How to avoid cross-cultural social media marketing flops: A research agenda on platform affordance and psychological safety in workplace


6:00 PM - 7:00 PM


  • Time: 18:00-19:00
  • Date: Friday, 9 April 2021
  • Venue: HS436


The affordance of different social media platforms amplifies certain factors in the communication process. Companies need to use a platform-sensitive approach for their social media messages to avoid miscommunication or unintended consequences, especially in a cross-cultural environment. Building on the affordance perspective, this talk discusses two social media marketing flops. I suggest that advertising companies should use a platform-sensitive approach to their social media messages by doing a three-step check (“CUT”: Culture-Usefulness-Timing). The CUT check requires companies to foresee the impact not only to their end-audiences but also to the third parties, which monetise on platform activities. So, it is a more culturally sensitive approach to social media marketing plans.

Moreover, the talk discusses the psychological safety factor in organisations. Behind the social media marketing flops, one hidden reason is ineffective group communication. By paying attention to employees’ psychological safety, an organisation can better manage conflicts and avoid business failure.


Dr Zihan Wang is currently an assistant professor at Shanghai International Studies University. Her background is in public communication and intercultural interactions. Her research interests include environmental communication and social media use and effects. She got her Ph.D. at Florida State University, and she was a visiting research fellow at Dentsū Japan.

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