This study examines the role of social media-based marketing in generating social capital by analyzing wall posts and comments on Facebook pages of a for-profit social enterprise (TOMS) and a conventional for-profit company (Sperry Top-Sider). Our content analysis shows that compared to the Sperry Facebook page, the TOMS Facebook page featured a higher proportion of wall posts involving community engagement and social issues. While aspects of bonding social capital were most prominent in both Facebook pages, the TOMS online community was more likely to generate bridging social capital than the Sperry online community. These results suggest that the social entrepreneurship aspect of TOMS contributes to information exchanges between weak ties and forging of new ties via its brand community on Facebook. This research enhances our understanding of differences and similarities between for-profit social enterprises and conventional for-profit companies in use of social media for public relations and their implications for creating a dialogic space essential for facilitating development of social capital.
Seo, Hyunjin, et al. “Facebook Brand Communities and Social Capital.” Athens Journal of Mass Media and Communications, Jan. 2017.