International Sport Federations’ Social Media Communication: A Content Analysis of FIFA’s Twitter Account

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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This study aimed to analyze the way Twitter is used by international sport federations (ISFs) to interact and engage with their followers. A content analysis of 5,389 online messages tweeted by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) using NVivo qualitative data-analysis software was conducted between August 2014 and January 2015. Results suggest that FIFA does not use Twitter to its full potential, mainly sharing 1-way information rather than engaging to a greater level with its followers. The research highlights the importance of effectively using Twitter as a potential powerful communication tool for ISFs, which are understood as meta-organizations whose members are organizations themselves. Communicating about social development and engaging followers, including their affiliated national sport associations, could potentially increase ISFs’ reputation and build trust among followers and stakeholders.

Winand and Merten are with the International Sport Management Dept., LUNEX International University of Health, Exercise and Sports, Differdange, Luxembourg. Belot is with the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, and Kolyperas, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling, Scotland. Belot is also with Bannatyne Health Club & Spa, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Winand (mathieu.winand@lunex-university.net) is corresponding author.
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