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

Authors


  • Authors are listed in alphabetical order. The authors would like to thank Tom Feeley, Richard Waters, Seungahn Nah, I-hsuan Chiu, Yuchao Huang, and Kenton Anderson for helpful comments and suggestions.

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.

Ancillary