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The State of Social Media Research in CSR Communication

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Abstract

Social media has brought opportunities for individuals to access news, data, and information immediately. These interactive platforms are a fundamental part of people’s everyday life where they can create, share, and curate content. There is no doubt that social media has changed the way organizations and companies communicate and cultivate relationships with stakeholders. Due to this immediacy in communication, companies must be honest, be reputable, and behave as good citizens. Firms should keep publics informed about their CSR initiatives for encouraging their loyalty and commitment to environmental and socially responsible efforts. This chapter discusses the state of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication through social media, explaining main contributions in the field. Social media is an excellent and cost-effective tool for communicating economic, social, and environmental issues with different groups of stakeholders. Communicating CSR through social media demonstrates commitment, influence, and reputation. It provides immediate feedback from publics, which can instantly lead a company to success or failure due to word-of-mouth and viral information. This exploratory study employs a thematic analysis of studies about CSR communication and social media published in the past 10 years. It highlights the main themes and trends in the literature, making emphasis on the importance of interactivity and stakeholder engagement. The chapter concludes with a discussion of both key opportunities and challenges for firms and stakeholders in the communication of CSR through social media, focusing on how interactivity is a way to transform CSR online communication.

Keywords

  • Social media
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • CSR communication
  • Interactivity
  • Stakeholder engagement

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Correspondence to Lina M. Gomez .

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Gomez, L.M. (2021). The State of Social Media Research in CSR Communication. In: Crowther, D., Seifi, S. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-42465-7_66

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