Qualitative Market Research


Mizukoshi, Kosuke and Mari, Hisashi. Humanistic corporate accounts on social media: exploring identity construction and authenticity management, Qualitative Market Research, ahead-of-print.



This study aims to clarify identity building and authenticity management in human brand research, focusing on inside operators managing corporate accounts on social media. Conventional human brand research analyzes online influencers, and there is a research gap in whether these previous findings apply to corporate accounts.


Using netnography and interview data, this study analyzes Japanese corporate accounts on Twitter.


A corporate account’s identity is constructed under the influence of not only the brand but also the actual inside operator, called naka-no-hito, and other accounts that interact on social media. Corporate accounts are able to exhibit humanistic passion through the inside operator’s personality and maintain a distance from commerciality – to manage their authenticity. These activities attract general and other corporate and media accounts, and interactions with them re-create promotion effects.


This study observed that corporate accounts’ authenticity is not a trade-off between passion and commercial transparency but a compatibility achieved by coordinating interests among actors, together with the presence of inside operators.