Facebook Usage by Mayors in Central and Southeastern Europe


The ever increasing rise of social media network users consequently leaves a mark on political communication. While social media tools are already adopted in political marketing, primarily in election campaigning, governments are still new in using social media. The aim of this study is to examine how Facebook is used by city mayors in countries of Central and Southeastern Europe in two months period, from March 1st to April 30th of 2012. Using content analysis we first analyzed status massages in order to see what kind of status messages they post: personal or political. Secondly, we conducted an analysis of comments on the examined statuses, in order to examine if citizens make constructive, cynical, supportive or neutral comments. We examined ten city mayors’ Facebook pages in five countries, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia and Slovenia. The results have revealed that city mayors in Central and Southeastern Europe use Facebook almost exclusively for official purposes. Secondly, the analysis of citizens’ comments demonstrates that expressing cynicism on Facebook is not the trend in these countries. The findings further confirm that Facebook is a good platform for gathering supporters, while there were no strong evidence found that it serves as platform for constructive discussion. The paper finally discusses how politician’s status messages can engage a larger number of citizens

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oaioai:doaj.org/article:9...Last time updated on 12/17/2014

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