To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Applying the dialogic theory to social networking sites: Examining how university health centers convey health messages on Facebook

Richard D. Waters (School of Business and Professional Studies, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA)
Rachel R. Canfield (Department of Communication, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Jenny M. Foster (Department of Communication, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Eva E. Hardy (Department of Communication, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)

Journal of Social Marketing

ISSN: 2042-6763

Article publication date: 11 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how US universities' health centers are using dialogue and engagement on social networking sites to educate students and their followers about health issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a content analysis of health centers' Facebook profiles, the research team examines the use of Kent and Taylor's dialogic principles of communication.

Findings

Results indicate that when a health center attracts a large number of followers online, their usage of the outlet as a dialogic tool increases significantly.

Practical implications

The study found that university health centers have a presence on Facebook, but they really are not using the site strategically to gain followers and educate them about health issues that they have pledged to address on their campuses.

Originality/value

The dialogic principles of communication have been examined significantly on web sites and blogs, but this is one of the first studies to test them in the social networking site environment.

Keywords

Citation

Waters, R.D., Canfield, R.R., Foster, J.M. and Hardy, E.E. (2011), "Applying the dialogic theory to social networking sites: Examining how university health centers convey health messages on Facebook", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 211-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/20426761111170713

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited