UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Public Response on Social Media to a Social Marketing Campaign for Influencing Attitudes towards Boating Safety Smith, Jennifer; Clemens, Tessa; Macpherson, Alison; Pike, Ian


The purpose of this research paper is to assess the response on Facebook to a social marketing campaign for recreational boating safety. The campaign ran for the 2018 and 2019 boating seasons in British Columbia, Canada. Messages related to boating safety were delivered in multimedia formats, including ten Facebook posts. All public comments on the campaign Facebook page in response to the ads were included in the analysis. Comments were reviewed for tone and subject; those that related directly to the campaign or boating safety-related topics, such as alcohol use or enforcement, were labeled positive, negative or neutral in tone. Metrics such as likes and shares were also noted. The majority of comments were positive, indicating that the campaign performed as planned and was generally well received by the people for whom it was intended. Positive comments valued safety as an aspect of having a pleasant experience, rather than a barrier. Negative comments were about perceiving reduced fun of boating, rather than objecting to the campaign itself. As a component of a multimedia social marketing strategy, Facebook can be a source of instant feedback from the campaign audience.

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Attribution 4.0 International