Effective Social Media Engagement for Nonprofits: What Matters?

Julia L Carboni, Sarah P. Maxwell


We employ public management relationship theory to examine how nonprofits can effectively engage social media stakeholders in two-way communication. Though many nonprofit organizations have a social media presence, there is variance in how well organizations use social media to engage stakeholders. Simply having a social media presence is not enough to engage stakeholders.  We examine Facebook posts of a stratified random sample of youth development organizations to determine what predicts stakeholder engagement. We find the type of Facebook post is a significant predictor of stakeholder engagement.  Longer posts also significantly predict increased stakeholder engagement.  At the organizational level, having many posts is a significant negative predictor of stakeholder engagement, indicating that users may feel bombarded and are less likely to engage.  Increased organizational spending on advertising as a proportion of total budget is positively associated with stakeholder engagement. 


nonprofit communications, social media, stakeholder engagement, public management relationship theory

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20899/jpna.1.1.18-28


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