Social media use during power outage events
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This study explores how consumers use social media networking sites during power outage events. Using a qualitative research lens, the study explores consumer motivation as it relates Uses and Gratifications theory as well as the growing reliance on social media channels for information as it relates to the Information Society theory. The study employs two methodologies for the research: consumer focus groups and textual analysis of Facebook posts related to outages and of industry survey reports. This body of research seeks to learn how consumers utilize social networking sites during power outage situations. The study draws from research of communications scholars who previously addressed crisis communications, new media use and the motivations that cause individuals to consume information via interactive and real-time communication mediums such as social networking sites. Of notable relevance, the study draws implications for electric utilities and their engagement and communication with the consumers they serve. The research is structured to provide an overview of applicable theory and related literature, offer a comprehensive review of the methods, provide analysis of results and discuss answers to the research questions and meanings derived from the research as well as limitations and opportunities for future research.
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