An Exploration into the Brand Personality Traits of Social Media Sites

Eric Langstedt, Daniel S. Hunt


The brand personality framework has emerged as a strong predictor of consumers’ feelings toward a brand.  Despite its widespread use in other product categories, to date no research has examined the brand personality characteristics of major social media platforms. Major social networking sites (SNSs) are powerful brands and, like other brands, they are at the mercy of consumer perception.  With the role SNSs play in marketing communication continuing to grow, an understanding of consumer perception of these platforms may suggest certain platforms have more desirable associations than others. This analysis examines the five brand personality traits of sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication and ruggedness for six prominent social media platforms.  Results of this analysis suggest that the social media platform with the most defined personality is Pinterest, which scored highest for sophistication and sincerity while being the least rugged. Using hierarchical regression analysis, we also determined how the Big Five human personality characteristics, combined with brand personality characteristics, influence the use of specific social media platforms. 


Brand Personality; Big Five Model; Facebook; Twitter; Pinterest; LinkedIn; Snapchat; Instagram

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