Exploring the use of Facebook as a communication tool in agricultural-related social movements
A social movement is a personal obligation taken on by an individual, due to either a personal experience or responsibility, to pursue action to implement a change in a community or society. Facebook is a social networking device in which users interact through conversations, and build relationships by networking with other users. Facebook groups are created as part of a smaller community within the social networking site and focus on particular interests or beliefs about certain issues that are shared by users. The purpose of this study was to determine why individuals use social media, specifically Facebook, to communicate information in social movements related to agricultural issues. Eight interviews were conducted with Facebook participants who actively contribute to the promotion of a social movement through the social networking site. Interview questions were asked to address the five research objectives for the study. Results found that participants said they are successful in using Facebook to promote the social movements they represent. Participants are personally motivated to actively recruit and participate in Facebook as an informational and promotional communication channel. Though participants primarily promote their message through Facebook, they also use other social media tools to help reach as many people as possible. Overall, participants have been pleased with the outcome of their Facebook groups, and offer advice for future practitioners who want to use social media to promote agricultural movements.