Tweeting Can Increase Product Demand
Many businesses today adopt tweeting as a new form of product marketing. However, whether and how tweeting affects product demand remains inconclusive. We explore this question with a randomized field experiment on Sina Weibo, the top tweeting website in China. We collaborate with a major global media company and examine how the viewing of its TV shows is affected by (1) the media company’s own tweets about its shows, and (2) recruited Weibo influentials’ retweets of the company tweets. We find that both company tweets and influential retweets are effective in increasing show viewing, but in different ways. Company tweets directly boost viewing, whereas influential retweets increases viewing if the show tweet is informative. However, influential retweets are more effective than company tweets in bringing new Weibo followers to the company, which indirectly increases viewing. Based on the findings, we provide managerial recommendations on tweet-marketing management.