Talking about Brands Online: Self-Inclusiveness Affects What Is Liked and Shared

Posted: 27 Jul 2017

Date Written: May 1, 2017

Abstract

Over the past decade, consumers began using social media to communicate with people in their social network about brands. In this study, we investigate how the language type used by consumers on social networking sites in communications about brands influences whether other individuals in their social network “like” and share the communications. We distinguish between self-inclusive and impersonal language on social networking sites and show that self-inclusive language positively impacts the number of individuals who “like” a communication, whereas impersonal language has a negative impact. We show that the effects increase for low-ranked brands than for high-ranked brands in terms of their market value. We find that the use of self-inclusive or impersonal language in a brand-related communication on social media negatively influences the number of individuals who share the communication but that the negative impact is greater when the individual uses impersonal language versus. self-inclusive language. Finally, we explain the role of emotions in decisions to “like” and share a brand-related communication on a social networking site and show that self-inclusive language conveys positive emotions and that impersonal language conveys negative emotions to other users, which influence the number of individuals who “like” a communication.

Keywords: Language, Self-Inclusion, Emotions, Social Media, Brands

Suggested Citation

Sarial-Abi, Gülen, Talking about Brands Online: Self-Inclusiveness Affects What Is Liked and Shared (May 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3009038

Gülen Sarial-Abi (Contact Author)

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

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