Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Robert Shenk

Second Advisor

Reggie Poche

Third Advisor

Bruce Rutledge


This thesis is meant to be a learning tool to help small businesses use free social media accounts as business marketing tools. The manual is broken down into chapters highlighting the importance of “Knowing your Audience,” “Branding,” “Constructing a Post,” “Using Visual Rhetoric,” and “Expanding your Audience.”. This thesis is inspired by scholars of English, internet linguistics, journalism, gender theory, professional writing, and rhetoric. It is also inspired by a survey of 18 small businesses in the Lafayette, Louisiana area. The survey helped to focus my research on the social media issues of small businesses in the southern region of the U.S. Little academic attention is given to the continued statistical analysis of language in social media from a critical compositional standpoint. I have written this thesis to inspire continued research in the area of internet linguistics and to help small businesses maximize profits by improving their social media impact.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.