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Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing
Theories and Applications

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December 2014 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Social media has quickly become part of the fabric of our daily lives, and as we have flocked to it, so have most companies and organisations from every sector and industry. It is now the place to attract and sustain our attention. But how is it a new marketing activity and how is it similar to previous practice and customer behaviour? Does it require new modes of thinking about human networks and communications or do the existing conceptual models still apply?

This book offers a critical evaluation of the theoretical frameworks that can be used to explain and utilise social media, and applies them to fun real-life examples and case studies from a range of industries, companies and countries. These include Unilever, Snickers, American Express, Volkswagen and Amnesty International, and span campaigns run across different platforms in countries such as China, Canada, Sweden and Singapore.


Readers are invited to think about the different types of social media users and explore topics such as brand loyalty, co-creation, marketing strategy, measurement, mobile platforms, privacy and ethics. As well as tracing the emergence and trends of Web 2.0 and what they mean for marketing, the author also considers the future for social media marketing. Discussion questions and further reading are provided throughout, and the book is accompanied by a companion website.

Part I: Understanding Actors in Social Media Marketing
Chapter 1: Consumer Tribes and Communities
Chapter 2: Users and Co-creation of Value
Chapter 3: Brand and Anthropomorphic Marketing
Part II: Understanding Platforms in Social Media Marketing
Chapter 4: Traditional Social Media Platforms
Chapter 5: Gaming and Hybrid Platforms
Chapter 6: Mobile and Location-Based Platforms
Part III: Understanding Content in Social Media Marketing
Chapter 7: Persuasiveness
Chapter 8: Engagement
Chapter 9: Electronic Word of Mouth (eWOM)
Part IV: Understanding Context in Social Media Marketing
Chapter 10: Measurement, Metrics and Analytics
Chapter 11: Cross-Cultural Aspects and Implications
Chapter 12: Privacy, Ethical and Legal Issues
Afterword: Where Next for Social Media Marketing?
Appendix: Example of a Social Media Marketing Plan


Click for online resources

Lecturer resources:

  • PowerPoint slides
  • Tutor’s manual

Student resources:

  • Links to SAGE Journals arranged by chapter 
  • Videos
  • Links to Stephan Dahl's blog 

This book was put on the recommend reading list as it will provide valuable insights for students wanting to delve more into theory. I have based several section of my lectures on chapters with this text and always reference the book so students know that they can learn more of what we have been discussing. I find this text straightforward and will take student feedback into consideration if next year this becomes a required reading.

Ms Joyce Costello
Corporate & Marketing Communications, Bournemouth University
August 24, 2016

The book covers a huge range of topics on the social media phenomenon for marketing. The one weak concerns retailing through social media, which is emerging as promising trend and could be included within the further improvements of the book.

Dr Eleonora Pantano
Business School, Middlesex University
August 24, 2015

Dahl's book provides an excellent introduction to theories and applications of social media marketing. It refreshingly avoids the hype around social media and social media marketing and helps understand the opportunities and challenges that new technologies pose marketing practitioners.

Dr Dirk Vom Lehn
The Department of Management, King's College London
July 6, 2015

A very well written book with a logical and easy to follow layout. Relevant academic theory, models and definitions throughout. One of the best Social Media Marketing academic books available.

Ms Karen Jones
School of Business and Marketing, University College Birmingham
June 30, 2015

Good clear supportive texts. Used at PG level.

Miss Elizabeth Heyworth
Wolverhampton Business School, Wolverhampton University
June 17, 2015

Dahl synthesises a lot of relevant literature which helps the students to get their heads around various topics in the context of social media and digital marketing. It's a very good starting point to explore social media marketing also for practitioners who want to get a more academic perspective on recent developments.

Bjoern Asmussen
Business School, Oxford Brookes University
December 9, 2015

Good book helps to understanding the theory and concepts of social media marketing.

Dr Anshuman Sharma
International Business Administration, College of Applied Sciences, Ministry of Higher Education
April 6, 2015

Well-written book which contains a variety of models, plenty of academic underpinning, frameworks and useful definitions.

Well-referenced and many relevant and recent case studies.

Probably the best book I have ever read on social media marketing.

Ms Annmarie Hanlon
Business And Management, Derby University
April 2, 2015

Social Media Marketing offers an exceptionally clear, well balanced and up to date synthesis of theory, evidence and case studies of social media. It will be welcomed by teachers and students alike.

Mr Matt Kirby
Performance, University College Falmouth
March 17, 2015

Definitive thinking on how individuals and businesses can address and maximise their social media marketing. An essential guide.

Mr Matt Kirby
Performance, University College Falmouth
March 12, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch 1: Consumer Tribes and Communities

Stephan Dahl

Stephan Dahl is Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Darwin University and James Cook University in Australia. Born in Germany, he worked in media, marketing and PR both for non-profit and commercial companies in the UK, Belgium, Germany and Spain before joining academia. His research interests include social marketing, ethics in marketing and online/social media marketing and he publishes widely in national and international journals, as well as being the author or co-author of several books on social marketing, marketing communications and ethics in marketing. He currently serves on the editorial board of the International... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781446280737