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Rönnols, Linn, 2016. Facebook as a multi-tool for public engagement and mobilizing : insights into the new world of online activism. Second cycle, A1E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



The upswing of social media in recent years has altered the field of environmental communication and facilitated a more widespread conversation about environmental issues. Facebook and other social media have opened up a lot of new possibilities for online campaigning and engaging with the public. So how are NGOs using Facebook to engage the public in environmental campaigns? In this study I will try to answer this question by an exploratory study of Sweden’s largest ENGO Swedish Society for Nature Conservation’s (Naturskyddsföreningen) campaign "Byt till eko" (or “Switch to Organic” in free translation).
Other studies and theories on social media, campaigns, and engaging the public show that the world of today, with a more individualized society as well as a more digital one, has serious implications for NGOs and how they can and should work to engage supporters. Social media can be a great tool to mobilize people and with individualized options for engagement, the chance of success is enhanced.
With the help of other studies and theories on social media and engagement, I have analyzed and discussed the strategy and practice of SSNC on Facebook. I have found that they use Facebook in multiple ways: to inform, engage, empower, and mobilize. They have targeted both consumers and grocery stores, and during the campaign, organic consumption has risen faster in Sweden than other comparable countries; although it is hard to assess how much impact the Switch to Organic campaign had on the increase. I argue that Facebook is an important platform for mobilizing and engaging, with its many connections between people and its built-in features for instant sharing of content between all of those connected people.

Main title:Facebook as a multi-tool for public engagement and mobilizing
Subtitle:insights into the new world of online activism
Authors:Rönnols, Linn
Supervisor:Joosse, Sofie
Examiner:Westberg, Lotten
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A1E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:ENGO, NGO, social media, Facebook, environmental communication, online campaign, public engagement, mobilization, weak ties
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Extension
Consumer economics
Deposited On:06 Oct 2016 13:43
Metadata Last Modified:06 Oct 2016 13:43

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