The more the merrier? Examining the relationship between emotional expressions and user engagement on Swedish nonprofits’ Facebook pages, 2014-2019

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragKonferenspaper, ej i proceeding/ej förlagsutgivet


Organizations interact with their stakeholders to a large degree through social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube ( Bellucci & Manetti, 2017). There are indications that there is an increase in the use of emotional language in organizations’ external communication in social media over time, since this is thought to generate more stakeholder engagement (Weinryb et al, 2021). There is however a lack of longitudinal studies on the use of emotions in organizational communication in social media (Schreiner et al, 2019). This research gap makes it more difficult to appreciate the dynamics in organization’s strategic communication in social media. In this study, we use sentiment analysis (Mohammad, 2016) to analyze the development of emotional language and emojis in the organizational posts (about 120 000) on Facebook from 124 Swedish nonprofit organizations, during the period 2014-2019, and connect them to engagement rates. The social media data was collected using Facebook’s CrowdTangle research tool, and coded for sentiments using the AFINN lexicon. The results indicate that the use of emotional language in the posts increases during the time period, as well as positive sentiments (as compared to negative sentiments), and the intensity of the sentiments. There is furthermore a strong correlation between emotional language and post engagement rates, which suggests that emotions are used strategically to increase user engagement and fundraising. There are however also indications that the effect of emotional language on user engagement decreases over time.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Södertörn University
  • Kristiania University College

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Kommunikationsvetenskap
  • Företagsekonomi


StatusUnpublished - 2021
Peer review utfördNej
EvenemangNordMedia 2021: : Crisis and Resilience: Nordic Media Research on the Frontline - Zoom, Reykjavik, Island
Varaktighet: 2021 aug 182021 aug 20


KonferensNordMedia 2021:

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