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
Date Written: June 23, 2011
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: Suggested Citation