Advertisement

Journal of Marketing Analytics

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 64–75 | Cite as

The communication role of social media in social marketing: a study of the community sustainability knowledge dissemination on LinkedIn and Twitter

  • Lei HuangEmail author
  • Amelia Clarke
  • Natalie Heldsinger
  • Wen Tian
Original Article

Abstract

This study aims to provide social marketers and researchers with some innovative perspectives on the application of social media in disseminating and promoting new sustainability knowledge to targeted audiences including academics, community sustainability stakeholders, and policy-makers. An online survey was used to examine the audiences’ attitudes of and motivations for engaging in LinkedIn and Twitter sites that disseminate sustainability knowledge. Also, the fact-based measurements from LinkedIn and Twitter showing the participants’ reactions to the contents and formats were analyzed. The results suggest that the infographics message format received the highest engagement and response rates. Participants used Twitter to obtain general sustainability knowledge while being engaged in LinkedIn for specific advice on the implementation of community sustainability plans.

Keywords

Social media Knowledge dissemination Sustainability Social marketing LinkedIn Twitter 

Notes

Funding

This research is funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, Standard Research Grant (SSHRC 435-2014-1250).

References

  1. Antheunis, M.L., K. Tates, and T.E. Nieboer. 2013. Patients’ and health professionals’ use of social media in health care: motives, barriers and expectations. Patient Education and Counselling 92 (3): 426–431.Google Scholar
  2. Baltar, F., and I. Brunet. 2012. Social research 2.0: virtual snowball sampling method using Facebook. Internet Research 22 (1): 57–74.Google Scholar
  3. Bik, H., and M. Goldstein. 2013. An introduction to social media for scientists. PLoS Biology 11 (4): e1001535.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001535.Google Scholar
  4. Brodie, J.R., L. Hollebeek, B. Juric, and A. Ilic. 2011. Consumer engagement: conceptual domain, fundamental propositions and implications for research. Journal of Service Research 14 (3): 252–271.Google Scholar
  5. Castronovo, C., and L. Huang. 2012. Social media in an alternative marketing communication model. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness 6 (1): 117–131.Google Scholar
  6. Clarke, A. 2011. Key structural features for collaborative strategy implementation: a study of sustainable development/local agenda collaborations. Management & Avenir 50 (10): 153–171.Google Scholar
  7. Clarke, A. 2012. Passing go: moving beyond the plan. Ottawa: Federation of Canadian Municipalities.Google Scholar
  8. Clarke, A. 2014. Designing social partnerships for local sustainability strategy implementation. In Social partnership and responsible business: a research handbook, ed. A. Crane and M. Seitanidi. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  9. Clarke, A., and A. Erfan. 2007. Regional Sustainability Strategies: a comparison of eight Canadian approaches. Plan Canada 47 (3): 15–18.Google Scholar
  10. Clarke, A., and M. Fuller. 2010. Collaborative strategic management: strategy formulation and implementation by multi-organizational cross-sector social partnerships. Journal of Business Ethics 94 (1): 85–101.Google Scholar
  11. Clarke, A., L. Huang, M. Roseland, and H. Chen. 2014. Do collaborative planning processes lead to better outcomes? An examination of cross-sector social partnerships for community sustainability, Working Paper.Google Scholar
  12. Clarke, A., and A. MacDonald. 2019. Outcomes to partners in multi-stakeholder cross-sector partnerships: a resource-based view. Business & Society 58 (2): 298–332.Google Scholar
  13. Clarke, A., and A. MacDonald. 2012. Partner engagement for community sustainability: supporting sustainable development initiatives by reducing friction in the local economy, State of Knowledge Report, Ottawa: Sustainable ProsperityGoogle Scholar
  14. Curran, J.M., and R. Lennon. 2011. Participating in the conversation: Exploring usage of social media networking sites. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal 15 (1): 21–38.Google Scholar
  15. Dell, C., and C. Grayson. 1998. If only we knew what we know: the transfer of internal knowledge and best practice. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  16. Dessart, L., C. Veloutsou, and A. Morgan-Thomas. 2015. Consumer engagement in online brand communities: a social media perspective. Journal of Product and Brand Management 24 (1): 28–42.Google Scholar
  17. Dye, R. 2000. The buzz on buzz. Harvard Business Review 78 (6): 139–146.Google Scholar
  18. Estabrooks, C.A., D.S. Thompson, J.J. Lovely, and A. Hofmeyer. 2006. A guide to knowledge translation theory. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 26 (1): 25–36.Google Scholar
  19. Gagnon, M.L. 2011. Moving knowledge to action through dissemination and exchange. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 64 (1): 25–31.Google Scholar
  20. Gainforth, H.L., A. Latimer-Cheung, P. Athanasopoulos, and K.A. Martin Ginis. 2015. Examining the feasibility and effectiveness of a community-based organization implementing an event-based knowledge mobilization initiative to promote physical activity guidelines for people with spinal cord injury among support personnel. Health Promotion Practice 16 (1): 55–62.Google Scholar
  21. Gershoff, A., S. Broniarczyk, and P. West. 2001. Recommendation or evaluation? Task sensitivity in information source selection. Journal of Consumer Research 28 (3): 418–438.Google Scholar
  22. Golbeck, J., J. Grimes, and A. Rogers. 2010. Twitter use by the U.S. Congress. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 61: 1612–1621.Google Scholar
  23. Goodland, R. 1995. The concept of environmental sustainability. Annual Review of Ecological Systems 26: 1–24.Google Scholar
  24. Herie, M., and G.W. Martin. 2002. Knowledge diffusion in social work: a new approach to bridging the gap. Social Work 47 (1): 85–95.Google Scholar
  25. Hennig-Thurau, T., and G. Walsh. 2003. Electronic word-of-mouth: motives for and consequences of reading customer articulations on the internet. International Journal of Electronic Commerce 8 (2): 51–74.Google Scholar
  26. Huang, L. 2010. Social contagion effects in experiential information exchange on bulletin board systems. Journal of Marketing Management 26 (3): 197–212.Google Scholar
  27. Huang, L., and S. Barlas. 2009. When will people tell you something you do not know? Advances in Consumer Research 36: 761–762.Google Scholar
  28. Hungerford, H.R. 1996. The development of responsible environmental citizenship: a critical challenge. Journal of Interpretation Research 1 (1): 25–37.Google Scholar
  29. ICLEI. 2012. Local sustainability 2012: taking stock and moving forward. Bonn: ICLEI.Google Scholar
  30. Kaplan, A., and M. Haenlein. 2010. Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons 53 (1): 59–68.Google Scholar
  31. Kim, M., and S. Lennon. 2008. The effects of visual and verbal information on attitudes and purchase intentions in internet shopping. Psychology & Marketing 25 (2): 146–178.Google Scholar
  32. Kotler, P., and G. Zaltman. 1971. Social marketing: an approach to planned social change. Journal of Marketing 35 (2): 3–12.Google Scholar
  33. Levin, B. 2008. Thinking about knowledge mobilization. Paper presented at the Symposium of the Canadian Council on Learning and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.Google Scholar
  34. Lovejoy, K., R.D. Waters, and G.D. Saxton. 2012. Engaging stakeholders through Twitter: how nonprofit organizations are getting more out of 140 characters or less. Public Relations Review 38 (2): 313–318.Google Scholar
  35. MacDonald, A., A. Clarke, and L. Huang. 2018a. Multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainability: designing decision-making processes for partnership capacity. Journal of Business Ethics 3: 128.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-3885-3.Google Scholar
  36. MacDonald, A., A. Clarke, L. Huang, M. Roseland, and M.M. Seitanidi. 2018. Cross-Sector Partnerships (SDG #17) as a Means of Achieving Sustainable Communities and Cities (SDG #11) in Leal, W. (Ed.) Handbook of Sustainability Science and Research, World Sustainability Series. New York: Springer, pp. 193–209.Google Scholar
  37. Meidlinger, J. 2015. What 10 studies say about the best times to post on social media (CoSchedule Blog). Retrieved from http://coschedule.com/blog/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/.
  38. Mairs, K., H. McNeil, J. McLeod, J.C. Prorok, and P. Stolee. 2013. Online strategies to facilitate health-related knowledge transfer: a systematic search and review. Health Information & Libraries Journal. 30 (4): 261–277.Google Scholar
  39. Murphy, G., and S. Salomone. 2013. Using social media to facilitate knowledge transfer in complex engineering environments: a primer for educators. European Journal of Engineering Education 38 (1): 70–84.Google Scholar
  40. Newell, R., and A. Dale. 2015. Meeting the climate change challenge (MC3): the role of the Internet in climate change research dissemination and knowledge mobilization. Environmental Communication 9 (2): 208–227.Google Scholar
  41. Padgett, D. 2012. Qualitative and mixed methods in public health. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Robelia, B.A., C. Greenhow, and L. Burton. 2011. Environmental learning in online social networks: adopting environmentally responsible behaviors. Environmental Education Research 17 (4): 553–575.Google Scholar
  43. Rogers, E.M. 1995. Diffusion of innovations, 4th ed. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  44. Roseland, M., and M. Spiliotopoulou. 2016. Converging urban agendas: toward healthy and sustainable communities. Social Sciences 5 (3): 28.Google Scholar
  45. Sá, C.M., S.X. Li, and B. Faubert. 2011. Faculties of education and institutional strategies for knowledge mobilization: An exploratory study. Higher Education 61 (5): 501–512.Google Scholar
  46. Siricharoen, W.V. 2013. Infographics: the new communication tools in digital age in The international conference on e-technologies and business on the web (EBW2013) proceedings of the society of digital information and wireless communication, pp. 169–174.Google Scholar
  47. Smith, B.G., and T.D. Gallicano. 2015. Terms of engagement: analyzing public engagement with organizations through social media. Computers in Human Behavior 53: 82–90.Google Scholar
  48. Spiller, P., and G. Lohse. 1998. A classification of Internet retail stores. International Journal of Electronic Commerce 2: 29–56.Google Scholar
  49. Stelzner, M.A. 2009. Social media marketing industry report. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediasummit09.com.
  50. Swani, K., B.P. Brown, and G.R. Milne. 2014. Should tweets differ for B2B and B2C? An analysis of fortune 500 companies’ twitter communications. Industrial Marketing Management 43 (5): 873–881.Google Scholar
  51. United Nations. 2015. Sustainable development goals. Retrieved from https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300.
  52. Waters, R.D., and J.Y. Jamal. 2011. Tweet, tweet, tweet: a content analysis of nonprofit organizations’ Twitter updates. Public Relations Review 37 (3): 321–324.Google Scholar
  53. Zubiaga, A., D. Spina, R. Martinez, and V. Fresno. 2015. Real-time classification of twitter trends. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 66 (3): 462–473.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lei Huang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amelia Clarke
    • 2
  • Natalie Heldsinger
    • 3
  • Wen Tian
    • 4
  1. 1.School of BusinessState University of New York at FredoniaFredoniaUSA
  2. 2.School of Environment, Enterprise and DevelopmentUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  3. 3.School of Environment and Resource StudiesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  4. 4.School of Local Economic DevelopmentUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

Personalised recommendations