Social Media as A Strategic Communication Tool in The Development and Promotion of Ecotourism (The Case of a Small and Medium Ecotourism Enterprise in Pangalengan, West Java)

  • Agus Ganjar Runtiko Communication Science Department, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Jenderal Soedirman University, Jl. Prof. Dr. Boenjamin 449, Purwokerto , 53122, Indonesia
  • Slamet Rosyadi Public Administration Department, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Jenderal Soedirman University, Jl. Prof. Dr. Boenjamin 449, Purwokerto , 53122, Indonesia
  • Muhammad Yamin International Relations Department, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Jenderal Soedirman University, Jl. Prof. Dr. Boenjamin 449, Purwokerto , 53122, Indonesia
  • Amri Syarif Hidayat Syariah Business Management Program, Faculty of Islamic Economics and Business, State Islamic University of Raden Mas Said, Jl. Pandawa, Surakarta, 57168, Indonesia
Keywords: communication, development, ecotourism, promotion, rural


This research explores the role of social media as a strategic communication tool in developing and promoting ecotourism enterprise. The research was conducted by studying five social media used by  Ecoethno Leadcampsite, an ecoturism site located in Pengalengan, West Java runned by a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME). This study assesses how social media is used to strengthen the visibility of these destinations, facilitate engagement with tourists, and promote sustainable tourism practices. The research findings show that not all social media are used effectively, and they tend to highlight certain aspects of strategic communication, including tourism activities, resource utilization, and environmental orientation. Strategic communication aspects of travel expenses, timetables, and customer care are relatively not covered in the marketing communications messages. Insights from this research have implications for tourism stakeholders, policymakers, and society in general, demonstrating the need for a paradigm shift towards integrated use of digital technology to promote and build sustainable ecotourism.


Ahlgren, M. (2023, May 12). 40+ Statistic, Fact & Trend Instagram for 2023. Websiterating.Com.

Ahmadi, D., Sulaiman, A. I., Runtiko, A. G., Noegroho, A., Raqi, R. I. A., Maryani, A., Yuniati, Y., & Yulianita, N. (2023). Marketing Communications for Tourism Development in Ecoethno Leadcamp Site. Studies in Media and Communication, 11(4), 67–77.

Anggarini, D. T. (2021). Upaya Pemulihan Industri Pariwisata Dalam Situasi Pandemi Covid -19. Jurnal Pariwisata, 8(1), 22–31.

Anonymous, A. (2023, May 4). [Edisi 2023] Statistik Pengguna Media Sosial Indonesia Terbaru. Slice.Id.

Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1991). The Social Construction of Reality. Penguin Books.

Berry, F. S., & Wechsler, B. (1995). State Agencies’ Experience with Strategic Planning: Findings from a National Survey. Public Administration Review, 55(2), 159.

Buhalis, D., & Inversini, A. (2014). Tourism Branding, Identity, Reputation Co-creation, and Word-of-Mouth in the Age of Social Media. In M. M. Mariani, R. Baggio, D. Buhalis, & C. Longhi (Eds.), Tourism Management, Marketing, and Development. Palgrave Macmillan US.

Chatterjee, J., & Dsilva, N. R. (2021). A study on the role of social media in promoting sustainable tourism in the states of Assam and Odisha. Tourism Critiques: Practice and Theory, 2(1), 74–90.

Cheng, M., Wong, I. A., Wearing, S., & McDonald, M. (2017). Ecotourism social media initiatives in China. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 25(3), 416–432.

Cohen, R., Irwin, L., Newton-John, T., & Slater, A. (2019). #bodypositivity: A content analysis of body positive accounts on Instagram. Body Image, 29, 47–57.

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. David. (2022). Research Design, Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (6th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Di Gangi, P. M., & Wasko, M. M. (2016). Social Media Engagement Theory. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 28(2), 53–73.

Du Plessis, C., & Satar, A. A. (2020). An Introduction to Social Media Research: Theory and Application. Juta Limited.

Du, X., Liechty, T., Santos, C. A., & Park, J. (2022). ‘I want to record and share my wonderful journey’: Chinese Millennials’ production and sharing of short-form travel videos on TikTok or Douyin. Current Issues in Tourism, 25(21), 3412–3424.

Flynn, J. (2023, March 15). 35+ YouTube Statistics [2023]: How Popular is YouTube in 2023? Zippia.Com.

Flynn, N., & Talbot, C. (1996). Strategy and strategists in UK local government. Journal of Management Development, 15(2), 24–37.

Freberg, K. (2019). Social Media for Strategic Communication, Creative Strategies and Research-Based Applications. Sage Publications, Inc.

Go, H., Kang, M., & Nam, Y. (2020). The traces of ecotourism in a digital world: spatial and trend analysis of geotagged photographs on social media and Google search data for sustainable development. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 11(2), 183–202.

Gomez, M., Klare, D., Ceballos, N., Dailey, S., Kaiser, S., & Howard, K. (2022). Do You Dare to Compare?: The Key Characteristics of Social Media Users Who Frequently Make Online Upward Social Comparisons. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 38(10), 938–948.

Gretzel, U., Fesenmaier, D. R., & O’Leary, J. T. (2006). The transformation of consumer behaviour. In D. Buhalis & C. Costa (Eds.), Tourism business frontiers: consumers, products and indusrty (pp. 9–18). Elsevier.

Herlina, A. (2022). Digital Tourism: Transformation of Indonesian Tourism Marketing through Government Instagram and YouTube during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Jurnal IPTEK-KOM, 24(2), 201–215.

Holtzhausen, D., Fullerton, J. A., Lewis, B. K., & Shipka, D. (2021). Principles of Strategic Communication. Routledge.

Hsieh, H.-F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three Approaches to Qualitative Content Analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277–1288.

Joyce, P. (2015). Strategic Management in The Public Sector. Routledge.

Kemp, S. (2023, February 9). Digital 2023: Indonesia. Datareportal.Com.

Kriyantono, R. (2006). Teknik Praktis Riset Komunikasi. Kencana.

Liu, W., Sidhu, A., Beacom, A. M., & Valente, T. W. (2017). Social Network Theory. In P. Rössler, C. A. Hoffner, & L. van Zoonen (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Media Effects (pp. 1–12). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Mahoney, J. (2023). Strategic Communication, Campaign Planning (3rd ed.). Routledge.

Moon, M. (2023, April 14). Twitter Increase Paid Users’ Tweet Limit to 10,000 Characters. Engadget.Com.

Mustakim, M., Ishomuddin, I., Winarjo, W., & Khozin, K. (2020). Konstruksi Kepemimpinanan Atas Tradisi Giri Kedaton Sebagai Identitas Sosial Budaya Masyarakat Kabupaten Gresik. Media Komunikasi FPIPS, 19(1), 11.

Naziri, F. I., & Rafikasari, E. F. (2021). Analisis Dampak Covid 19 Terhadap Pendapatan Pelaku Usaha Kecil Pada Kawasan Pariwisata Pantai Gemah Di Kabupaten Tulungagung. Jurnal Dinamika Ekonomi & Bisnis, 18(2).

Ngai, E. W. T., Tao, S. S. C., & Moon, K. K. L. (2015). Social media research: Theories, constructs, and conceptual frameworks. International Journal of Information Management, 35(1), 33–44.

Nugraha, Y. E. (2021). Dampak Pandemi Covid 19 pada Unit Usaha Pariwisata di Kawasan Pesisir Kota Kupang. Jurnal Industri Pariwisata, 3(2), 134–149.

Pasanen, K., Pesonen, J., Murphy, J., Heinonen, J., & Mikkonen, J. (2019). Comparing Tablet and Virtual Reality Glasses for Watching Nature Tourism Videos. In Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2019 (pp. 120–131). Springer International Publishing.

Piranda, D. R., Sinaga, D. Z., & Putri, E. E. (2022). Online Marketing Strategy in Facebook Marketplace As a Digital Marketing Tool. Journal Of Humanities, Social Sciences And Business (JHSSB), 1(3), 1–8.

Priyanto, R., Qinthara, R. F., & Ghani, Y. A. (2021). Analisis Dampak Pandemi Covid-19 terhadap Penjualan Layanan Wisata. Service Management Triangle: Jurnal Manajemen Jasa, 3(2), 70–82.

Qi, J., Monod, E., Fang, B., & Deng, S. (2018). Theories of Social Media: Philosophical Foundations. Engineering, 4(1), 94–102.

Rawali, S., & Ramadhani, M. M. (2021). The Role Of Marketing Communications of The Banjar District Government In Improving The Ecotourism Image of The Riam Kanan Reservoir South Kalimantan, Indonesia. European Journal of Management and Marketing Studies, 6(2).

Riadhussyah, M., Syafii, S., & Nawir, A. A. (2021). Kajian Akademik Pengembangan Ekowisata Berbasis Masyarakat di Desa Batudulang, Kabupaten Sumbawa. Yayasan Sahabat Alam Rafflesia.

Rizaty, M. A. (2022, November 28). Indonesia Miliki 97,38 Juta Pengguna Instagram pada Oktober 2022. DataIndonesia.Id.

Runtiko, A. G. (2011). Konstruksi Budaya Maskulin dalam Iklan. Jurnal Penelitian Komunikasi, 14(1), 63–80.

Runtiko, A. G. (2013). Desain Iklan Layanan Masyarakat Pemerintah. Jurnal Penelitian Komunikasi, 16(1), 21–38.

Sadya, S. (2023, January 25). Ada 17,8 Juta Pengguna Facebook di Indonesia hingga Akhir 2022. DataIndonesia.Id.

Sihite, J., Muchtar, M., & Rangkuti, R. (2021). A Visual Semiotic Analysis on the Spongebob Movie. LingPoet: Journal of Linguistics and Literary Research, 2(1), 86–93.

Sri Wahyuni, S., Susilo, H., & Erwiantono, E. (2023). Priority Strategies for Sustainable Community-Based Ecotourism Management on Kaniungan Besar Island, Indonesia. Sodality: Jurnal Sosiologi Pedesaan, 10(3), 284–294.

Susilo, B. (2018). Pemasaran Digital: Segmentasi Demografi Pengguna Media Sosial di Kota Pontianak. Eksplora Informatika, 8(1), 69.

Wawrzuta, D., Klejdysz, J., Jaworski, M., Gotlib, J., & Panczyk, M. (2022). Attitudes toward COVID-19 Vaccination on Social Media: A Cross-Platform Analysis. Vaccines, 10(8), 1190.

Wohn, D. Y., & Bowe, B. J. (2014). Crystallization: How Social Media Facilitates Social Construction of Reality. Proceedings of the Companion Publication of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing, 261–264.

Yuningsih, A. (2006). Implementasi Teori Konstruksi Sosial dalam Penelitian Public Relations. Mediator: Jurnal Komunikasi, 7(1), 59–70.

How to Cite
RuntikoA. G., RosyadiS., YaminM., & Syarif HidayatA. (2024). Social Media as A Strategic Communication Tool in The Development and Promotion of Ecotourism (The Case of a Small and Medium Ecotourism Enterprise in Pangalengan, West Java). Sodality: Jurnal Sosiologi Pedesaan, 11(2), 206-222.