Theoretical Models for Corporate Social Media Use

Alvin Zhou, Linjuan Rita Men

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter is structured into four sections to summarize theoretical frameworks currently employed to study corporate social media use and discuss new ways forward to further theorize the impact of digital media on public relations. Upon reviewing social media use by and in corporations, we first summarize theoretical approaches and frameworks, such as mediated dialogue, public engagement, and parasocial interactions. Then the chapter provides an overview of how recent literature has theorized corporate social media use in various prominent research areas. Next, we provide a critical assessment of the assumption held by many scholars and practitioners that social media use is good for public relations. The chapter concludes with discussions on research gaps and provides suggestions for future theory development in corporate digital communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPublic Relations Theory III
Subtitle of host publicationIn the Age of Publics
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781000830835
ISBN (Print)9780367693282
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 selection and editorial matter, Carl H. Botan and Erich J. Sommerfeldt; individual chapters, the contributors.


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