Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Chunsik Lee

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephynie Perkins

Rights Statement

Third Advisor

Dr. Jae Park

Department Chair

Dr. John Parmalee


Social media has changed communication, and its influence is far-reaching. Companies have adapted and tweaked their marketing strategies to more personal approaches to reach their audiences. This is especially evident in recent years. It can be observed, for example, by fast-food Twitter accounts attracting the attention of online users through witty personas and sarcastic tweets. This phenomenon is the motivation of this research looking into relationships between brands and their social media followers. Here, interpersonal relationship theories are referenced to uncover what encourages these kinds of relationships as well as discover which methods deliver the most positive responses, likes, and retweets from followers.

A content analysis on 250 tweets from 5 different fast-food brands was conducted, accompanied by 20 comments from each tweet. Tweets were categorized by the following traits: brand personality, maintenance and promotion, and targeting. Comments to brand tweets were categorized based on consumers’ encouraging or dissatisfied language. The findings suggest brand personality and targeting receive the best audience reception, while posts focusing on promotions and lack personality are possibly gaining negative reception on Twitter. This research exemplifies the differences between hard selling tactics on Twitter and interpersonal approaches and serves to potentially set the stage for more research on brand interpersonal relationships and social media.