Social Media as a Communication Tool: How Organizations Effectively can Utilize Social Media as a Communication Tool Before During and After a Crisis

Mi Thanh La

Student thesis: Master thesis


Social media had its breakthrough roughly around a decade ago, and has since then grown promptly to become extremely significant and indispensable to many private citizens, organizations, and public services. This has resulted in social media now being a very important tool of communication for organizations in order to reach out to stakeholders, customers in particular. Social media has changed the course of organizational and corporate communication, and communication to stakeholders is no longer the same as it used to be before the development of social media. It has broken down barriers of time, space, and traditional communication. Due to social media, the communication between organizations and stakeholders is no longer the traditional one-way communication, but now a two-way communication. Stakeholders are more empowered and demanding because of social media, and organizations have to follow the latest trends according to consumers in order to stay ahead of competitors on the market.
Stakeholders, especially consumers, have been given the power to start a crisis, which organizations have to prepare for. The exponential development of technology makes organizations extremely vulnerable and transparent, because nowadays everything is accessible and available online, making it difficult for organizations to hide anything. This means that stakeholders are more informed and therefore demanding, especially if an organization is facing a crisis.
This thesis aims to explain the importance of social media and its development to organizations and how they have been forced to alter their communication and management in general, as well as crisis communication and crisis management, because of the rapid technological development. Based on interviews conducted with communications experts and two case studies as examples of crises, I have, in this thesis, attempted to identify the challenges organizations meet when facing a crisis, how to handle it, and how to overcome it with as little brand damage as possible. Furthermore, I bring in this study a section on future recommendations and propositions for Danish organizations preparing for any potential crisis they might face by implementing social media as a communication tool correctly in order to prevent any possible crises from happening.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages119