There has been a growing body of research regarding how organizations and general publics communicate on social media during crises. Integrating the uses and gratifications perspective, the social-mediated crisis communication model, and the framing approach, our study offers a consolidated framework explaining how and why motivated social media publics communicate during crises. Namely, we examined whether and how influentials and followers employed different message functions through communicative devices including frames and styles. A content analysis was conducted on 800 tweets sampled from influentials and followers discussing the 2017 Ariana Grande concert bombing disaster. Our results (N = 800) suggested that influentials and followers adopted distinct communicative functions on social media during the disaster. Influentials engaged in information sharing and support exchange, whereas followers engaged in opinion expression and emotional coping. Influentials and followers also adopted specific frames and styles to achieve these communicative functions. Our findings can help crisis communicators understand the needs, concerns, and communication features of different publics and construct effective messages to reach them.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Management Information Systems
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- crisis communication
- social-mediated crisis communication model
- uses and gratifications