Emotional Branding on Social Media: A Cross-Cultural Discourse Analysis of Global Brands on Twitter and Weibo

  • Doreen D. WU
  • Chaoyuan LI
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 24)


This chapter contributes to the ongoing debate of cultural influence and construction in the social media sphere by examining the discourse practices of sampled global brands in terms of emotional branding on Twitter and Weibo, the leading social networking sites in the US and China respectively. Findings suggest that there are more commonalities than differences in the thematic appeals used by the global brands across Twitter and Weibo. Instead of exhibiting a developmental divide, all three characteristic appeals of emotional branding (Pragmatist, Evangelist and Sensualist) co-exist across Twitter and Weibo. The brands also tend to use similar positive face strategies and relational rituals on both Twitter and Weibo. One notable difference consists in the tendency that corporate Weibo posts contain more emoticons, more intimate address forms, and more instances of small talk, which is a significant break-away from the established Chinese traditions of face and politeness in interpersonal interaction. Implications for corporate communication and higher education in the age of internationalization and digitalization are discussed.



This work was supported by RGC Directly Allocated Research Grant, Hong Kong (#4-ZZFB).


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© Springer International Publishing AG part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CBSThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloon Hong KongPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Chinese and Bilingual StudiesThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongPeople’s Republic of China

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