Norms-Shifting on Social Media A Review of Strategies to Shift Norms among Adolescents and Young Adults Online

Main Article Content

Roel Lutkenhaus
Courtney McLarnon-Silk
Frances Walker


With rapidly growing adolescent engagement in social media globally, social media platforms (e.g.: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc.) provide increasing opportunities to address and shift social norms that influence behavior. Numerous social and behavioral change (SBC) interventions have applied strategies to shift norms on social media, and yet, no standard definition of social norms-shifting on social media seems to exist. In understanding how social media can be leveraged to contribute to norms-shifting, we need to look at how interventions are designed and social media strategies are implemented, what behavioral change theories drive them, and how they stimulate or affect processes that shape social norms and behavior change. This review makes an inventory of the numerous strategies that development organizations have used for norms-shifting on social media – either as stand-alone interventions or in the wider context of multi-layered SBC programs. By categorizing strategies along visibility (open vs. closed social media) and approach (communication-based and community-based), we propose a typology and identify evidence gaps for the working mechanisms behind these strategies to be further unpacked in future research.

Article Details