Messaging without a Message: Executive Value and Social Media Activity

57 Pages Posted: 11 May 2017 Last revised: 30 Jul 2019

See all articles by Ru Gao

Ru Gao

The University of Queensland

Gilles Hilary

Georgetown University - Department of Accounting and Business Law

Rencheng Wang

Singapore Management University - School of Accountancy

Date Written: May 10, 2017

Abstract

We show that executives who start tweeting benefit from better career options. We motivate this finding using the well-established theory of limited attention. Consistent with this explanation, we find that content is irrelevant. Comparative statics are also consistent with our framework. In particular, the effect of Twitter is greater for executives who were largely unrecognized and who were underpaid before they started tweeting, who garner greater public attention from their social media activity, who enjoy higher professional mobility, and who operate in environments where compensation setting is less structured.

Keywords: Limited Attention, Social Media, Twitter

JEL Classification: G02, J01, J30, M51, O35

Suggested Citation

Gao, Ru and Hilary, Gilles and Wang, Rencheng, Messaging without a Message: Executive Value and Social Media Activity (May 10, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2966559 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2966559

Ru Gao

The University of Queensland ( email )

Colin Clark, 39 Blair Dr,
St Lucia QLD
Brisbane, Queensland 4607
Australia
61 07 3443 4502 (Phone)

Gilles Hilary (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Department of Accounting and Business Law ( email )

McDonough School of Business
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Rencheng Wang

Singapore Management University - School of Accountancy ( email )

60 Stamford Road
Singapore 178900
Singapore

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