Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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The paper examines how Chinese celebrities build rapport with their followers on social media, with a comparison between the Chinese mainland (on Weibo) and Hong Kong (on Facebook) celebrities. Rapport building is conceptualized as language use in promoting social bonding and emotional involvement and as achieved via at least two aspects: use of relational acts and choice of interactional features. Twelve months of postings by twelve most-followed Weibo and Facebook celebrities from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong in 2017 have been retrieved and analyzed. It is found that the prevalent relational acts commonly used by both Weibo and Facebook celebrities to build rapport with their followers include sharing information, retweeting information and directives, among others; and the commonly prevalent interactive features include the use of colloquialism, emoji & emoticons, and hashtags or @, and the like. Nonetheless, significant differences also exist in that while Weibo celebrities tend to use more acts of showing stance, Facebook celebrities use more acts of showing appreciation; Weibo celebrities tend to use more colloquialism, emoji & emoticons, and internet slang, Facebook celebrities tend to use more English codemixing and vernacular expressions. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion and explanation of the commonalities and differences between Weibo and Facebook celebrities.


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