Social Media as a Dialogic Marketing Tool for Nonprofit Organizations: A Case Study on the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON)

Open Access
Bonsell, Kelsey Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Advertising/Public Relations
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. George Anghelcev, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Susan Mary Strohm, Honors Advisor
  • Nonprofit
  • Social Media
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • THON
  • Penn State
  • Dance Marathon
  • Marketing
  • Dialogic
  • Communication
  • Bonsell
This study advances our understanding of the strategy that nonprofit organizations use to employ social media as a marketing tool. The goal is to create a social media guide for nonprofit organizations. The guide will be based upon research conclusions and will provide social media strategies to foster a community. A case study was conducted on The Pennsylvania State University’s student run philanthropy and nonprofit organizations: The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON). Interviewing those who ran THON’s social media network sites and investigating involved students’ views of the official accounts allowed the development of suggestions and recommendations for the use of social media as a marketing tool. It was found that the kind of content published on social sites greatly impacts how successful followers feel the social media platforms are used. In regards to involvement with the official THON social media accounts, the length of involvement, age and leadership positions affected the level of interactivity. The results of this study will advance THON’s social media marketing strategy as well as advise similar philanthropies and non-profits in creating and advancing their social media marketing strategies and goals.