Communicating Sustainability on Social Media - The Right and Wrong Way

image: social media wrong and right wayWith new tools and strategies changing the way the business world communicates and exchanges information, social media is becoming the transparent, engaging, competitive advantage that business sustainability delivers.   However, to effectively harness the power of social media to create business sustainability value, our sustainability consulting explores the key components for success.

Social media success is no longer a defined by how well your company communicates its message to the external world.  It is rapidly becoming a critical business sustainability skill and a business sustainability catalyst that is affecting the bottom line.  What are the wrong ways or pitfalls that impact a social media marketing strategy?  

  • Inauthenticity
  • impatience
  • Lack of executive/ top level management buy in
  • Improper goal setting
  • Social media as a stand alone program within the organization
  • Lack of stakeholder engagement
  • Success undefined

Coincidentally, these pitfalls are similar obstacles we find in business adopting a company wide sustainability plan. 

Our sustainability consulting practice believes that social media engagement tools offer an evolved approach to stakeholder participation.  By expanding the scope of contributors and encouraging increased feedback, a decision maker opens the ‘suggestion box’ to a variety of untapped view points. In building an active social media engagement strategy that yields results and success, there are several things to consider:

  • Begin with a Clear Vision:  What are your social media goals?  Is it to increase website/ blog traffic? Promote brand image and credibility? Communicate and engage on CSR/ sustainability related topics?  Clearly identify your traditional sales objectives combined with your sustainability metrics and design a social media marketing strategy that delivers results to both. 
  • Identify Stakeholders and Online Communities:  Stakeholders are a bit easier to identify, but online communities can be centered theme based and centered on sustainability concepts such as recycling, CSR, water, energy, social investing.  Or, they may be geographically based.  Consider shareholders, partners, employees, customers, suppliers, local communities, and NGO's. 
  • Social Media is an ‘Always-On’ Platform: This implies being present to the ongoing conversation: listening, contributing to the conversation, providing timely feedback, and incorporating that information into products, services, and ongoing dialog.

The propagation of sustainable information to effectively communicate business sustainability successes is becoming a more active dialog.  Need help finding your voice? Engaging with stakeholders? Contact us!  We're here to help! 

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