Emotional brand communication on social media to foster financial well-being

Charmaine du Plessis 1 *
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1 Department of Communication Science, University of South Africa, Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 13, Issue 4, Article No: e202342. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/13452
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Through the lens of the emotional contagion theory, it is argued in this paper that retail banks’ brand communication strategies must enhance customers’ financial well-being in a bid to foster more engagement and create more trust. Financial well-being is even more important when customers experience hard economic times, as was the case during the period under review. To engage emotionally with customers in a digital environment devoid of real interaction, retail banks must be more aware of their emotional tone on social media by implementing a brand communication strategy that is more empathetic. Adopting an inductive qualitative research approach, this study assessed the emotional tone most evident in the Twitter corpora of seven South African retail banks’ social media brand communication during a pandemic, from a financial content marketing perspective. These banks were selected because they supply banking services to the general public, as opposed to corporations or other banks. In doing so, several data analysis tools were used to understand the context and the emotional tone characteristics embedded in the corpus, namely linguistic inquiry and word count, NVivo, and the social media analytics tool, Mention. While the retail banks’ financial content marketing initiatives focused on educating consumers about the banks’ products and services and how these may assist them to accomplish their financial objectives, the banks did so with an empathic approach and a positive emotional tone. This study contributes to the literature by highlighting the need for financial brands, particularly retail banks, to focus on a positive emotional tone in their social media brand communication strategies to enhance customers’ financial well-being, especially in developing countries. The findings also accentuate importance of understanding emotional contagion for effective financial content marketing.


du Plessis, C. (2023). Emotional brand communication on social media to foster financial well-being. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 13(4), e202342. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/13452