Come on feel the noise: the relationship between stakeholder engagement and viral messaging through an association’s Twitter use


How do nonprofits use Twitter to build relationships with online stakeholders, while cultivating new audiences through viral messaging? This paper examines the relationship between online stakeholder engagement and the role networks play in promoting an organization’s messages beyond its own follower base. Tweets from 3 years of a membership association’s advocacy campaign were analyzed to uncover what relationship, in any, exists between the online communication function employed and the amount of attention a tweet receives. Further analysis examines the marketing potential of other users’ tweets about the association. This research suggests that an agency’s own messaging in a campaign is the primary recipient of online attention, and the content most likely to be rebroadcast to new audiences. As such, organizations looking to curate viral content must focus on messaging compelling enough to share with stakeholders’ online networks. Additionally, tweets intended to create dialogue with online stakeholders are typically given more active forms of attention including @mentions and retweets with comment. In contrast, information-sharing tweets typically generated more passive forms of attention, like retweets and favorites.

Publication Title

International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing