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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Cross-Cultural Differences in Corporate Social Media Communications on COVID-19: The Case of the United States and South Korea

Published: May 25, 2021


Sophia Mueller, University of Florida ; Hyesoo Chang, University of Florida


The purpose of this study is to develop a greater understanding of how major global corporations from the United States and South Korea communicated with consumers via the social media site, Facebook, during the COVID-19 pandemic. A content analysis of 139 posts from the top companies in each country during the months of March through July were used to identify major themes and appeals used in the posts. Chi-square analyses found many of the relationships tested ran counter to what cultural research has predicted: S.K. Facebook messages utilized self-construal and rational appeals, as well as a general individualistic theme; and appeals and themes used in communications generally did not change as audiences gradually understood the gravity and complexity of the pandemic. Implications and limitations of the study are further discussed.