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


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.


Social media Knowledge dissemination Sustainability Social marketing LinkedIn Twitter 



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


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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

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