A Comparative Study of Cosmetic Brands’ Discursive Appeals to Their Consumers on Weibo and Twitter

Gao, Qianwen
Hocking, Darryl
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Master of English and New Media Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

In today's interconnected global landscape, international cosmetic brands have adopted increasingly sophisticated discursive strategies to appeal to their audiences across various online platforms. Notably, their focus lies on Twitter and Weibo, two important social media platforms that cater to distinct market segments, each with its own language and cultural influences.

This study explores how these international cosmetic brands tailor their advertisements to appeal to Chinese audiences on Weibo and Western audiences on Twitter. It involves a mixed- method thematic discourse analysis of 160 posts of online cosmetic advertisements, collected from the official accounts of eight international cosmetic brands across both Twitter and Weibo.

The analysis identified the recurring key appeals in the posts and the discursive strategies used to structure these appeals, ultimately facilitating the observation of the similarities and differences in how international cosmetic brands engage with their audiences on Weibo and Twitter. The findings show that while there are many similarities, for certain appeals the brands optimise their social media content to align more specifically with the cultural preferences and language nuances of each platform, tailoring their linguistic content accordingly. This approach allows them to effectively resonate with their target audiences, expand their brand reach, and foster a stronger online presence in the global beauty market.

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