Phethean, Christopher, Tiropanis, Thanassis and Harris, Lisa
Rethinking measurements of social media use by charities: a mixed methods approach
At Web Science 2013, France.
02 - 04 May 2013.
- Author's Original
Increasingly, the utilisation of social media services are helping charities continue to operate, as they provide unique opportunities of low-cost, easily targeted and viral marketing that have never been seen before to this scale. However, without knowing exactly how and why they are being used, analysis of their performance that could be used to indicate areas of improvement will continue to be insufficient. An innovative mixed methods approach was followed in order to address the issue, and this paper presents the results of a study that sought to determine the reasons why charities use social media, and the strategies they employ in an attempt to succeed. Three main contributions are presented – firstly, by combining the qualitative and quantitative data it was discovered that social media are currently intended to be used primarily as relationship building tools, with little focus on fundraising; secondly, an overview of how successful charities perceive social media to be is shown and methods of measurement are mapped to a previously designed framework; and thirdly, future requirements for revising the measurement framework are discussed, demonstrating the importance of this work for grounding future developments.
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