Chief executive officers (CEOs) are increasingly using social media to disclose information and communicate with investors. Although findings from archival research show some benefits to social media use, little is known about how the social nature of this disclosure channel affects individual investors. Accordingly, we develop a mediation model based on social capital theory that predicts social media disclosure channels lead investors to perceive enhanced feelings of connectedness (i.e., social capital) with the CEO, resulting in more positive judgments of the CEO. Specifically, our model predicts CEO disclosures via Twitter, versus web-based disclosures, lead to enhanced perceptions of social capital, which in turn positively impact investor recommendations for CEO compensation. Using an experiment with individual investors, our results provide robust support for our theoretical mediation model. Our findings enhance our understanding of how CEOs' social media use influences individual investors and have implications for standard setters, investors, and firms.

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