The networked communications manager: A typology of managerial social media impression management tactics

C. Fieseler, G. Ranzini

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose – The rise of social media has caused a shift in organizational practices, giving rise, in some cases, to genuinely “mediatized” organizations. The purpose of this paper is to explore how communications managers employ social media to influence their professional impressions. Design/methodology/approach – Analyzing a sample of 679 European communications professionals, the authors explore with factor and cluster analysis these emerging impression management tactics as well as how managers promote, involve, assist and reproach using social media. Findings – The authors distinguish four patterns of online impression management: self-promotion, assistance seeking, peer support and authority. Because different professional duties may require different approaches to impression management, the authors furthermore cluster for managerial roles, showing that in the shaping of formal or informal online roles, communication professionals convey different impressions depending on their degree of online confidence and strategic purpose for using social media. Originality/value – This contribution enriches the existing literature first by shedding light on impression management tactics used for social media within a professional context, concurrently exploring the effect of variables such as the extent and purpose of social media activity, the privacy concerns of managers and their roles within the organization. Second, it proposes a typology of social media impression management tailored to the reality of managers, with the aim of presenting a specific tool for understanding managerial self-communication through social media, classifying and predicting professional behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-517
JournalCorporate Communications: An International Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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