Social Media Analysis

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An Analysis of How the American Cancer Society Uses Social Media By: Carla Silvia
Journalism Department
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo
2009
Table of Contents
Chapter
I. Abstract…………………………………………………………………………… 3 II. Introduction……………………………………………………………………….. 4 III. Literature Review…………………………………………………………………. 6 IV. Methodology………………………………………………………………………19 V. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………...30 VI. Works Cited……………………………………………………………………….35 Silvia 3

Abstract
The development of social media has created an online environment conducive to creating connections and fostering relationships. As new social media sites are being introduced, researchers in every field of study are attempting to determine the most effective ways for organizations to use them. By using these findings and implementing social media campaigns into their communication strategies, non-profit organizations now have the ability to inform their respective publics about upcoming events, increase donation requests and create a community around their designated cause. A content analysis was conducted to examine how the American Cancer Society has implemented the use of social media sites into their marketing and public relations strategies. This study examines the Society’s use of blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, Linked In, the Cancer Action Network, the Cancer Survivors Network and internal social networking sites. The results indicate that the American Cancer Society has established a strong online presence by taking advantage individual social networking sites’ distinct features. As a result, the organization has brought additional attention to their cause, created a stronger network of supporters and increased donations. Silvia 4

Introduction
Over the past several years, there has been a drastic change in the way our society receives and perceives information. What was once a commodity has now become a necessity. The Internet has opened doors for a whole new realm of information gathering and sharing and has become one of the most prominent ways of not only obtaining information but also as a means of social communication. As new technologies are being developed and introduced, we are forced to familiarize ourselves with and take advantage of the new capabilities that were not available before. However, these changes to the way we obtain information are causing both individuals and organizations to adjust their ways of communicating. New opportunities for communications campaigns and advertising have been established through the development of the Internet. Traditional advertising strategies may not be the most effective, and the way people receive and react to information may also be different based on the media through which it is received. Furthermore, advertising has begun to shift from one-way communication from an organization to its intended public to two-way communication that is interactive, with the introduction of Web 2.0. Research has found that one of the most prevalent and effective ways of this new strategy for reaching a public through the Internet is through social media sites.

Social media sites provide a place for individuals and organizations to directly communicate with each other and foster relationships. Organizations are able to use social media sites in a plethora of ways to reach their targeted demographic. As new social media sites are being introduced, researchers in every field of study are attempting to determine the most effective ways for organizations to use them.

Silvia 5
One of the primary goals of non-profit organizations is to gain the support of targeted audiences. They attempt to accomplish this by developing messages regarding their cause and distributing such messages to a wide demographic. The development of the Internet has enabled many non-profit organizations to inform these audiences of their cause for nominal costs, which was not an option prior to the Internet....
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