Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine current social media practice, understand the perceived utility of social media in achieving organisational goals and investigate the barriers faced by NGBs and LSPs in Ireland concerning social media use. Finally, it sought to investigate best practice recommendations in the use of social media for NGBs and LSPs. Methods: This research employed two forms of data collection in a three-phase methodology. Firstly, one semi-structured interview with a key informant was used to establish best practice recommendations. An adapted online questionnaire was then circulated to Ireland’s national population of NGBs (N=65) and LSPs (N=29) to investigate the usage, goals and barriers relating to the use of social media. Finally, ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with NGBs (n=6) and LSPs (n=4) to give greater insight into the research questions posed. Findings: The response rate for this research was 48% (n=45). Overall, NGBs and LSPs used a mixture of textual and multimedia content to engage with and educate followers on Facebook and Twitter. Two main organisational goals emerged: information dissemination and promotion. The barriers identified were a lack of organisational resources, expertise and control. Best practice recommendations were made in the areas of usage, sponsorship and resources. Conclusions: For NGBs and LSPs, the perceived utility of social media lies in its ability to reach a wide audience to increase awareness of, and to promote the organisation and sport. However, it is unlikely that current practice is achieving these objectives. There is disparity between current use and best practice recommendations. This is mainly due to a lack of resources and social media expertise. It is suggested that NGBs and LSPs pool resources and upskill in order to reach best practice standards. This could result in success in areas such as communication, promotion and sponsorship.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2019|
- Social media, health sciences, sporting organisations