Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level





Dinesh Gauri

Committee Member

Ronn Smith

Second Committee Member

Scot Burton

Third Committee Member

Rajiv Sabherwal


Firm Performance, Social Media


The possibility of large-scale communication with stakeholders brought about by social media has made these new channels of communication an important arena for spending marketing budgets. Despite the increasing share of social media in firms’ marketing budget, there is significant heterogeneity in firms’ social media communication practices even within the same venue and among firms from the same industry. As such, there is need for more research on how firms can leverage social media to achieve better performance. In order to address this broad question, two essays have been designed and executed.

The first essay utilizes integrated marketing communication as the theoretical lens to explores the implications of a unique opportunity offered by social media, that is, the ability to simultaneously broadcast to the mass audience (impersonal communication) and interact with individuals (personalized communication). Using a unique dataset, which includes the tweets, as well as financial data of S&P 500 firms present on Twitter, this essay reveals that the effects of communication modes are more intricate than a sole focus on the main effects would suggest.

Complementing the first essay which focuses on established firms, the second essay explores the implications of social media communication for B2B new ventures. Building on the literature on strategic similarity and dissimilarity, and comparative linguistics, this essay demonstrates that the lingual similarity of a B2B new venture’s social media communications to those of its competitors and customers, can signal important information about the venture’s marketing capabilities, thus impacting its success in fundraising.