Can Political Candidate's Use Of Facebook To Influence Real World Outcomes? An Analysis Of Uses And Gratifications Needs, Online Participation And Offline Outcomes On Candidate's Facebook Pages
Esposito, Carl C.
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Facebook pages are becoming an ever-increasing way to market and promote people, products and ideas on social media. This thesis explores whether or not political candidate's Facebook pages can influence real world offline outcomes. In this study the uses and gratifications theory is applied to explain the needs satisfied when users interact with a political candidate's pages to determine if online participation can be predicted based on those needs. Additionally, this study examines the relationship between online participation and offline participation with the candidate's campaign. This exploratory study lays the groundwork for future research to test how online participation can influence specific offline participation related to the goals of the candidate's Facebook page. The results show a relationship between the needs satisfied by political candidate's Facebook pages and different levels of online participation as well as a relationship between online participation and offline participation and intent to vote.