Information, Community, and Action: How Nonprofit Organizations Use Social Media

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 337-353, 2012

30 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2012 Last revised: 14 Oct 2012

Kristen Lovejoy

State University of New York at Buffalo

Gregory D. Saxton

Schulich School of Business, York University

Date Written: June 23, 2011

Abstract

The rapid diffusion of ‘microblogging’ services such as Twitter is ushering in a new era of possibilities for organizations to communicate with and engage their core stakeholders and the general public. To enhance understanding of the communicative functions microblogging serves for organizations, this study examines the Twitter utilization practices of the 100 largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. The analysis reveals there are three key functions of microblogging updates — ‘information,’ ‘community,’ and ‘action.’ Though the informational use of microblogging is extensive, nonprofit organizations are better at using Twitter to strategically engage their stakeholders via dialogic and community-building practices than they have been with traditional websites. The adoption of social media appears to have engendered new paradigms of public engagement.

Keywords: microblogging, Twitter, social media, stakeholder relations, organizational communication, organization-public relations, nonprofit organizations, organizational messages, stakeholder engagement, social networking

JEL Classification: L30, L31

Suggested Citation

Lovejoy, Kristen and Saxton, Gregory D., Information, Community, and Action: How Nonprofit Organizations Use Social Media (June 23, 2011). Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 337-353, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2039815

Kristen Lovejoy

State University of New York at Buffalo ( email )

12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14222
United States

Gregory D. Saxton (Contact Author)

Schulich School of Business, York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://social-metrics.org

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