Business Administration Project Topics

The Role of Twitter in Crisis Communication for Businesses

The Role of Twitter in Crisis Communication for Businesses

The Role of Twitter in Crisis Communication for Businesses

Chapter One

Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the role of Twitter in crisis communication for business. Specific objectives of this study include:

  1. To examine how Twitter can help an organization provide a crisis response to its stakeholders;
  2. To investigate the motivations of individuals for using Twitter in a crisis.
  3. To identify perceptions of the value of Twitter as a useful crisis communications tactic.



Conceptual Review

The Concept of Social Media

For whatever reason, it has been said that the phrase “social media” is deceptive. According to Vaynerchuk (2015), social media is a cultural revolution that the internet has launched rather than just a form of media. Because it is viewed as an anti-social tool that discourages interaction between people in the same area, increasing the number of solitary people, the name “social media” has also come under fire for being inaccurate (Kizgin, 2018).

This view was supported by Frieze (2016), who believes that social media’s isolation is equally significant to its networking capabilities. According to Sugars, Facebook and other social media sites are interactive client databases for businesses (2018). Furthermore, Ayhan (2019) asserts that the term “social media” is deceptive because, by definition, all media are social. The anti-social and anti-democratic characteristics of social media, in Mangold & Faulds’ opinion (2019), make the term “social media” somewhat misleading. Social media is inextricably linked to terms from the information technology world. These expressions mean many things depending on who you ask (Beauchamp, 2016). In contrast to traditional media, which only distributes content and does not give users the option to edit it, social media refers to online media that promotes communication through the use of feedback and actively involves people in the creation and enhancement of the content (Bajpai, Pandey & Shriwas, 2016). (Bajpai, Pandey & Shriwas,, 2016). Moreover, according to Kaplan & Haenlein (2018), social media might be viewed as a group of web-based programmes built on concepts similar to those of Web 2.0 technology, enabling the creation and exchange of information or other user-generated content. They divided social media into many categories, including blogs (individual/community), project-based websites, virtual worlds (social/game), and social networking sites. It is feasible to exploit these digital social spaces for social media advertising. Facebook is a fantastic illustration of social media because it possesses all the qualities mentioned above as well as additional ones. Social media has changed significantly over the past 10 years, and as a result, social media networks have started to gradually replace traditional media. This invention has improved internet marketing by employing a variety of marketing techniques and strategies, creating limitless marketing chances(Kaplan & Haenlein (2018).

Modern technology has steadily altered how individuals engage with one another. Social networking sites like Facebook are now widely accessible thanks to Web 2.0 technologies, enabling users to communicate with almost everyone on the planet. Individuals are speaking more on social media sites like Facebook and unknowingly leaving behind traces of their contacts, which the managers of these social media sites may simply access (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2018).

Users of social media networks like Facebook create user-generated content, which has emerged as one of the highlights of online interaction transmissions (Lenhart et al., 2018). In 2017, Lipsman considered the chance that 1 out of every 6 internet connections occurs through social media. Advertising has made social media a priority to build long-lasting ties with their customers. Over 340 of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States in 2009 acknowledged that they monitor social media activity linked to their brands’ products and services. Around 215 of these firms described social media as being essential to the marketing and sales of their goods and services (Misner, 2019).

Since the platforms and technology that enable user cooperation, content production, and exchange on the interactive web are directly responsible for social media development, the technological side of social media dynamics is very important. According to Solis (2017), social media has altered how people discover, use, and share news, information, and content. Solis contends that social media transforms monologue (one-to-many) information flow into dialogue (many-to-many) through the use of sociology and technology (Misner, 2019).

Social media, which by definition is interactive, is also known as citizen media, new media, or user-generated media (Kocak & Terkan, 2019). Traditional media is created by businesses, and information only circulates from the business to the intended audience in one manner (one-to-many). Social media users actively engage in many-to-many communication as the information flow when using the platform.

Kocak & Terkan(2019) claim that social media is democratising information and transforming people from content consumers to content producers. This concept emphasises the capacity for content creation and the understanding of the role that individuals play in the process. Evans asserts that there is more to social media use than just information consumption and dissemination. For people to participate, it also concerns how they share and creates content. This phenomenon, following Kocak & Terkan (2019), can be linked to a shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many model that is based on a dialogical framework between media makers and consumers.

Types of Social Media Platforms


The goal of Facebook, which was launched in 2004, is to “make the world more open and connected” (Fact sheet – Facebook). More than 70 languages are supported by Facebook, and about 80% of users are located outside of the US and Canada (Stopfer & Gosling, 2019). The largest social networking platform in the world, Facebook allows users to post information about their hobbies, activities, relationship status, political views, and other things (Stutzman & Kramer-Duffield, 2020). It is also possible to establish and keep up relationships with other users. Each user maintains a list of friends that includes other people they communicate with (Ibid). The user can update their status and add pictures (Stopfer & Gosling, 2019). Initially, Facebook was mostly used by students, but today it’s common for users to have parents, bosses, and lecturers as friends (Ibid). Less than half of Facebook users in 2010 were between the ages of 18 and 24, while persons over 30 have the site’s fastest-increasing user base (Stopfer & Gosling, 2019).




Research Design

Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated logically to effectively address a research problem(Shukla, 2020). In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. A survey research design was adopted for this study.

Population of the Study

This is the summation of the characteristics that are of interest in a statistical investigation. It comprises every unit that can be used to apply research findings. In other words, a population is a grouping of all the units that have the variable attribute that is the subject of the study and for which general conclusions can be drawn (Shukla, 2020). The population for the study will consist of executives and their subordinates in the organization which is charged with the application of management by objectives to attain organizational goals in the organization. A target population of 260 respondents was adopted for this study.

Sample Size and Sampling Technique

A sample is a portion of a larger whole(population). It is a portion of the population that serves as a proxy for it. Sampling is the statistical process involved in selecting a small number of elements called a sample from a large number of elements called a population  (Kamangar & Islami, 2017).  A convenient sample of  142 respondents was drawn for this study.



Data Presentation




Summary of Findings

The analysis carried out in this study revealed that 67.5% agreed and strongly agreed that Twitter can assist an organisation in providing crisis response to its shareholders by providing instant updates of news and information, 5.8% were unsure, and 27.6% disagreed and strongly disagreed with this idea. This analysis suggests that the management of organisational crises can be accomplished through the use of real-time news and information updates. Engagement with stakeholders and customers on Twitter can assist manage the communication crises in a business, according to 59.2% of research participants, 19.2% of whom were not confident of this idea, and 21.7% of whom disagreed and strongly disagreed. This analysis reveals that a business can control communication crises by engaging with stakeholders and customers. 22.5% of respondents disagreed and strongly disagreed with the idea that starting a conversation on Twitter can assist handle a communication problem in a business, while 3.3% were unsure. So, using Twitter to foster conversation within a company can aid in managing communication crises. 75.9% of respondents agreed and strongly agreed that using Twitter to apply crisis management can assist manage communication issues in the company. Just 5% of respondents were unsure, and 19.2% opposed and strongly disagreed with this idea. The researcher, therefore, concludes that the application of crisis management can holp solve communication crises in business. 66.7% of the respondents agreed and strongly agreed that reaching a wide range of audiences through the use of Twitter can help manage crisis communication in an organization, 14.2% were not sure of this notion while 19.2% disagreed and strongly disagreed with this notion. The researcher, therefore, deduces that the use of Twitter to reach a large audience in an organization can help manage communication crises.

The empirical evaluation carried out in this study showed that 73.3% of respondents agreed and strongly agreed that they use Twitter to access online information, 7.5% were unsure, and 19.2% strongly disagreed with this statement. This suggests that the majority of social media users utilise Twitter to access internet content. 26.7% of respondents disagreed and strongly disagreed with the idea that they use social media to share their thoughts on topics online, compared to 67.5% who agreed and highly agreed with this statement. According to this analysis, the majority of social media users on Twitter use the platform to voice their thoughts on various topics. 11.6% of respondents disagreed and strongly disagreed, compared to 69.2% who agreed and strongly agreed that they use Twitter to follow news and topics. This empirical analysis shows that the majority of social media users on Twitter only follow news and political concerns. 12.5% of the respondents disagreed and strongly disagreed with the statement that they use Twitter to obtain real-time information, compared to 82.5% who agreed and highly agreed with it. According to this analysis, the majority of Twitter users utilise the service to access real-time news on various topics. 9.2% of respondents disagreed and strongly disagreed with the idea that they use Twitter to get answers to questions, compared to 85.8% who agreed and highly agreed with the idea. This suggests that a significant portion of Twitter users utilise the service to search for information.

Findings in this study revealed that 76.7% of respondents agreed and strongly agreed that Twitter is useful because it enables instant information sharing, whereas 14.2% were unsure and 9.2% disagreed. This demonstrates how effective Twitter is at spreading breaking news. With the use of Twitter, information can reach millions of users inside communities, according to 80.8% of respondents who agreed and strongly agreed, 7.5% of whom were unsure, and 11.6% of whom disagreed and strongly disagreed. This suggests that Twitter enables the instantaneous dissemination of news and information to millions of individuals in a matter of minutes. 75.8% of respondents agreed and strongly agreed that Twitter may be used as an emergency broadcast method to acquire crucial information, 5% were unsure, and 17.2% objected and strongly disagreed with this idea. This investigation demonstrates the value of Twitter as a source of emergency news and information. 14.2% of respondents were unsure of this statement, while 19.2% disagreed and strongly disagreed with it. Of the respondents, 66.7% agreed and strongly agreed that Twitter is good for providing live news/information updates. This suggests that Twitter can be helpful for real-time news and information updates. The rapidity with which Twitter can be utilised to publish crisis-related news can assist manage such crises with ease, according to 59.2% of the respondents.


The emergence of social media has altered the landscape of crisis communication since it allows for greater engagement, enabling the creation, sharing, and exchange of knowledge, ideas, and images/videos in a matter of seconds. Yet, because social media is interactive and dialogic, it is a simpler medium to build communities and mobilise support for the protest. Public relations professionals and organisations are advised to monitor social media activity and take appropriate action since, if used properly, it might serve as a forum for negotiations during crises. Further research should look at whether using face-to-face communication or word-of-mouth is more appropriate during a crisis and how much social media should be used by organisations and public relations professionals. In times of crisis, blogs have been demonstrated to be a useful communication tool between organisations and their audience. But, future investigators will need to provide more explanation regarding the kinds of messages that should be posted on blogs during crises. By starting a new group or company webpage on Facebook, businesses could potentially get advantages. Further research is required to confirm earlier findings and go farther to fully describe how public relations professionals should use Facebook in times of crisis.

Parallel to this, research on the use of Twitter for crisis management indicates that businesses should establish accounts on this social media platform and that the quality of followers is just as crucial as their quantity. This necessitates that businesses and public relations professionals keep an eye on communication processes in advance and analyse influencers and opinion leaders. When there is a crisis, viewers can view events or images from the scene via media-sharing websites like YouTube (for videos), Flickr, and Instagram (for photos). Thus, the best responses and fastest feedback are usually obtained through Twitter because it permits immediate and faster responses.


Crisis communications and social media standards became a topic when the primary study was analysed. The sources offer thoughts and opinions from specialists working in this field, even though these materials may have been generated with hidden agendas because authors may be marketing their services. Hence, information was gathered and examined to create the following recommendations. Engage with stakeholders before crises so they know where to find you and can build a relationship;

  1. Do not withhold information when updating social media, especially Twitter, with fresh happenings. Release a brief holding statement if the information is unavailable to let stakeholders know you are aware of the issue.
  2. Use platforms, hashtags, and lists to track brand and reputation so you can interact with stakeholders and rapidly correct inaccurate information.
  3. Put a plan in place for crisis communications that fully utilise social media, outline the services and platforms to be used, and specify team member duties.
  4. Utilize Twitter to augment traditional media and inform the press of where interested parties might obtain further information.
  5. Own your brand on social media platforms and ensure the organization’s name or brand is easy to find.


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