“Both social media and sustainability have proven to be a tremendous force for positive change.”
Social media has become a terrific outlet for education, inspiration, and action. The ecosystem has been growing steadily and rapidly, and many brands and businesses use it effectively to build a following and convey credible messages.
In the sustainability space, transparency and results are critical in messaging. Those brands that convey facts and compelling stories win the hearts and minds of consumers and other businesses.
The Size and Power of the Social Media World
3.6 billion people are currently active on social media platforms, and that number will grow to 4.4 billion by 2025, according to this trusted data source.
The primary social media platforms today are:
- Facebook: 2 billion users
- YouTube: 2 billion monthly logged-in videos
- Reddit: 1.2 billion monthly visits
- LinkedIn: 660 million members
- Instagram: 600 million users daily
- TikTok: 500 million monthly active users
- Pinterest: 332 million monthly active users
- Twitter: 330 monthly active users
- Snapchat: 210 million daily active users
Which platform(s) you use depends on what target market you want to reach. Demographics vary widely, as this guide illustrates. Because the digital landscape changes, smart communicators keep on top of these trends and new media. For example, TikTok only launched in 2017 and has already taken the social media world by storm. Individuals and big brands use it to tell their stories and keep people current on news and promotions.
Social media has several key benefits:
- Reach: The ability to touch vast groups of people (with shared interests) cost-effectively.
- Awareness and perception: Repeat messaging builds brand image and consistency.
- Engagement: An interactive medium it enables people to like, comment on, and share things that interest them. Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing and communications tools.
Consumers today are very committed to sustainability, and the number of people who say they will pay more for eco-friendly products has grown from 29 percent in 2011 to 57 percent in 2019.
Using social media to showcase your brand’s commitment to the planet can be a huge differentiator for the people who spend with and work at your company.
Who are Today’s Green Social Media Heroes?
Each year, businesses are heralded and ranked based on their commitment to sustainability. This global list showcases the most sustainable companies worldwide. The list includes business and consumer brands.
1. Cisco (who ranked #4 on the list) launched the SocialBridge program to build a conversation with its customers on various timely topics. Their assets include a short and compelling video about their green commitment.
2. Spice company McCormick (#22) has set “audacious sustainability goals” and uses its website and inspirational and educational content. A variety of consumer-facing social media platforms tell the brand’s evolving story, including its earth-friendly mission.
GreenBiz, a major media outlet in the sustainability space, has created its own ranking system, based on the types of quality of social media messages the company uses.
4. Food Giant Nestle communicates regularly and powerfully across a wide range of social channels and even has a page on its website dedicated to its messaging so that visitors can see the steps the company is taking to preserve the planet.
5. Johnson & Johnson is another consumer-facing brand that uses many social platforms to talk about environmental issues, including product contents and packaging.
Basic Principles of Social Media Success
Effective social media must have a strategy behind it. As you embark on your sustainability initiative, get clear on who you want to reach and what your direct and compelling messages will be. Make sure you have the right people dedicated to this effort. Create a tight calendar for posting throughout the year, across the media that apply to your business.
The social media world is highly visual. These companies have used compelling graphics to draw the viewer’s eye to their social campaigns. Even B2B brands need to humanize their stories to draw in readers and viewers.
Above all, be truthful and transparent in your messaging. People today are quick to call out “fake news,” so be sure if you’re making claims about your environmental practices that they are real and not “greenwashed.”
Find out how your company can become more sustainable by scheduling a free energy audit today.