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Sharing sustainability stories: Case study of social media content curation for Canada Research Connections


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What is the best way to break through all the online noise with the vital message of sustainability? This paper details a case study on the strategic use of social media, where content curation tactics are employed to share scientific information related to sustainability. This type of marketing approach is currently under-utilised in both environmental marketing and scientific communication. The study finds that the best practices in the online marketing literature are profoundly useful for spreading sustainability messages to the public via social media platforms. Best practices such as knowing one’s audience, using visuals, maintaining a positive message and providing value make it possible to grow reach, even with a topic that is somewhat dry and unlikely to inspire sharing. In a world where information overload is a pressing concern, content curation is a valuable tactic in every digital communicator’s toolkit, allowing even scientific, technical and sustainability communicators to build communities with relatively low resourcing requirements. This shows how content curation can be highly effective in cutting through internet ‘noise’, even in challenging or non-typical communication situations.

Keywords: content curation; research communication; social media; sustainability communication

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing is the essential peer-reviewed, professional journal for all those involved in the marketing of products or services using digital channels. Its overriding goal is to provide an authoritative, practitioner-focused forum to support the professional development of all those working in, or entering, the field. As such, the Journal's content is both of direct relevance to the practice of digital marketing and intellectually rigorous.

    Topics range from measuring and improving digital media effectiveness and ROI to search engine optimisation, from social media marketing to partner marketing, from mobile marketing to email marketing, website design, display advertising, pay per click and detailed marketing analytics. In short the Journal focuses on any of the established and emerging digital media, tools and practices requiring new approaches to marketing, branding and understanding customer behavior and attitudes.

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