Saturday, June 15, 2024

Exploring Social Media Dynamics in Nonprofit Communication: A Comprehensive Study on Canadian Sexual Assault Centers

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In the digital age, nonprofit organizations are constantly examining ways to leverage social media to enhance their communication strategies. A recent study has delved into how nonprofit sexual assault centers in Canada utilize Twitter, now known as X (X Corp), to communicate online. This research not only identifies the thematic categories prevalent in their tweets but also employs advanced machine learning techniques to analyze and classify these communications effectively.

Methodological Approach

The study utilized a mixed methods framework combining both qualitative analyses and machine learning. Researchers manually coded over 10,000 tweets from 133 sexual assault centers across Canada, covering a period from 2009 to 2023. These tweets served as a training dataset for a supervised machine learning model that classified an expansive dataset of nearly 287,000 tweets. Further analysis, including sentiment and emotion detection, offered deeper insights into the emotional undertones of the tweets.

Findings and Insights

The analysis revealed seven key thematic categories in the tweets: community engagement, organization administration, public awareness, political advocacy, support for others, partnerships, and appreciation. Notably, organization administration emerged as the predominant theme. The machine learning model achieved a classification accuracy of 63.4%. Sentiment analysis highlighted a general neutrality in tone across categories, with fear and joy being the prevalent emotions in specific thematic areas.

Key Inferences from the Study

  • The prevalence of neutral sentiments suggests a cautious approach by organizations in their communications.
  • Emotional analysis indicating fear could reflect the sensitive nature of topics discussed by these centers.
  • The effectiveness of machine learning in classifying complex datasets can significantly aid in understanding large-scale communication patterns.

This study not only advances the understanding of social media usage among nonprofits but also offers a theoretical model that can guide future research in nonprofit communication strategies. The findings suggest that while there is a focus on organizational administration, there is significant room for these organizations to explore other areas such as advocacy and partnerships more deeply.

Moreover, the comprehensive typology developed through this research provides a structured way to categorize and analyze tweets, which can be particularly useful for educational and training purposes aimed at nonprofit leaders. By enhancing their understanding of online communication dynamics, nonprofits can better engage with the public, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

Original Article: J Med Internet Res. 2024 May 8;26:e51698. doi: 10.2196/51698.

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