Social Media and Advocacy Communication Research: Trends and Implications

By: Oluwatoyin Latifat KAREEM, & Mofoluke Ibidunni, AKOJA, PhD

Oluwatoyin Latifat, KAREEM, Department of Communication and Language Arts, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Mofoluke Ibidunni, AKOJA, Mass Communication Department, Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria

 

Abstract

The proliferation of social media in our everyday life has brought new forms of communication to academic scrutiny. Many non-profit organisations have turned to social media to assist with implementing their strategies such as engaging new consumers, volunteers, and funders. With the influx of studies into social media advocacy, it is imperative to understand the trends in the research methodology employed. The focus of this study is to uncover methodological patterns and theoretical orientations in social media and advocacy studies. This work is a meta-analysis of social media and advocacy research methodologies and their resulting implications with a focus on the analysis of major research methods used, the major theoretical approaches used to study social media and advocacy, recurrent sampling techniques, and the prevalent methods of data analysis. The study content analysed 53 social media and advocacy articles from 19 journals between 2010 and 2015. The meta-data revealed that more than half of the articles sampled did not indicate any theory at all. This trend is a major concern because basic research should be theory-driven with predictions based on theoretical conceptualizations. The study of published peer-reviewed journal articles also revealed that social media and advocacy research would benefit from more rigorous and systematic research process because this would ensure scientifically sound research studies.

Keywords: Trends, Social Media, Advocacy, Meta-analysis, Methodology.

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