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Special Issue "Social Media Strategy in Sustainable Business"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 21933

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Gohar Khan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
Interests: digital business management; social media analytics (theories, models, use, and application in business) network science; self-governing/autonomous technologies; quantitative and qualitative methods
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Pengji Wang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Business, James Cook University Singapore Campus, Singapore, Singapore
Interests: strategy; international business; green marketing; social media marketing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Jacob Wood
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
JCU Singapore School of Business, James Cook University, 149 Sims Drive, Singapore 387380, Singapore
Interests: economic development; sustainable business development; international trade negotiations
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, the concept of sustainable business has become a popular research topic in both management and organization fields [1,2]. Business sustainability is an executive approach that takes environmental and social problems as corporate objectives along with traditional profit objectives [3]. It is meeting the needs of a firm’s direct and indirect stakeholders (e.g. shareholders, employees, clients, pressure groups, communities, etc.) without compromising its ability to meet the needs of future stakeholders as well [4,5]. In practice, a good number of firms voluntarily evaluate their own corporate sustainability and disclose the impact they make on the environment, society, and the economy [6–8]. Other firms incorporate sustainability into their core business model to explore new business opportunities so as to create shared value together with various stakeholders [9]. Nevertheless, the market outcome of sustainable business is not always positive, with some studies reporting discouraging consumer reaction due to behavioral attitudes, low priority of sustainability [10,11], and low trust from investors due to their concern regarding the authenticity and profitability of businesses’ sustainable efforts [12–15].

At the same time, scholars have noted that the rapid growth of social media allows brands to interact with interested parties and they present opportunities for relationship building [16]. Social media enables organizations to have ongoing and real-time dialog with existing and potential customers [17,18], shape conversations, and influence consumers’ brand perceptions [17], thus empowering word-of-mouth [19] and generating added sales [20]. The use of social media has become increasingly important for consumer engagement [21–23]. Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the impact of social media strategies [24], the optimal design of social media strategies and tactics [21,25,26], and the factors influencing the effectiveness of social media strategies [27–29].

With these two concurrent trends, this Special Issue will discuss the key theoretical, empirical, and contextual mechanisms to bridge social media and sustainable business. We are interested in understanding how businesses leverage the power of social media to enhance their sustainability and competitiveness, as well as how firms’ social media strategy can benefit from their sustainable efforts.

We invite you to contribute to this issue by submitting comprehensive reviews, conceptual frameworks, empirical studies, case studies, or other research articles. Submissions for the Special Issue should be made via the normal submission process.

References

  1. Mayr, S. Corporate social responsibility in SMEs: The case of an Austrian construction company. J. Bus. Res. 2015, 15, 61–72.
  2. Sasse-Werhahn, L. F.; Bachmann, C.; Habisch, A. managing tensions in corporate sustainability through a practical wisdom lens. Bus. Eth. 2018, 1–14, doi:10.1007/s10551-018-3994-z.
  3. Ussahawanitchakit, P. Corporate proactiveness, business experience, environmental complexity, and firm sustainability: Evidence from information technology business in Thailand. Int. Bus. Econ. 2011, 11, 66–74.
  4. Dyllick, T.; Hockerts, K. Beyond the business case for corporate sustainability. Strategy Environ. 2002 11, 130–141.
  5. Hockerts, K. A cognitive perspective on the business case for corporate sustainability. Strategy Environ. 2015, 24, 102–122.
  6. Amaeshi, K.; Adegbite, E.; Rajwani, T. Corporate Social Responsibility in challenging and non-enabling institutional contexts: do institutional voids matter? Bus. Ethics., 2016, 134, 135–153.
  7. Bebbington, J.; Thomson, I. Social and environmental accounting, auditing and reporting: a potential source of organizational risk governance? Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 2007, 25, 38–55.
  8. Milne, M. J.; Gray, R. W(H)ither ecology? The triple bottom line, the global reporting initiative, and corporate sustainability reporting. Bus. Eth. 2013, 118, 13–29.
  9. Porter, M.E; Kramer, M.R. Strategy & Society The Link between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility. Bus. Rev. 2006, 84, 78–85.
  10. Bhattacharya, C.B.; Sen, S. Doing better at doing good: When, why and how consumers respond to corporate social initiatives. Manag. Rev. 2004, 47, 9–24,
  11. Irvin R.; Naylor R.W. Ethical Decisions and Response Mode Compatibility: Weighting of Ethical Attributes in Consideration Sets Formed by Excluding Versus Including Product Alternatives. J. Mark. Res. 2009, 46, 234–246
  12. Arendt, S.; Brettel, M. Understanding the influence of corporate social responsibility on corporate identity, image, and firm performance. Decis. 2010, 48, 1469–1492.
  13. Capriotti, P.; Moreno, A. Corporate Citizenship and Public Relations: The Importance and Interactivity of Social Responsibility Issues on Corporate Websites. Public Relat. Rev. 2007, 33, 84–91.
  14. Cardamone, P.; Carnevale, C.; Giunta, F. The value relevance of social reporting: Evidence from listed Italian companies. Appl. Account. Res. 2012, 13, 255–269.
  15. Kim, S.Y.; Reber, B.H. Public relations’ place in corporate social responsibility: Practitioners define their role. Public Relat. Rev. 2008, 34, 337–342.
  16. Harridge-March, S.; Quinton, S. Virtual snakes and ladders: social networks and the relationship marketing loyalty ladder. Rev. 2009, 9, 171–181.
  17. Farshid, M.; Plangger, K.; Nel, D. “The social media faces of major global financial service brands”. Financ. Serv. Mark. 2011, 16, 220–229.
  18. Laroche, M.; Habibi, M. R.; Richard, M. O.; Sankaranarayanan, R. The effects of social media based brand communities on brand community markers, value creation practices, brand trust and brand loyalty. Hum. Behav. 2012, 28, 1755–1767.
  19. Luo, X.; Zhang, J. How do consumer buzz and traffic. Manag. Inf. Syst. 2013, 30, 213–238
  20. Kumar, V.; Mirchandani, R. Increasing the ROI of social media marketing. MIT Sloan Manag. Rev. 2012, 54, 55–61.
  21. Chaffey, D.; Ellis-Chadwick, F. Digital Marketing. Pearson: London. UK, 2019.
  22. Dahl, S. Social Media Marketing: Theories and Applications. Sage: Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2018.
  23. Harrigan, P.; Soutar, G.; Choudhury, M. M.; Lowe, M. Modelling CRM in a social media age. Mark. J. 2015, 23, 27–37.
  24. Laksamana, P. Impact of social media marketing on purchase intention and brand loyalty: evidence from Indonesia’s banking industry. Rev. Manag. Mark. 2018, 8, 13–18.
  25. de Ruyter, K.; Keeling, D. I.; Viet Ngo, L. When nothing is what it seems. A Digital Marketing Research Agenda. Mark. J. 2018, 26, 199–203
  26. Harris, J. Cover All the Bases with 21 Winning Content Marketing Techniques, 2017. Available online: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/05/winning-content-marketing-tactics/ (accessed on 28 September 2019)
  27. Brookes, Erika J. The Anatomy of a Facebook Post: Study on Post Performance by Type, Day of the Week, and Time of Day, 2010. Available online: http://vitrue.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Anatomy-of-FB-WP.pdf. (accessed on 17 December 2019)
  28. Keath, J.; Justin K.; Ellie M.; Justin L. Facebook Page Marketing. HubSpot 2011. Available online: http://www.hubspot.com/Portals/53/docs/ebooks/facebook%20page%20ebook2011.pdf (accessed on 24 September 2011).
  29. Lee, D.; Hosanagar, K.; Nair, H. S. Advertising content and consumer engagement on social media: evidence from Facebook. Sci. 2018, 64, 5105–5131.

Dr. Gohar Khan
Dr. Pengji Wang
Dr. Jacob Wood
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Social media, new opportunities, and operational models of sustainable business
  • Branding of sustainable business and social media
  • Social media and sustainable consumer behavior
  • Corporate social responsibility and social media
  • Social media and sustainable business in different cultures and industries
  • Environmental capabilities and social media
  • Business capabilities for environmentally sustainable use of social media
  • The role of social media in environmentally sustainable business, etc.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Tracing the Trends in Sustainability and Social Media Research Using Topic Modeling
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031269 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3686
Abstract
New ideas are often born from connecting the dots. What new ideas have emerged among the two highly trending research topics of sustainability and social media? In this study, we present an empirical analysis of 762 published works that included the terms “sustainability” [...] Read more.
New ideas are often born from connecting the dots. What new ideas have emerged among the two highly trending research topics of sustainability and social media? In this study, we present an empirical analysis of 762 published works that included the terms “sustainability” and “social media” in their abstracts. The bibliographic data, including abstracts, were collected from the Scopus database. In order to conduct the analysis, we used the Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), an unsupervised machine learning algorithm to extract the latent topics from the large quantity of research abstracts without any manual adjustment. The 10 main topics identified from our analysis revealed topographical maps of research in the field. By measuring the variation of topic distributions over time, we identified hot topics (research trends that are becoming increasingly popular over time) and cold topics. Sustainable consumer behavior, Sustainable community and Sustainable tourism were identified as being hot topics, while Education for sustainability was identified as the only cold topic. By identifying current trends in social media and sustainability research, our findings lay a platform from which further studies may abound. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media Strategy in Sustainable Business)
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Article
How Can E-Commerce Businesses Implement Discount Strategies through Social Media?
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7459; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187459 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5143
Abstract
In the context of the global economic downturn caused by COVID-19, e-commerce has become the first choice for people to shop. Many merchants choose to launch promotion activities through some social media platforms. Price discounts can dramatically increase sales volume in social e-commerce [...] Read more.
In the context of the global economic downturn caused by COVID-19, e-commerce has become the first choice for people to shop. Many merchants choose to launch promotion activities through some social media platforms. Price discounts can dramatically increase sales volume in social e-commerce due to the interaction of online consumers. It is urgent for e-commerce merchants to learn rules about discount information dissemination in social media, so as to formulate reasonable discount strategies and achieve sustainable business. This paper constructs an evolutionary game model for e-commerce platforms and merchants when they implement promotion strategies through social media, investigates discount information dissemination among consumers under multiple situations by introducing price discount parameters, and further discusses the influence mechanism of discount size and platform reputation on consumers’ purchase behavior. Results show that in low-reputation e-commerce platforms, the price discount is the main motivation to purchase. Consumers’ preference for the high discount is weakened by the increase in platforms’ reputation. Discounts should be set according to the different reputations. Businesses in a high-reputation environment are relatively more profitable. E-commerce businesses should work together, apply reasonable pricing, and improve their quality to create a green and healthy shopping environment, in order to get benefits and sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media Strategy in Sustainable Business)
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Article
What Drives Continuance Intention towards Social Media? Social Influence and Identity Perspectives
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7081; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177081 - 30 Aug 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3247
Abstract
With the growth of social media communities, people now use this new media to engage in many interrelated activities. As a result, social media communities have grown into popular and interactive platforms among users, consumers and enterprises. In the social media era of [...] Read more.
With the growth of social media communities, people now use this new media to engage in many interrelated activities. As a result, social media communities have grown into popular and interactive platforms among users, consumers and enterprises. In the social media era of high competition, increasing continuance intention towards a specific social media platform could transfer extra benefits to such virtual groups. Based on the expectation-confirmation model (ECM), this research proposed a conceptual framework incorporating social influence and social identity as key determinants of social media continuous usage intention. The research findings of this study highlight that: (1) the social influence view of the group norms and image significantly affects social identity; (2) social identity significantly affects perceived usefulness and confirmation; (3) confirmation has a significant impact on perceived usefulness and satisfaction; (4) perceived usefulness and satisfaction have positive effects on usage continuance intention. The results of this study can serve as a guide to better understand the reasons for and implications of social media usage and adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media Strategy in Sustainable Business)
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Article
Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Media: Comparison between Developing and Developed Countries
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5255; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135255 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4817
Abstract
Social media allow companies to engage with their interest groups, thus enabling them to solidify corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. The concept of CSR is now well-established for companies in Western countries, and CSR is becoming an increasingly popular topic in developing countries. [...] Read more.
Social media allow companies to engage with their interest groups, thus enabling them to solidify corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. The concept of CSR is now well-established for companies in Western countries, and CSR is becoming an increasingly popular topic in developing countries. This study investigated differences in the perception of the term ‘CSR’ on Instagram between developing and developed countries. We analysed 113,628 Instagram messages from 38,590 unique users worldwide. The data were recorded between 19 November 2017 and 11 December 2018. In both developed and developing countries, charity and social good were common features. On the contrary, a difference was identified in the area of sustainability, which is an important part of communication in developed countries, and the area of education, which is an important part of communication in developing countries. Community analysis revealed four dominant communities in developed countries: (1) philanthropic responsibility, (2) environmental sustainability, (3) pleasure from working and (4) start-ups with CSR; and three in developing countries: (1) social and environmental responsibility, (2) philanthropic responsibility and (3) reputation management. These results could facilitate the strategic management of CSR to adapt communication to local environments and company contexts. Our findings could allow managers to focus CSR activities on relevant issues in developing countries and thus differentiate their CSR communication from competing organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media Strategy in Sustainable Business)
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Review

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Review
The Role of Social Media in the Luxury Tourism Business: A Research Review and Trajectory Assessment
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1216; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031216 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3988
Abstract
The luxury tourism industry immediately conjures up thoughts of exclusivity, with access to it confined to a small and elite group of travelers often located within their own social bubble. Our systematic literature review seeks to understand how tourism scholarship has addressed the [...] Read more.
The luxury tourism industry immediately conjures up thoughts of exclusivity, with access to it confined to a small and elite group of travelers often located within their own social bubble. Our systematic literature review seeks to understand how tourism scholarship has addressed the issue of luxury travel based on social media pronouncements and the areas of concentration in which earlier studies have been conducted. Literature was sourced using the following key terms “luxury tourism”, “elite travel”, “social media”, and “sustainability” in various combinations using the OneSearch online platform, the Proquest Database, and Google Scholar. Only peer-reviewed journals were used for the critical analysis. Three main thematic areas were identified and reviewed: (1) the role of social media in luxury tourism; (2) the behavioral attributes of luxury travelers’ when using social media; and (3) the methodologies employed in the extant literature, given the limitations of accessing specific data for the luxury tourism market. The selected period for the journals and articles reviewed was the last ten years, from March 2010 to March 2020. NVivo version 12 was used to decipher the themes and focus areas as well as quantify the significance of social media to luxury tourism. Drawing from these literature review outcomes, the study explores future research areas and issues that require new theoretical and methodological frameworks to further our understanding of the intersection between social media and the luxury tourism business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media Strategy in Sustainable Business)
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