Building on the consumer–brand relationship framework, this research examines global marketers' branding strategies and consumer engagement in social media. Results of a content analysis in Study 1 show that brand personification strategies are prevalently employed on global brands' Facebook pages in both graphic and textual content. Brand personification strategies in textual content are especially effective in inducing consumer engagement (i.e., likes, shares, and comments). A linguistic analysis in Study 2 further suggests that highly engaged consumers exhibit anthropomorphic responses when they interact with brands; they treat brands as humanlike social agents and show positive emotions toward the brands. The synthesized results provide empirical evidence that consumer–brand relationships are realized by brand personification strategies and consumers' anthropomorphism in the social media domain. Theoretical implications and managerial suggestions are discussed.
Journal of Interactive Advertising, Vol.15, No.2, pp.97-110