Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
In this research the social media communications of the Swedish Embassies in London, Paris, Belgrade and Zagreb have been studied. All Swedish Embassies have been using Facebook and Twitter since it was declared in Statement of Government Policy in 2013. The aim is to evaluate how Twitter and Facebook have been utilised so far, what topics are highlighted, and provide ideas how to make the full advantage of social media as a foreign policy tool.
The research data was gathered using both qualitative and quantitative methods: an interview with the Head of Digital Diplomacy at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the Communication Specialists at the four Swedish Embassies. Information from the missions Facebook and Twitter accounts from a period of two months was collected using quantitative content analysis, along with Anholt’s model of Competitive Identity.
The results showed that the four Embassies are all using social media channels daily, with Twitter more actively than Facebook. The Embassies’ social media communication covers mainly cultural topics, especially on Facebook. Twitter is used more for policy related topics, but culture still dominates both channels. Instead of using Facebook and Twitter as individual channels, they are often used as a platform with a link to other websites.
Most of the Embassies’ social media posts were informative, which seems to work in Twitter, but it is notable that in Facebook, more personal and informal updates gained more popularity and engagement from the public. Based on these findings, it is recommended that the missions wishing to engage on social media, need to seek ways to communicate informally and personally on Facebook, while concentrating on Twitter on information to the public.
2014. , 54 p.