Promoting Green: The Sustainability Movement Was Made for Social Media!

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Although a single definition of the sustainability movement remains elusive for a variety of reasons, one common piece of the definition is indisputable.  Sustainability is a “social” movement.  It has far reaching effects on our economy, our environment and our society as a whole and holds personal meaning on a variety of different levels for many.

At this time it is estimated that one in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook.   Twitter adds nearly 500,000 users a day and YouTube generates 92 billion page views per month! With statistics like this it’s not hard to figure out where to promote a good social campaign! One of the biggest reasons social media works is because it allows individuals, organizations and communities to develop, nurture & share relationships with other like-minded people and organizations.  These relationships can be used for sharing knowledge, increasing awareness and optimizing the organization’s end goal. What better way to encourage such an important social movement than through the use of our society’s fastest growing social movement?

If you’ve been wondering how to get your “Green” message out to the world then you’ve come to the right place! By now I hope you understand why social media could be such a powerful tool for your business.  Now let’s talk about the specific social tools you can use in order to promote a “Green” message.

Connect with a targeted audience

The first goal of any good Reduce, Reuse & Recyle campaign is to find the right audience.   Social media offers many different ways to do this!

Communication Sites
• Social Networks – Twitter, Facebook
• Niche Networks–Wiserearth,Care2, MakemeSustainable, Freecycle
• Microblogs–Tumbler, Plurk,
• Blogs – In house blogs, group blogs, community blogs

Collaboration Sites
• Social News Sites – Reddit, Slashdot& Digg
• Social Bookmarking Sites – StumbleUpon, Pinterest, BuzzFeed, Delicious

Multimedia Sites
• Video – YouTube
• Audio – Cinchcast
• Photos – Flickr

All of these sites allow you to meet and speak with an engaged audience.  The interaction becomes a two-way conversation rather than just a one-way deposit of information.  In this way, the information can be customized and truly relevant to the individuals in your market.

Create Content & Share

The second goal is to develop content that resonates with your audience and share it across a wide variety of platforms.  In order to get the most out of your content, you’ll want to allow your readers into the conversation and give them the opportunity to share any of your content with their friends or on their profiles.  Adding a ShareThis or AddThis button to your website allows you to accomplish this.

You will also want to take advantage of tools like, HootSuite, Seesmic,& TweetDeck that allow you to update many of your social media pages at the same time.  Another option for team management is Awareness.  There are also premium management tools such as SproutSocial, which allows teams to manage their social media engagement and offers analytics as well.  Automating some of the social media process not only helps get your message out in a bigger way, it also allows businesses the time to interact more personally and more directly with their audience.

Track Results

The third goal is to analyze activities and track results to ensure that your efforts are working effectively to accomplish your overall goals.  One of the best ways to analyze your site activity is through Google Analytics which allows organizations to record many different metrics about their sites visitors.  Another great tool is Google Alerts to track specific keyword usage around the internet.  In addition to Google’s tools, you can get great analytics from link shortener tool.

Want even more opportunities?

There are so many wonderful tools available to increase the effectiveness of your sustainability message! If you’re looking for even more, below you’ll find a few additional resources specifically for those interested in promoting the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle message through social media.

Twitter Hashtags for Sustainability–#sustainability, #activism, #composting, #conservation, #csr (corporate social responsibility), #earthtweet, #ecofriendly, #environment, #greenbiz, #reuse, #recycle, #renewable

EPA Social Media Guide – Offers descriptions of types of social media tools, and links to other pages that offer more information about the site

CDC Social Media Toolkit  – Detailed descriptions of the types of social media and how best to utilize them in your campaign.  Includes worksheets to help create a strategy and evaluate your ROI. Webinars - Two webinars featured at the top of the “For Coordinators” resources page that discuss “Using Social Media and Mobile Phones for Recycling” and “Social Media Video: A How To.”


So what do you think?  Can social media impact the sustainability movement in a meaningful way? Only time will tell.  The tools are there.  The efforts are up to you!  What questions do you have about promoting the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle message with social media?  Leave us a comment and share your ideas about promoting “Green”!

  1. The best things about Social media in connection with anything “Green” is that Social Media is all about being Paperless. It seems to go hand in hand with Recycling, Reducing, and Reusing.

  2. Seeing so much ‘paper’ marketing around Easter in the form of mountains of mail drops and brochures, it’s promising to see where marketing is getting stronger and stronger….. through social media.

    Thanks for a great article pointing that out!

    • Well I do hope they recycle the ‘paper’ :) And I do still see more businesses are hesitant to market online – and this is one of the reasons I point out for them! I’m glad you enjoyed the article Carolyn!

  3. It still depends on the definition of sustainability and mindset. I think the thing that always concerns me is that so many young people who are uninterested in anything beyond meeting their needs instantly

    • Hi Roberta,
      I understand that there may be people who may not get the message, but hopefully the messages we send out will make a difference in people’s mindset. Thanks for your reply and reading my post! :)

  4. I think the paperless office was a big brouhaha. In many cases we are using more paper not less! That said social media offers new ways to communicate and is making the idea of going green more pervasive in society. Like in other fields, networking with likeminded folks has become easier.

    • Hi David,
      I agree social media offers a new way to communicate and I do see businesses are using less paper. For example, magazines and local publications are producing less on paper and more articles & advertisements online. But I also believe, depending on the type of business you are in and if they found it helpful in marketing and printing on paper, then by all means go for it.
      Networking is also great way to connect, it is also more personal. Thanks for stopping by reading my post! :)

  5. I agree Marites, the sustainability movement and social media are a great fit. Your article provides some great resources as to where the movement can be seen online. As businesses, and movements, begin more and more to see the huge audiences they can reach online ~ without a huge cost ~ more will start to rely heavily on social media. There are already several examples of Facebook pages and YouTube videos that have really put a fire to movements that probably would never have had any real life to them.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      I’m glad you agree and yes, incorporating social media into their marketing can save businesses a lot of money. Hopefully with our messages out there, they will soon understand. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post!

  6. Marites,

    This is like a survival kit of sorts – Nice job!


  7. Of course social media impacts the Sustainability & CSR movement! Take a look at these best practices:

  8. I agree with this post and Jennifer below as well. It was great that Jennifer pointed out that these companies can reach such a large number on these social media platforms without a huge cost. This is certainly an appealing part of companies looking to use social media to promote or communicate about their sustainability movements. Many companies have has success targeting certain platforms and target audiences with their sustainability campaigns. Other companies should look to these to see how to accomplish large things, with a minimum cost to start up.

  9. Brilliant post, thanks for writing it!

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