Achieving consumer trust on Twitter via CSR communication

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Corporations are under increasing pressure to communicate their position and policies with regards to corporate social responsibility (CSR), informing consumers about the corporations’ good intentions and actions in order to appear trustworthy. Corporations have been asked to engage in a dialogue with their consumers. However, academic literature still lacks empirical research that examines how consumers react to asymmetric versus symmetric communication strategies. Design/methodology/approach: The present paper closes this gap and evaluates how consumers react to different CSR communication approaches on social media, specifically on Twitter. The study is based on a sample of 507 respondents in the UK, representing a welleducated population of social media users. The sample was divided into two sub-samples, one receiving a set of tweets with an asymmetric CSR communication approach (N = 242), the other one with a symmetric CSR communication approach (N = 265). Findings: Our main finding is that an asymmetric communication approach performs generally better than a symmetric communication approach. However, consumers’ involvement and their own personal information processing mechanisms also play a significant role when evaluating the trustworthiness of corporations. Originality/value: The paper provides insights in how corporations should communicate with consumers on Twitter and what characteristics they should take into consideration to achieve consumer trust.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consumer Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2017


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