American Cancer Society in Facebook and Twitter

Executive Summary

Social media are extremely crucial to every organization communication; it makes up the heart of each business. Every information that the organization passes to its stakeholder is exceedingly dear. The feedback given by stakeholders is the motivating factor of an organization. It enables an organization to analyze its impact on the public. This engagement will be more meaningful if immediate feedback and information dissemination means are adopted. This leads to the use of Facebook and Twitter which allows fast dissemination of information. Compared to other social media it has numerous advantages in the sides of the operation, cost, and speed among others.

The report unearths that the use of Facebook and Twitter has enabled ACS in the fast dissemination of information. ACS has built a strong relationship between the organization and stakeholders. Distance and geographical barriers have been broken by the two social media. ACS support has improved rapidly in the world. Information the, organization posts, are received by millions of people at no cost. Events are well communicated to stakeholders and the participants can confirm their participation before the event took place. This helps in the success of such events. Facebook and Twitter have given room to ACS to record videos on their page. The videos are detailed in information on how to prevent, cure, and take care of cancer patients. This has helped many patients to take care of themselves thus prolong their lives and minimize suffering which is extremely vital to ACS.

Introduction

As the years unfold, there has been a significant change in the manner in which society sends and receives information. Facebook and Twitter have opened avenues in which information gathering and sharing is done (Robbins, 2009). They have become the most prominent ways of obtaining information and means of communicating with stakeholders. As new technologies are innovated and brought to market, ACS needs to embrace those which are beneficial to its mandate. Facebook and tweeter provide sites for individuals and organizations to chat with each other which leads to a strong link between the two parties.

Since communication has changed from one way to two ways, ACS has no option other than to engage in social media that have to provide this. Researchers have found out that the only way to reach the public conveniently is by using Facebook and Twitter sites. ACS being a nonprofit making organization, its prime goal is to gain the support of its stakeholders. They do this by composing messages conveying their cause and distributing them to a vast geographical area (Jessica, 2009). Through the use, of Twitter and Facebook ACS has been able to send these messages at a nominal cost. Upcoming events as well as creating a community to fulfill their cause. However, if ACS will not provide updated information on its Facebook and Twitter then, this will lead it to be being viewed negatively. This report will go to address how ACS uses Facebook and Twitter to communicate with the stakeholders. The report will provide information on how ACS has utilized Facebook and Twitter services to communicate with its stakeholders.

Methods

To determine whether ACS has used Twitter communication tools, the researcher carried out a content analysis of ACS tweets used in the past six months. On how the organization uses Facebook the frequency in which it updates its status to determine how much the ACS engages it with the stakeholders. The comments and likes number of people on its Facebook page has been used to determine the organization’s involvement in Facebook. To have a reliable analysis, the researcher will use the number of persons who say they like and commend on the ACS Facebook page as well as the users in the Twitter account.

Background information

Many organizations are opting to use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This is because these allow fast dissemination of information as well as fast information exchange. These two have opened up the possibility of the organization to engage their stakeholders in their day to day activities. This is achieved by allowing stakeholders to send any information they have fast and receive feedback within a little time. A research carried out in 2009 showed that Twitter is a magnificent avenue for customer management. Failure of the organization to respond to PMs is equivalent to the organization’s unresponsiveness. For nonprofit making organizations sending PMs is a way in which they show responsiveness and it creates a dialogue between the organization and the stakeholders (Silvia, 2009). The frequency, in which the organization engages in Facebook and Twitter, is seen as the degree to which the organization is active. Active organizations are considered to be those who post once or more than per week while inactive organizations are those who take more than a week to post.

Consultants have been advising organizations to use social media to create an intimate linkage with their stakeholders. Despite this, there is only a scanty result that shows social media growing social media being a mainstay in public relations efforts. Many nonprofit organizations are using Twitter and Facebook as a traditional information subsidy. Research has shown that people are pathetic to the organization. Social media are helping organizations to improve customer relationships, extend the reach of marketing dollars, and improve the stakeholders’ engagement (Safko, 2010). To be effective organizations need to view social media as an integral part of their overall communication strategy. It does not need to be the tools themselves, but they have to view social media as the relationship.

When social media are applied effectively, it will uncover significant opportunities for every organization which it can use to deepen prevailing relationships and lead to the emergence of new ones. Not all messages can be conveyed using Twitter and facebook because some data may be too complex to communicate via Facebook and Twitter. Another reason is that not all stakeholders have embraced social media thus the need to use other, communication devices. Facebook page and Twitter account are among the top 15 breast cancer charities. Facebook and Twitter allow interpersonal communication between and among users. This offers individuals and organizations new opportunities to communicate with each other and stakeholders. Studies have found that people tend to trust organizations that engage actively in social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Findings

Facebook is easy to use, no training is needed to convey information using Facebook (Shih, 2009). The service is open to all different people. The old, as well as the young ones, can have access to the service. Facebook and Twitter service is cheap to its users making it preferred to other social media. Many people can afford to express their views, in one day many people do visit Facebook thus making it the best means that one can reach a wide audience. The message conveyed through Facebook is fast almost immediate. This makes it to be the best when conveying. It is extremely easy to set up and maintain Facebook making it favorable for any organization to use. The use of Facebook and Twitter has enabled ACS been seen as a credible organization. There is much trust among the stakeholders and many people have come to trust them. This has been followed by an improvement in donor funding.

Many people are posting much information on the ACS Facebook page and the Twitter account. This has led to considerable communication between the stakeholders and the organization. Beneficiaries of the ACS have made reliable feedback on the Twitter account and the Facebook page. ACS has engaged in active response to the stakeholder’s communication. ACS has disseminated most information through these two social media forums. ACS has two Twitter accounts i.e. general profile and More Birthday campaign. The Twitter account has more than 15000 followers. The site provides updates to more than 30,000 users.

Facebook is secure since one cannot alter the information written on it. One can comment but, he cannot change the information. This makes it a reliable way to convey a message because the organization is confidant that the intended message cannot be altered. Facebook provides a room for users to make known their views. This is crucial as immediate feedback can be achieved. Immediate response can be used to implement any suggestion as fast as possible. The Twitter disadvantage is that the organization is supposed to respond to Public Messages. This might be time-consuming. Many organizations may receive a lot of PMs which are overwhelming to the organization (Whitlock, 2008). Responding to a vast number of PMs would overload organization Twitter updates and this makes the users ignore messages which might be more beneficial to an organization.

Twitter has hashtags, which help, users, to obtain information about the topic that they want. This helps users to save time and ensures an easier exchange of information. The use of hashtags helps in the sorting of information in normal and emergencies rapidly. The failure of an organization tweeting more than three times a week makes organization tweets buried in its follower’s feed. Sending many tweets by an organization clutter its followers feed, which results, in users un-following the organization.

ACS has benefited from Facebook applications, which are designed, purposely to raise money for organizations. Facebook application Causes allow users to donate their contribution directly to ACS and other organizations and invite others to do the same. Facebook has developed several applications designed to help organizations raise money (Veer, 2008). Facebook uses HTTPS to ensure the information one sends is secure to ensure no unauthorized person. Facebook has created advanced features that enable user information is private and secure. The use of Facebook and Twitter has enabled ACS been seen as a credible organization. There is much trust among the stakeholders and many people have come to trust them. This has been followed by an improvement in donor funding.

Many people are posting much information on the ACS Facebook page and the Twitter account. This has led to vigorous communication between the stakeholders and the organization. Beneficiaries of the ACS have made reliable feedback on the Twitter account and the Facebook page. ACS has engaged in active response to the stakeholder’s communication. ACS has disseminated most information through these two social media forums. ACS has two Twitter accounts i.e. general profile and More Birthday campaign. The Twitter account has more than 15000 followers. The site provides updates to more than 30,000 users.

Facebook has enabled ACS to upload and share unlimited photos with the stakeholders which can be set to be viewed by all, a certain group of people. Facebook has seen ACS promote its events and invite their contacts to confirm whether they will attend or not. This has helped ACS to be well prepared before the event takes place leading to the success of such events. ACS has set up Facebook with Guidestar making it eligible to be a beneficiary on Facebook causes. Facebook provides a wall that makes one see the activities of one’s network at a glance. The number of viewers is too many on Facebook than those on Twitter. Both of them attract different people who are of different social grounds. Academicians contribute remarkably as well as the general public. Discussions are conducted in a mature way that helps to make the rest of the viewers feel free to contribute and depend on their contribution. This has made ACS be seen as the most well-managed organization.

Viewers and commentators on Facebook and Twitter have made other people feel the message contained on these two social media. This has boosted stakeholder contribution towards the activities that ACS engages in. the immediate response to viewers questions and up to date information has enabled ACS to be considered as the active communicator. American Cancer Society’s Facebook page follows a trend of non-profit. Organizations. This is through creating a fan page that has robust supporters and posting videos, news, and links. This Facebook page gives much information and engages more than 245,000 supporters. The site provides links to many associated websites. The site also posts links to current news and activities. This makes supporters participate fully in the cause through events and online surveys associated with the American Cancer Society.

Comparison

Red Cross has utilized Facebook and Twitter to alert the world on any disaster relief especially after a catastrophic event like the one that happened in Haiti and Chile. Red Cross uses these two social media to request funds. American Red Cross has many likes, more than 202,000. This is a greater number than the number of people who like the two social media of ACS. The Red Cross Twitter and Facebook page is updated frequently than the ACS Twitter and Face book page. Red Cross messages are more appealing and, therefore: they can attract more funds from the well-wishers than the ACS. Red Cross Facebook evolves fast than the ACS to meet the demands of its mandate making it popular among the public. Its Facebook page is ranked among the top five active sites.

Cancer Council Australia’s use of Facebook and Twitter is extremely similar to that of ACS. Both have similar messages, appealing videos, and almost the same course. They have feedbacks from the beneficiaries who appreciate their help with gratitude. The photos on their wall have cancer messages and means to use to eliminate cancer from the public. ACS updates are more frequent than the updates of Cancer Council Australia. There is much information on the ACS Facebook page as well as the Twitter account compared to that of Cancer Council Australia.

Recommendation

ACS should ensure its Facebook page and Twitter accounts should be well updated to serve as an engaging forum for stakeholders. Though Facebook and Twitter services are free to ACS and other nonprofit making organizations they have to know that the technology and time necessary to configure, monitor, and update them has a cost (Baird, 2009). There should be a continuous update to ensure the information given is reliable.ACS should post more videos and photos as these contain more information to the viewers. Through them, there will be more information dissemination. This will enable ACS to achieve its mandates i.e. to have a cancer-free society.

Conclusion

Research shows that ACS uses Facebook and Twitter to reach her stakeholders. Information, which is not, current, may lead to being perceived in a negative manner (Collier, 2010). Therefore, ACS needs to ensure it up dates the information in social media. ACS has benefited especially in its effort in organizing campaigns to fight cancer and other issues. They have made ACS organize events and ensure they are successful. ACS has strengthened the relationship with her donors as every piece of information is posted on these social media. This information is considered as the openness and accountability of ACS.

Many beneficiaries can share their stories a thing that makes users of these social media engagement. Individuals are allowed to create and establish groups related to a cause and these do not require the funding of ACS. Twitter provides users to choose one among five personalized ACS designs for their page (Fitton, 2010). This has enabled ACS to get support from vast areas. This is through creating a fan page that has robust supporters and posting videos, news, and links. This Facebook page gives much information and engages more than 245,000 supporters. ACS should strive to extract all the benefits associated with Facebook and Twitter.

References

Baird, T. 2009, The Truth about Facebook. I live,Pty Ltd,Emereo.

Collier, M. 2010, Facebook and Twitter For Seniors For Dummies,Port Press, Chicago.

Fitton, L. 2010, Twitter for Dummies,for Dummies,Ohio.

Jessica, V. 2009, Twitter Trips on its rapid growth. Wall street , London.

Robbins, A. ,2009, Twitter Power:How to Dominate Your Market One at a Time. Wiley,California.

Safko, L. 2010, The social Media Bible, Wiley, Virginia.

Shih, C. 2009, The Facebook Era, Prentice Hall,Virginia.

Silvia, C. 2009, Social Media. How American Cancer Society use social media, Adventures Press, Chicago.

Veer, V. 2008, Facebook:The missing Manual, Pogue Press,London.

Whitlock, W. 2008, Twitter Revolution, Xeno Press, Chicago.