Corporate WeChat communication in China: Examining institutional factors, media richness, content type, and public engagement

Yi-Ru Regina Chen, Yang Cheng, Yan Jin, Flora Chun-ju Hung-Baesecke, Chun-xiao Li

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

This study addresses the gap in public relations research on how corporations utilize WeChat, the dominant social media in China, to interact with publics. Using a content analysis of 1,488 WeChat posts of 15 top Chinese business-to-consumer corporations, this study examined how the institutional factors (i.e., company type, ownership, and industry) and message factors (i.e.., media form and content type) affect corporate WeChat communication outcomes. Key findings include that multinational Chinese corporations attracted more traffic and “likes” to their posts than their domestic counterparts. State-holding corporations gained more views than private corporations but not the likes. The automobile industry’s WeChat communication received most views and likes among sectors. Posts in the form of text with image were most effective in engaging the publics. Additionally, WeChat users preferred marketing posts with text and image over those for relationship cultivation when communicating with corporations. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
EventICA 2016 - 66th Annual International Communication Association Conference: Communicating With Power - Fukuoka, Japan
Duration: 9 Jun 201613 Jun 2016
https://convention2.allacademic.com/one/ica/ica16/

Conference

ConferenceICA 2016 - 66th Annual International Communication Association Conference
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityFukuoka
Period9/06/1613/06/16
Internet address

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