By: Priyanka Sharma & Sumita Govindan, pp. 35-57 (Supplementary File pp. 58-95)
With the rise of the global economy and an increasingly mobile global workforce, expat communities are commonplace the world over. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) play an increasingly important role in keeping people connected, facilitating the formation of virtual communities based on interest, stage of life, profession and other commonalities. These virtual communities, much in the same way as traditional communities, feature social transactions of different kinds, including information-seeking.
Using content analysis, our study seeks to delineate patterns of information seeking on three Facebook groups for expats in terms of the categories of information sought and shared, the speed of responses and group participation using the Facebook metrics for stakeholder engagement as proposed by Bonson and Ratkai (2015). We found that certain themes of information seeking/sharing were popular across the three groups. We also found that for all the groups, the most engaged members were those that responded the most to other’s posts. This study can shed some light in viewing social media as an important and alternative source of information for expatriates – a less explored yet sizable user group. By understanding the process of information sharing between the expatriates in social media groups, our study can provide insights that may be of interest to group administrators and others.