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The Social Media Balancing Act: Testing the Use of a Balanced Self-Presentation Strategy for Politicians Using Twitter
Stockholm School of Economics.
University of Edinburgh, UK.
Stockholm School of Economics.
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Academy of Public Administration.
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2017 (English)In: Computers in human behavior, ISSN 0747-5632, E-ISSN 1873-7692, Vol. 74, 277-285 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Politicians’ clear separation between their professional and private lives has been challenged by a growing need to be seen as personable, especially on social media where this is the norm. Little, however, is known about the effect on a political party when its politicians reveal aspects of their private lives on social media. The present study addresses this question. Through the lens of self-presentation theory, we are the first to test the effect of a balanced presentation strategy on Twitter (i.e., tweets that involve both professional and private aspects of their lives) as opposed to a strictly professional one. A longitudinal design was adopted with 265 Twitter users as participants. The results showed that a balanced strategy increased both interest in the politician’s party and intention to vote for that party, irrespective of a user’s political interest, social media usage intensity, or age, or the gender of either the user or the communicating politician. Furthermore, liking the tweets emerged as a crucial mediator. This study contributes valuable knowledge on self-presentation strategies of politicians specifically, and more broadly regarding self-presentation in the face of context collapse. However we call for future research to validate our experimental findings in a real-life setting. Implications are provided for political parties and others.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 74, 277-285 p.
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-32435DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.04.042ScopusID: 2-s2.0-85018330166OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-32435DiVA: diva2:1089908
Available from: 2017-04-21 Created: 2017-04-21 Last updated: 2017-05-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf