Social Media and Upstream Social Marketing

Publication Name

BEYOND THE DARK ARTS: Advancing Marketing and Communication Theory and Practice


Social media has brought rapid and widespread changes to the way individuals and organisations communicate and interact. This includes the use of social media as a tool for advocacy, activism and support of social movements. While also offering social marketers opportunities to shape upstream environments, discussions of social media’s application to upstream social marketing are nascent. This chapter focuses on how social media can be leveraged by social marketers to encourage change to policy and broader environmental contexts. In particular, the chapter focuses on the practice of social listening — acknowledging both communication and marketing perspectives on this practice. A case where social media has played a key role in fostering and delivering policy change is presented to illustrate these concepts. The chapter closes with a discussion of ethical challenges and considerations associated with using social media for upstream social marketing.

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