conversations: When Consumers Do Not React Positively to Brands’ Kindness to Others
In the context of consumers’ advertising digital literacy, this research examines the impact of brand-consumer social media conversations. Based on Goffman’s ‘face-work’ as a theoretical lens, we investigate to which extent consumers can feel like brands show human traits when they interact with consumers on social media. Taking into account online communication’s multiple audience dilemma, we analyze how brand attachment influences the effect of brands’ interaction strategies on consumers’ attitude. Using an experimental method, we find that appreciative expressions from the brand have a positive effect on brand anthropomorphism when consumers are not attached to the brand. In contrast, appreciation does not show such an effect when consumers are attached to the brand. Therefore, this research contributes to the brand-consumer interactions and brand anthropomorphism literature and suggests that managers could segment their online conversation platforms depending on the kind of consumer brand relationships.
KeywordsAnthropomorphism Brand attachment Brand-consumer interactions Conversation Face-work Social media
The authors would like to thank the Sorbonne Business School’s brands and values research group and Entrecom for their support.
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