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Key motivations for leading Facebook communities: a uses and gratifications approach

Tali Gazit (The Department of Information Science, Bar Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 30 April 2021

Issue publication date: 11 June 2021

274

Abstract

Purpose

Facebook community leaders, often nonprofessionals who make a personal decision to create and manage online spaces, are becoming key players on social media sites. Using the theoretical framework of the uses and gratifications theory, this paper reveals the motivations of these individuals who are responsible for the community's information flow, limits and members' well-being. While some studies have begun acknowledging community leaders' important role in the social media, very little is known about their motivations for creating and leading the communities, often voluntarily.

Design/methodology/approach

Using both quantitative and qualitative analyses, data were collected through a survey of 94 Facebook community leaders about their motivations for creating and leading their communities.

Findings

The content analysis of the open-ended question reveals that leaders are motivated to create communities to satisfy informational needs, social needs and individual interests. A factor analysis shows five distinct motivations for leading: social, personal, influence, efficacy and community goals. Finally, a hierarchical regression indicates that extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, time spent per day and being the creator of the community can predict the level of motivation to lead the Facebook community.

Originality/value

As more and more organizations use online communities, the findings of this study may provide insights into leaders' motivations that can help organizations select their community leaders. This study expands on current research about a popular communication tool, Facebook communities, by examining it within the context of the unique role of online leadership in the social media environment.

Keywords

Citation

Gazit, T. (2021), "Key motivations for leading Facebook communities: a uses and gratifications approach", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 73 No. 3, pp. 454-472. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-11-2020-0379

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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