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Analyzing Social Presence in Tweets Related to Ram Trucks' 2013 Super Bowl Xlvii Commercial "farmer"

Reeves, Lauren F.

The increased use of social media has contributed to research surrounding communication in these mediums. Specifically, the understanding of social presence, or users� perception and recognition of other participants in the medium, has developed. However, little research exists surrounding social presence in Twitter, especially as it relates to agricultural topics and conversations.This study focused on tweets surrounding Ram Trucks� 2013 Super Bowl commercial, �God Made A Farmer.� To support this research, this study examined the use of hashtags, unique users, network type, and classification of tweets in the sample. Using social presence theory, tweets were classified using the Model and Template for Assessment of Social Presence, and analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The majority of tweets were affective, as users shared their opinions of the commercial. Interactive tweets were the second most common category, when users reply and retweet each other. A combination of affective and interactive tweets was the third most common category, followed by cohesive tweets, where users tag each other in direct tweets, and other category combinations. Through each of these interactions, social presence was established. However, social presence may have further developed with the presence of a mediator, or the establishment of a more structured conversation. This could be done through the use of designated hashtags, or encouraged interaction with other users. Agriculturalists and communicators may use this information to improve their use of social media and computer-mediated platforms by developing effective messages and creating impactful interactions with the public.