Brands Are Human on Social Media: The Effectiveness of Human Tone-of-Voice on Consumer Engagement and Purchase Intentions Through Social Presence
Drawing on social presence theory, this experimental research investigates how personified tone-of-voice that brands frequently employ for their social media interactions can increase consumer intention of brand engagement and purchase. Results show that casual human tone-of-voice is more likely to generate consumer perception of being socially present with brands than traditional corporate tone-of-voice. Furthermore, human (vs. corporate) tone-of-voice leads to greater intention to engage with brands, and this is fully mediated by consumer perception of social presence with brands. Additionally, consumer intention to engage with brands positively influences their intention to purchase the brands. These findings highlight that humanized brand communications influence consumers’ brand endorsement by shaping brand personas that are socially present in interactive communications between consumers and brands. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed with specific references to brand communication strategies on social media.