Yesterday, a fellow student at my campus presented her senior thesis on the social penetration theory and how it applies to the use of social media by non-profit organizations. After researching a bit on the internet, I have found that this theory can be explained in many ways with many different examples. She explained it like this: Through cliches (surface answers), facts, opinions, and feelings (emotional attachment), certain organizations like Philadabundance, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Special Olympics have created special bonds with their audiences and followers on Facebook. However, unless these organizations provide interesting content that stimulates the followers, these special social relationships cannot be formed. She also came to the conclusion that these organizations should use social networking and use it often to make these results happen!
As with everytime I see a presentation or attend a conference, I feel so inspired! I intern for a non-profit myself, and I have gone over some of these techinques with my boss today! We are going to investigate more in the future!
Here is a link to her thesis. Enjoy!