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The Impact of Use Motives on Politicians' Social Media Adoption

2013-06-19 , Hoffmann, Christian Pieter , Suphan, Anne , Meckel, Miriam

Social media are believed to contribute to a more participatory political environment by providing access to online conversations and by facilitating connections between like-minded individuals. Still, politicians seem slow in actually adopting social media into their communication efforts. Based on a survey conducted among politicians active on the federal level in Switzerland, we explore motives of social media use and their impact on social media adoption. We are able to differentiate three use motives which contribute to distinct use patterns. Based on a model of social media acceptance, we find that use motives do in fact impact social media adoption. We conclude that politicians with more use experience and a clearer grasp of the specific benefits of social media choose a more active, strategic and professional approach to social media communication.