Social Media Communication In Organizations

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Kristen Lovejoy and Gregory D. Saxton are both professors of Communication at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. They analyzed the 100 largest nonprofit organizations in the United States and their use or interaction with microblogging platforms like Twitter. They determined that utilizing Twitter provides three functions for organizations of this kind: information sharing, community building, and calling individuals to action. They found that non-profit organizations are better at achieving their objectives using these platforms than they were when using traditional websites. This is because social media allows for more open communication which can increase community, participation, and action. For instance, it is more difficult for a person…show more content…
Macnamara, J. , & Zerfass, A. (2012). Social media communication in organizations: The challenges of balancing openness, strategy, and management. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 6, 287-308. doi:10.1080/1553118X.2012.711402

Jim Macnamara from the University of Technology Sydney and Ansgar Zerfass from the University of Leipzig, Germany conducted research to determine how organizations can balance openness with organizational strategy and management processes. The researchers created two international surveys in Australasia and Europe to determine how social media is being used, for organizations, in several different countries. These findings were paired with interviews with social media specialists to determine how open, uncontrolled practices of social media can intersect with the rules, structures, and norms of organizations. The authors determined that social media can be used to help increase dialogue, participation, and community. However, it can also create new challenges for organizational strategy and management processes. These researchers attempted to identify ways that these challenges to traditional strategy may be resolved or balanced. This research is significant because it demonstrates how organizations are forced to change as new demographics change the expectations that they have for organizations. Furthermore, it shows that communication strategies fail to cohesively analyze the paradox established by online platforms and traditional
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Waters and Kevin D. Lo recognize the benefits and drawbacks of social media for organizations. They argue that social media allows for connection with populations that traditional advertisement of publicity mediums cannot provide. For example, now Chinese organizations can better reach American audiences and consumers and vice versa. While this may be beneficial for the reach of organizations, it has the potential to have implications for the construction of culture. These researchers found that Chinese organizations typically disclose more information on social media than would be culturally acceptable in face-to-face interactions. Because of this, social media may be constructing its own “virtual culture”. This requires organizations to understand the context and situation of interactions online and in person through different lenses. Failing to recognize the communication styles may impede an organization’s ability to communicate effectively. This is one example of why organizations must be willing to adapt their communication strategies to account for the challenges produced in the online sphere to reach the benefits that social media can
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