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Kwon, E.S., & Sung, Y. (2011). Follow Me! Global Marketers' Twitter Use. The Journal of Interactive Advertising: Vol. 12, Issue 1.

Retrieved from WARC (World Advertising Research Center) database While social media has become a powerful tool for marketers to attract consumer’s attention (Williamson, 2010, as cited in Kwon, & Sung, 2011), Kwon and Sung (2011) found a lack of academic research into the field that examined the microblogging social network Twitter. Kwon and Sung (2011) examined 44 top global brands’ use of Twitter1 in order to establish how they communicated with consumers through this channel and how this serves to enhance relationships between consumers and brands. By looking at what Twitter is and how it differs from other social networking sites (SNSs), Kwon and Sung (2011) assert that Twitter enables brand anthropomorphism, which encourages interaction between the consumer and brand and leads to the formation of long-term meaningful relationships. They see that is in turn is an ideal situation to allow the communication of corporate information about a brand to consumers. In order to establish how brand personality (Aaker, 1997, as cited in Kwon, & Sung, 2011) is formed, Kwon and Sung (2011) set out to analyse a sample of 2,200 tweets from the 44 chosen global brands. Using content analysts, they looked at whether human representatives were used to write tweets, the information types used in tweets, the use of personal pronouns and verbs in imperative form as well as nonverbal cues. Kwon and Sung’s (2011) analysis found that 24 of the 44 brands had human representatives administrating their Twitter accounts, with 14 providing company contact information and several that included celebrity endorsers. 47.5% of the total tweets were original brand messages, 37.5% were replies, while only 15% were retweets. A mixture of first and second-person pronouns (such a “I” or “we”, “you” or “your”) were contained in 54% of all tweets, while verbs in the imperative form (such as “follow”, “stay tuned’ or sign up”) accounted for 26.8% of tweets. Nonverbal cues, particularly abbreviations, were contained in 25.6% of all tweets. While the information type varied across business categories, informational cues were present in 73.6% of tweets, with brand names being included in 68.8% of all tweets. In discussing the outcomes, Kwon and Sung (2011) determine that the high proportion of human representation on Twitter accounts helps establish a human image for brands, and the use of personal pronouns and imperative verb forms indicates the ability of brands to engage with their consumers on a more personal level. They also show that the information types found in tweets illustrate that Twitter is able to build brand awareness by exposing consumers to brand names and forwarding them to websites for further information.


These accounts were identified as official active accounts from the 100 “World’s Most Valuable Brands” list produced by Interbrand for BusinessWeek, p. 6

. which would help in differentiating them from competitors. brands have the ability to build and maintain strong relationships with consumers. They propose that by attributing these human characteristics to their brand. and increasing the likelihood that consumers would be receptive to their messages. verbs in imperative form and nonverbal cues in their tweets. by using personal pronouns.Kwon and Sung (2011) conclude. more meaningful relationships could be formed with consumers. that by brands administrating their Twitter account using human representatives.