Government policies and programs have had relatively limited success in fostering widespread adoption of energy efficient products and solutions in Australia’s residential sector. Part of the problem has been the reliance on behaviour change models that assume consumers to be rational individualistic actors, who can be influenced by more and/or improved information, education and market prices. However, a vast interdisciplinary literature has provided a critique of this model, instead drawing attention to material, structural as well as social and cultural factors that shape consumption.
This report draws on the media research to address the cultural and communicative dimensions of consumption as everyday practice – focusing on what people routinely do as consumers and media users. It contributes to empirical studies of the role of media as popular sources of communication, inspiration and learning. The report explores the general patterns of social media conversations and public engagement broadly related to sustainable/energy efficient home renovations in Australia. The research material in the form of social media data was collected from two key platforms: Twitter and Facebook (public Facebook pages) in 2016 and updated in 2017.
This exploratory social media research confirms:
A strong Twitter and Facebook page activity by accounts related to established media outlets such as Domain.com.au or popular reality or lifestyle shows such as Better Homes and Gardens. They utilise social networking sites to assist in promoting themselves, their messages and attracting larger audiences;
Different actors prioritise different social media platforms for communication and public engagement. This finding corresponds to a well-established media studies argument about different platforms having different characteristics, thus encouraging different types of user interaction and engagement. There is also notable amount of circulating posts across different social media platforms and internet to reach larger audiences;
Based on the number of comments, leading Facebook pages in terms of engagement in the sample are Better Homes and Gardens FB page and Domain.com.au FB page. The majority of posts on their respective pages contain links (followed by photos and videos) and attract a high number of comments;…
SOURCE: Aneta M. Podkalicka. “Towards more Energy efficient Home Renovations: an exploration of social media networks.” CRC for Low Carbon Living, 01 December 2017.
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