Managing relationships on Facebook: A long-term analysis of leading companies in Germany.

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Date: Sept. 2021
From: Public Relations Review(Vol. 47, Issue 3)
Publisher: Elsevier Advanced Technology Publications
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 269 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Relationship management; Interactivity; Dialogic communication; Transparent communication; Informal communication; Facebook Highlights * Long-term analysis provides a benchmark for social media professionalism. * Functional and contingency features consider social media's interactivity. * Content-related features are connected to relational outcomes. * Dialogic communication is the most effective strategy for relational outcomes. * Results relativize most pessimistic findings of previous studies. Abstract The purpose of this study is to investigate how companies manage relationships with publics on social media. Based on the concepts of functional and contingency interactivity, the study examines the long-term implementation of three interactive strategies derived from research on organization-public relationships: dialogic communication, transparent communication, and informal communication. The study sheds further light on relational outputs and outcomes. The results of content analyses of leading German companies' Facebook pages in 2012, 2015, and 2018 indicate the growing importance of dialogic communication and informal communication. There is a constant relation between dialogic communication and the extent of user interaction, with the analysis suggesting that dialogic communication is used to manage critical user comments. Hence, the long-term study contributes to a deeper understanding of professionalization in corporate social media communication. It provides evidence for PR scholars and professionals that there are effective features on Facebook for managing sustainable relationships. Author Affiliation: (a) University of Augsburg, Department of Media, Knowledge, and Communication, Universitätsstraße 10, 86159, Augsburg, Germany (b) Leipzig University, Institute for Communication and Media Studies, Nikolaistraße 27-29, 04109, Leipzig, Germany * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 5 November 2019; Revised 17 March 2021; Accepted 31 March 2021 Byline: Michael Johann [michael.johann@phil.uni-augsburg.de] (a), Cornelia Wolf [cornelia.wolf@uni-leipzig.de] (b), Alexander Godulla [alexander.godulla@uni-leipzig.de] (b)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A662598807