Are You Following Me? A Content Analysis of TV Networks' Brand Communication on Twitter

Jhih-Syuan Lin and Jorge Peña

Social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook and Twitter have posted double-digit growth and are expected to reach nearly 148 million (or 63.7% of) U.S. Internet users in 2011 and 164.2 million (67%) of them by 2013 (Williamson 2011). Users are spending more time on SNS as well, growing from an average of 3 hours per week in December 2008 to more than 5.5 hours in December 2009 (Nielsenwire 2010a). The increasing popularity of SNS has brought extensive attention to the need to understand how these applications affect the nature of online conversations, interpersonal relationships, and communicative outcomes (e.g., Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe 2007; Walther et al. 2009). Such computer-mediated communication (CMC) research is critical to the advertising and marketing field, where both academics and practitioners aim to determine the effectiveness of consumer-brand interactions in SNS and their consequential effects on online and offline consumer behavior (Bagozzi and Dholakia 2006; Brown, Broderick, and Lee 2007; McWilliam 2000; Taylor, Lewin, and Strutton 2011).