How and Why Some Issues Spread Fast in Social Media

Boyang Zhang 1, Marita Vos 1 *

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This paper brings together current insights from various disciplines into the spreading of social media posts.By astructured literature review of peer-reviewed literature 39 recent articles on diffusion in social media were located. The search spanned 10 years, although all the papers found were published after 2009, indicating that the examination and observation of spread patterns in social media is still in an early stage. The analysisfocused on spread patterns and factors that may explain how rapidly issues spread in the online environment. Based on the findings, from an organizational perspective a model is constructed and directions for future research are suggested.The model focuses on characteristics of the issue, of the social media involved, actor resources and general factors. A better understanding of how social media posts spread helps organizations to be prepared for upcoming issues and crises, such as launching early rumour detection to prevent losses in organizational and brand image.


Diffusion spreadpatterns social media monitoring


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 5, Issue 1, January 2015, pp. 90-113

Published Online: 15 Jan 2015

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