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Exploring the value of social media services for charitable organisations: a mixed methods approach

Exploring the value of social media services for charitable organisations: a mixed methods approach
Exploring the value of social media services for charitable organisations: a mixed methods approach
This thesis explores various factors that may influence the production of value for charities on social media websites. A mixed methods triangulation-based approach is used in order to improve understanding around why charities use social media and what they want to achieve by doing so, why supporters interact with charities on social media, and how this behaviour actually occurs on two popular social media sites: Facebook and Twitter. Qualitative sources of data are utilised in order to establish the reasons behind why social media are used, while quantitative sources provide evidence of interaction on these sites to establish whether or not the motivations of the charities are portrayed through their actual behaviour. An argument is made that because there are so many influencing factors on the resulting value, it is extremely difficult to measure this—and to distinguish success on these sites—through the use of automated tools that do not take into account the context of the organisation involved and what they are actually trying to achieve in the first place. Furthermore, this thesis suggests that analysing what the charity does in relation to their strategy can help to indicate whether or not a social media strategy has the potential to create the desired levels of value, and a classification system of communication styles is presented in order to assist with this process. This thesis therefore provides contributions that help to understand the value of social media for charities, and as such has implications for future social media research, charitable strategy planning and Web Science as a wider discipline.
University of Southampton
Phethean, Christopher
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Phethean, Christopher
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Tiropanis, Athanassios
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Harris, Lisa J
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Phethean, Christopher (2014) Exploring the value of social media services for charitable organisations: a mixed methods approach. University of Southampton, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Doctoral Thesis, 203pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis explores various factors that may influence the production of value for charities on social media websites. A mixed methods triangulation-based approach is used in order to improve understanding around why charities use social media and what they want to achieve by doing so, why supporters interact with charities on social media, and how this behaviour actually occurs on two popular social media sites: Facebook and Twitter. Qualitative sources of data are utilised in order to establish the reasons behind why social media are used, while quantitative sources provide evidence of interaction on these sites to establish whether or not the motivations of the charities are portrayed through their actual behaviour. An argument is made that because there are so many influencing factors on the resulting value, it is extremely difficult to measure this—and to distinguish success on these sites—through the use of automated tools that do not take into account the context of the organisation involved and what they are actually trying to achieve in the first place. Furthermore, this thesis suggests that analysing what the charity does in relation to their strategy can help to indicate whether or not a social media strategy has the potential to create the desired levels of value, and a classification system of communication styles is presented in order to assist with this process. This thesis therefore provides contributions that help to understand the value of social media for charities, and as such has implications for future social media research, charitable strategy planning and Web Science as a wider discipline.

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More information

Published date: December 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 376944
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/376944
PURE UUID: 68efd9eb-7da6-4578-bbaf-0e1629429896
ORCID for Christopher Phethean: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7697-6585
ORCID for Athanassios Tiropanis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6195-2852

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Jul 2015 10:50
Last modified: 22 Mar 2019 01:32

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