Skip to main content
Relationship maintenance on Twitter: implications from loyalty leaders
Journal of Communication Management (2015)
  • Zongchao Li, University of Miami
– The purpose of this paper is to look into Twitter usage as represented by top US retail corporations in a quantitative manner. This study aimed to determine the dominant purpose of Twitter usage by major US retail companies and to what extent the relationship maintenance strategies were incorporated in Twitter. In addition, the study tested a proposed model that delineates relationship as a precursor of brand loyalty.

– A content analysis was conducted comparing two groups of retail corporations – one came from the “top 100 customer loyalty brand leaders” identified by Brand Keys (2011a), and the other came from the Fortune 500 retailers, but excluded those from the top 100 loyalty leaders list.

– Study results indicated Twitter as an important channel for corporate communication and relationship maintenance. For the retail industry, Twitter was mainly used for consumer relations. Access was the most widely used strategy followed by assurance and positivity. In addition, the brand loyalty leader group retailers were discovered more inclined to use Twitter in a two-way communication manner than the Fortune 500 group. Furthermore, two relationship maintenance strategies were found significantly more frequent in use in the brand loyalty leader group than the Fortune 500 group – positivity and assurance.

– As one of the initial efforts to study relationship maintenance strategies using Twitter, this study contributes to the current literature of relationship management theory on social media by adapting the six relationship strategies to the Twitter context and testing them.
  • Social media,
  • Public relations,
  • Twitter,
  • Relationship maintenance,
  • Brand loyalty,
  • Relationship strategy
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
SJSU users: use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.
Citation Information
Zongchao Li. "Relationship maintenance on Twitter: implications from loyalty leaders" Journal of Communication Management Vol. 19 Iss. 2 (2015) p. 184 - 202 ISSN: 1363-254X
Available at: