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Guido Berens

Assistant Professor of Corporate Communication, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

iBranding: The Impact of Social Media on Corporate Brands (with David Eberle and Ting Li)

As spending on traditional advertising is slipping, companies display a rising interest in social media and how corporate brands are affected by interactive online communication. This paper aims to determine whether using social media in a company‘s marketing mix is beneficial to its brand. Drawing on theories of corporate communications, marketing, sociology and psychology, we propose that the effect of interactivity and pre-exposure word-of-mouth on corporate reputation is mediated by credibility and embeddedness. We find that the interactivity of a website by itself does not lead to higher credibility and embeddedness, or to a higher corporate reputation or post-exposure word-of-mouth. In addition, the existence of negative comments appears to be harmful to the corporate brand.