Engaging Stakeholders Through Twitter: How Nonprofit Organizations Are Getting More Out of 140 Characters or Less

Public Relations Review, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 313-318, 2012

10 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2011 Last revised: 19 Aug 2014

See all articles by Kristen Lovejoy

Kristen Lovejoy

State University of New York at Buffalo

Richard Waters

University of San Francisco - School of Management

Gregory D. Saxton

Schulich School of Business, York University

Date Written: September 16, 2010

Abstract

One hundred forty characters seems like too small a space for any meaningful information to be exchanged, but Twitter users have found creative ways to get the most out of each Tweet by using different communication tools. This paper looks into how 73 nonprofit organizations use Twitter to engage stakeholders not only through their tweets, but also through other various communication methods. Specifically, it looks into the organizations’ utilization of tweet frequency, following behavior, hyperlinks, hashtags, public messages, retweets, and multimedia files. After analyzing 4,655 tweets, the study found that the nation’s largest nonprofits are not using Twitter to maximize stakeholder involvement. Instead, they continue to use social media as a one-way communication channel, as less than 20% of their total tweets demonstrate conversations and roughly 16% demonstrate indirect connections to specific users.

Keywords: stakeholder engagement, social networking, nonprofit organizations, Twitter, social media

JEL Classification: L30, L31

Suggested Citation

Lovejoy, Kristen and Waters, Richard and Saxton, Gregory D., Engaging Stakeholders Through Twitter: How Nonprofit Organizations Are Getting More Out of 140 Characters or Less (September 16, 2010). Public Relations Review, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 313-318, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1861268

Kristen Lovejoy

State University of New York at Buffalo ( email )

12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14222
United States

Richard Waters

University of San Francisco - School of Management ( email )

San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

Gregory D. Saxton (Contact Author)

Schulich School of Business, York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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