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School of Business | Department of Communication | International Business Communication | 2012
Thesis number: 12946
What do consumers "like"? Communicating CSR to consumers in Facebook, views from the airline industry
Author: Tani, Essi
Title: What do consumers "like"? Communicating CSR to consumers in Facebook, views from the airline industry
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Communication
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: yritysviestintä; business communication; kansainvälinen; international; lentoliikenne; air traffic; lentoyhtiöt; airlines; sosiaalinen media; social media; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour
Pages: 97
Full text:
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Key terms: CSR communication; stakeholder involvement; two-way communication; social media; Facebook; airlines

AALTO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ABSTRACT International Business Communication Master's Thesis June 2012 Essi Tuulia Tani

What do consumers like? Communicating CSR to consumers in Facebook, views from the airline industry

Objective of the Study

The main objective of the study was to investigate airlines' CSR related communication to consumers through Facebook. More specifically the study focused on (a) Finland's largest airline's, Finnair's, perspective to the topic and (b) on the content and consumer reactions to CSR related postings in Facebook. The study explores the phenomenon through three research questions: (1) what is Finnair's perspective to communicating about CSR in Facebook (2) which CSR themes do airlines communicate about in Face-book and (3) which CSR related themes do airlines' Facebook fans react to.

Methodology and Theoretical Framework

The data of the study was twofold and consisted of (1) interviews with Finnair employees and (2) CSR related updates by 11 airlines in their Facebook communities during a set time period. The interview data was approached through a qualitative analysis and to analyze the Facebook updates, a quantitative content analysis was conducted. The aim of the content analysis was to clarify which CSR topics seem to evoke most reactions in terms of likes, comments and shares in Facebook. The theoretical framework of the study was formed on the basis of a literature review and it focused on a two-way communication model between the company and consumers enabled by social media channels such as Facebook.

Findings and Conclusions

The findings of the interview part of the study indicate that social media in general and Facebook in particular are gaining importance as a channel for communicating CSR to consumers. It is thus possible that the percentage of CSR related Facebook updates, which in this study was 5.5 %, will increase in the future. The results of the content analysis demonstrated that out of CSR related posts, airlines currently communicate mostly about environmental responsibility and society. In addition, the findings indicated that postings related to society ranked highest in likes and the overall reactions, but postings about employees received most comments out of all themes. Respectively, messages related to environmental issues were subject to most shares by Facebook users.

Key words: CSR communication, stakeholder involvement, two-way communication, social media, Facebook, airlines
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