Understanding trade union usage of social media: a case study of the Public and Commercial Services union on Facebook and Twitter

David Houghton, Andy Hodder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper provides the first cross-platform examination of trade union social media posts, focussing on the online content of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union. Data scraped from the union's Facebook posts (n = 282) were compared with data obtained from the union's Twitter account (n = 1554) to investigate the extent to which social media reflects a union's identity and utilises the language of mobilisation theory to engage with their audience. Across a six-month period (July–December 2019), findings demonstrated PCS behaved in an interactive manner on social media, avoiding the pitfalls of a ‘bulletin board’ approach through using the language of mobilisation theory. However, content was engaged with users to different extents depending upon which platform the content was posted. Findings also suggest that social media posts can reflect a version of union identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-239
Number of pages21
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Volume36
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Both authors made equal contributions to this article. We are grateful to Miguel Martinez Lucio and the two anonymous referees for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. New Technology, Work and Employment published by Brian Towers (BRITOW) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • facebook
  • internet
  • moblisation theory
  • social media
  • trade union
  • twitter
  • union

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding trade union usage of social media: a case study of the Public and Commercial Services union on Facebook and Twitter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this