This abstract is summarized by IPR from the original journal article published in the Journal of Public Interest Communications.

Candice LaShara Edrington, Ph.D., and Nicole Lee, Ph.D., researched the message strategies used on Twitter by the Black Lives Matter social movement as a means to share information, build community, and promote action as well as what type of influence these strategies had on audience engagement in terms of replies and retweets.

The authors conducted a content analysis to examine 2,225 public tweets sent by Black Lives Matter (BLM) over a four-year period.

Key findings include:

  • When asked what function BLM serves, 60% of Tweets were “Information focused,” 17.5% of Tweets were “Community focused,” and 23% of Tweets were “Action focused.
  • When looking at the subcategories, sharing news related to the cause was the most common type of message (55%). This subcategory falls under the “Information focused” function.
  • Information focused messages decreased over time from 67% in 2014 to 49% in 2017, while Community focusedmessages increased over time (15% in 2014 to 22% in 2017), along with Action focused (18.6% in 2014 to 29% in 2017).
  • The current results suggest that BLM or other social movements might want to consider posting more messages with a Community function if their goal is amplification rather than awareness.

Read more to learn how a social movement organization such as Black Lives Matter uses Twitter for advocacy.


Edrington, C., & Lee, N. (2018). Tweeting a Social Movement: Black Lives Matter and its use of Twitter to Share Information, Build Community, and Promote Action. Retrieved September 08, 2020, from

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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