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School of Business | Department of Communication | International Business Communication | 2015
Thesis number: 13922
Dancing on Facebook - A case study of a performing arts organization's social media presence
Author: Nikander, Laura
Title: Dancing on Facebook - A case study of a performing arts organization's social media presence
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Communication
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: viestintä; communication; yritysviestintä; business communication; kansainvälinen; international; sosiaalinen media; social media; kulttuurin markkinointi; arts marketing; taide; arts
Pages: 129
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13922.pdf pdf  size:4 MB (4148754)
Key terms: social media; Facebook; arts marketing; performing arts organizations; international business communication
Objective of the Study:

The objective of the present thesis was to contribute to further understanding of how social media and Facebook in particular are used in the field of performing arts. The thesis focused on studying the case organization's external communication activities targeted to its fans on the social networking site of Facebook. The purpose was to gain a thorough understanding of how the case organization could improve its Facebook page and other social media channels to better communicate and engage with its fans. The thesis also aimed at identifying what fans expect of the Facebook page and general social media presence and how the Facebook page fosters dialogue and engages with the fans. The research topic was studied in the context of performing arts organizations; the case organization was a Finnish contemporary dance company, Tero Saarinen Company (TSC).

Methodology and the Analytical Framework:

The study was conducted as mixed-methods research with an emphasis on the qualitative approach. The data was collected from two primary sources: an interview with the case organization and an online survey of the case organization's Facebook fans. In addition, secondary data was collected through online observation of TSC's Facebook page and website. The analytical framework of the study consisted of three main elements: 1) social media with an emphasis on Facebook as an application, 2) a performing arts organization (TSC) with an emphasis on the aspect of a "difficult brand", and 3) fans as a specific stakeholder group.

Findings and Conclusions:

The study resulted in four main findings: 1) the fans expect TSC to provide more meaningful and in-depth content and 2) to discover "a new way" to be present in social media, and that 3) TSC's Facebook page fosters dialogue and engages with the fans only on a satisfactory level despite the fans' great interest in TSC. Finally, the findings demonstrated that 4) there are four factors that affect and possibly limit TSC's social media presence: lack of resources, having a presence under the company entity (i.e. TSC), founder Tero Saarinen's personal views on social media and TSC's strict art-centric focus in its activities. The findings suggest that the case organization should invest especially in providing its fans meaningful and engaging content and improve its Facebook page towards a social media channel that fosters two-way communication, discussion and interaction with the fans.
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