Tweeting as a Marketing Tool – Field Experiment in the TV Industry
Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming
Posted: 4 Jul 2014 Last revised: 25 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 22, 2017
Many businesses today adopt tweeting as a new form of product marketing. However, whether and how tweeting affects product demand remains inconclusive. The authors explore this question using a randomized field experiment on Sina Weibo, the top tweeting website in China. The authors collaborate with a major global media company and examine how the viewing of its TV shows is affected by (1) the media company’s tweets about its shows, and (2) recruited Weibo influentials’ retweets of the company tweets. The authors find that both company tweets and influential retweets increase show viewing, but in different ways. Company tweets directly boost viewing, whereas influential retweets increase viewing if the show tweet is informative. Meanwhile, influential retweets are more effective than company tweets in bringing new Weibo followers to the company, which indirectly increases viewing. The authors discuss recommendations on how to manage tweeting as a marketing tool.
Keywords: tweet; microblog; Weibo; Twitter; social media marketing; social media ROI; field experiment; television
JEL Classification: M31, C93
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation