A Case Study of YouTuber’s use of Twitter for Consumer Engagement


  • Hantian Zhang Sheffield Hallam University




consumer engagement, YouTubers, Twitter, Social Media


Twitter as a popular social media site has become a widely used platform for brands to establish consumer engagement (CE), a connection between firms and consumers beyond product consumption and purchase. CE is important for brands to build a long-standing relationship with consumers, leading to positive marketing outcomes. Meanwhile, famous YouTubers, who have obtained large fanbases also use Twitter to connect with their viewers beyond the YouTube platform, as a part of their self-branding process. Existing studies found various strategies brands use to engage consumers on Twitter. Studies on individual users and other celebrities also found that they implement similar factors as brands for engaging their followers, suggesting the application of CE from organisations to individual bases on Twitter. However, while it can be argued that as personal brands, YouTubers also implement similar CE strategies as traditional brands on Twitter to engage their viewers as their consumers, little research has explicitly explored the CE factors implemented by YouTubers on Twitter. Therefore, by adapting the concept of CE, this research explores “How do YouTubers use Twitter for consumer engagement?”.  The research implemented a qualitative case study on UK beauty vlogger Zoe Sugg (Zoella)’s Twitter account. In the study, a qualitative content analysis was performed on over 3000 tweets collected from Sugg’s Twitter via API to identify strategies implemented by Sugg that can be seen as CE factors that are also used by brands. The results show that like other brands, Sugg uses various CE factors, including interaction, information offers, topical messages, rewards, and visual elements on Twitter to engage her viewers. The research proposes that CE strategies that are used by traditional brands are also implemented by YouTubers and similar online personalities for engaging audiences on Twitter. The research contributes to understanding the building of YouTube-viewer relationships from the perspective of achieving CE on social media sites beyond YouTube.