Role of Social Media in Sustainability Evolves

Environmental leader Having a social media presence has become integral to any marketing campaign, including those seeking to reach consumers on green.  We've rolled out our own properties on facebook and twitter to support and complement our Nature Rocks website.  Not only is social media a way to engage and connect with consumers, but it's another form of transparency.

Posted July 15, 2009
By environmentalLEADER

Social Media graph
As twitter, Facebook and other social networks continue to grab
share of consumers’ time spent online – whether at a computer or via
mobilephone – companies would do well to consider how to tap into the
broad reach of these platforms in communicating their progress on
sustainability and the environment.

An estimated 110 million Americans, more than a third of the population, regularly use online social networks, reports MediaPost, citing data from Anderson Analytics.
Males are more likely to use social networks for business and their
career, with 32 percent citing them as a key benefit, compared to 22
percent of females.

Engaging in social media is one way for companies to show transparency about their sustainability, reports Sustainable Industries.

That is especially true for triple-bottom-line companies, said
Gabriel Scheer, founder of Re-Vision Labs, which advises sustainable
businesses and organizations. Being inauthentic in social networking
messages can be very damaging, however, especially since online social
networkers will spread the word to their friends, Scheer warns.

Social media is also a cheap and easy way for companies to conduct
promotions. Whole Foods is running a contest on twitter wherein its
twitter followers are encouraged to tweet philosophies in five words, reports
Supermarket News. The people with the ten most creative philosophies
will earn a $50 Whole Foods gift card and a five-pound bag of quinoa.

For those who wonder why anyone would “follow” a supermarket chain
on twitter, consider this: Whole Foods has more than 1 million
followers. Bill Tolany, global coordinator of Integrated Media for
Whole Foods, said, “We’re having a blast interacting with our customers
on Twitter.”

Users of Facebook and LinkedIn tend to be the most loyal, the
Anderson Analytics research shows. Only 29 percent of Facebook and
LinkedIn users say they could “probably do without” the services, while
35 percent of MySpace users said the same. Twitter users were less
convinced – 43 percent said they could “probably do without” the

Among users of multiple networks, 75 percent said Facebook was their most valuable online social network.

Here is an estimation of how many people log in at least once a month:

  • Facebook – 78 million
  • MySpace – 67 million
  • Twitter – 17 million
  • LinkedIn – 11 million regular users

To David Raycroft, vice president of product strategy at Milyoni, it
is vital to engage in social networking. “If you are not engaging in
these member communities, you’ve already lost control of the
conversation,” he told Sustainable Industries.

Social networking is not the only way for your brand or company to connect with consumers and other stakeholders on the Web.

Old-fashioned search engine optimization is getting a remake for
purposes of sustainability under a new initiative from sustainability
consulting firm Clownfish.

The London-based firm has a partnership with search engine marketing company iProspect to help consumers locate information on environmental issues, reports MediaPost.

The new service aims to help consumers
understand the relationship between sustainability and companies and
brands they are searching for on the Web.

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