Humanities and Social Sciences

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Utilizing WeChat to Shape Youth Perspectives: A Content Analysis of University Communication Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Received: Oct. 22, 2023    Accepted: Nov. 13, 2023    Published: Nov. 24, 2023
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Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, social media, particularly WeChat Official Accounts, served as important platforms for Chinese universities to share health information, offer insights, and encourage collective actions. This study, grounded in the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), utilized content analysis and regression analysis to examine 996 tweets published on WeChat from major universities. It focused on ideological and political communication, aiming to understand the influence of various factors on university students’ media engagement, which was quantified by metrics like “numbers of times read” (NTR) and “wow” of tweets posted on the WeChat Official Accounts. The findings revealed notable differences in media engagement correlating with the content themes of the tweets. Specific factors, such as content originality and vividness, were observed to significantly influence “wow”, primarily through the ELM’s central pathway. Conversely, the length and tone of tweets’ titles appeared to impact NTR through the peripheral pathway. Additionally, the timing of tweet publication was found to have a significant effect on overall engagement. The findings showed that for enhanced engagement, universities could benefit from focusing on consistent content theme and emotional appeal. Consequently, emphasizing content originality, adopting innovative presentation methods, and fostering a community-centric approach to information dissemination could potentially create a more effective and resonant communication environment which could lead the thoughts of youth.

DOI 10.11648/j.hss.20231106.14
Published in Humanities and Social Sciences ( Volume 11, Issue 6, November 2023 )
Page(s) 203-215
Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright

Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Science Publishing Group

Keywords

COVID-19, University, WeChat Official Accounts, Elaboration Likelihood Model, Engagement, Thought Leadership

References
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  • APA Style

    Wang, Y., Zhang, J., Wang, L. (2023). Utilizing WeChat to Shape Youth Perspectives: A Content Analysis of University Communication Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Humanities and Social Sciences, 11(6), 203-215. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.hss.20231106.14

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    ACS Style

    Wang, Y.; Zhang, J.; Wang, L. Utilizing WeChat to Shape Youth Perspectives: A Content Analysis of University Communication Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Humanit. Soc. Sci. 2023, 11(6), 203-215. doi: 10.11648/j.hss.20231106.14

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    AMA Style

    Wang Y, Zhang J, Wang L. Utilizing WeChat to Shape Youth Perspectives: A Content Analysis of University Communication Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Humanit Soc Sci. 2023;11(6):203-215. doi: 10.11648/j.hss.20231106.14

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  • @article{10.11648/j.hss.20231106.14,
      author = {Yuhan Wang and Jing Zhang and Lei Wang},
      title = {Utilizing WeChat to Shape Youth Perspectives: A Content Analysis of University Communication Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic},
      journal = {Humanities and Social Sciences},
      volume = {11},
      number = {6},
      pages = {203-215},
      doi = {10.11648/j.hss.20231106.14},
      url = {https://doi.org/10.11648/j.hss.20231106.14},
      eprint = {https://download.sciencepg.com/pdf/10.11648.j.hss.20231106.14},
      abstract = {During the COVID-19 pandemic, social media, particularly WeChat Official Accounts, served as important platforms for Chinese universities to share health information, offer insights, and encourage collective actions. This study, grounded in the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), utilized content analysis and regression analysis to examine 996 tweets published on WeChat from major universities. It focused on ideological and political communication, aiming to understand the influence of various factors on university students’ media engagement, which was quantified by metrics like “numbers of times read” (NTR) and “wow” of tweets posted on the WeChat Official Accounts. The findings revealed notable differences in media engagement correlating with the content themes of the tweets. Specific factors, such as content originality and vividness, were observed to significantly influence “wow”, primarily through the ELM’s central pathway. Conversely, the length and tone of tweets’ titles appeared to impact NTR through the peripheral pathway. Additionally, the timing of tweet publication was found to have a significant effect on overall engagement. The findings showed that for enhanced engagement, universities could benefit from focusing on consistent content theme and emotional appeal. Consequently, emphasizing content originality, adopting innovative presentation methods, and fostering a community-centric approach to information dissemination could potentially create a more effective and resonant communication environment which could lead the thoughts of youth.
    },
     year = {2023}
    }
    

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    AU  - Yuhan Wang
    AU  - Jing Zhang
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    AB  - During the COVID-19 pandemic, social media, particularly WeChat Official Accounts, served as important platforms for Chinese universities to share health information, offer insights, and encourage collective actions. This study, grounded in the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), utilized content analysis and regression analysis to examine 996 tweets published on WeChat from major universities. It focused on ideological and political communication, aiming to understand the influence of various factors on university students’ media engagement, which was quantified by metrics like “numbers of times read” (NTR) and “wow” of tweets posted on the WeChat Official Accounts. The findings revealed notable differences in media engagement correlating with the content themes of the tweets. Specific factors, such as content originality and vividness, were observed to significantly influence “wow”, primarily through the ELM’s central pathway. Conversely, the length and tone of tweets’ titles appeared to impact NTR through the peripheral pathway. Additionally, the timing of tweet publication was found to have a significant effect on overall engagement. The findings showed that for enhanced engagement, universities could benefit from focusing on consistent content theme and emotional appeal. Consequently, emphasizing content originality, adopting innovative presentation methods, and fostering a community-centric approach to information dissemination could potentially create a more effective and resonant communication environment which could lead the thoughts of youth.
    
    VL  - 11
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Author Information
  • Convergence Media Center, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, China

  • Center for Teaching and Learning Development, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China

  • School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China

  • Section