Investigating social media conversations: towards implementing an online reputation management framework for NPOs


  • Juran van den Heever University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Ronel Rensburg, Prof. University of Pretoria, South Africa



Online reputation management, Online conversations, Content, Social media, Stakeholder engagement, Reputation, Non-profit organisation


The main objective of the research reported in this article was to investigate whether a proposed online reputation management framework can be implemented for an NPO to effect stakeholder engagement in social media content and conversations. The research further assessed whether an NPO can afford greater control of the social web by tracking critical comments and negative publicity and by utilising this information to manage its reputation. The latter was achieved by exploring the Facebook page of a South African trade union, Solidarity, to determine the impact of online conversations on the reputation of the NPO, regardless of the content. A case study methodology was used for the research. The research, which departed from an interpretivist tradition, aimed at analysing the online interactions of stakeholders and their impact on the reputation of the organisation. Data was elicited through interviews with administrators and the content of conversations on Facebook. The latter was analysed through content analysis. The outcomes of the research and the ideas presented in this article might assist NPOs with reputation management by implementing the online reputation management framework as a tool to manage and direct their online content and conversations for improved reputation.


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