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Exploring the effects of social media features on the publics’ responses to decreased usage CSR messages

Hyejin Kim (College of Communication, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Hao Xu (School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 1 May 2019

Issue publication date: 23 May 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine the way the message source and presence of positive social cues influence the evaluations (attitude toward the corporate social responsibility (CSR) message and company, and word-of-mouth intention to support the campaign) of the decreased use CSR messages on Facebook.


In the context of Facebook, this study adopted 2 (message source: a CSR message in a sponsored ad format vs a CSR message posted by another Facebook user) × 2 (social cue: highly salient, positive social cues vs no social cues) factorial experimental design.


The main effects of message source types and presence of positive social cues on decreased usage CSR campaigns proved to be effective in generating better consumer responses to the company and campaign.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are expected to advance the CSR literature by offering a detailed understanding of CSR campaigns that discourage consumption of the company’s own product to support a social cause. It is suggested to test the effects with other CSR examples to increase the ability to generalize the results further.

Practical implications

The results suggest campaign strategies on social media for public relations practitioners and corporate managers who work for companies conducting social responsibility campaigns that discourage consumption of their own products.


This study contributes to the CSR literature by examining the concept of CSR campaigns that advocate decreased usage, which has received scant scholarly attention to date.



The authors thank Dr Hyejoon Rim for her comments and insights on earlier drafts, which greatly improved the manuscript.


Kim, H. and Xu, H. (2019), "Exploring the effects of social media features on the publics’ responses to decreased usage CSR messages", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 287-302.



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