Social Media for Growing a Green Business

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  • Introduce self – This is my 7th Green Festival – I actually grew up in the Annapolis, MD, so I’m thrilled to be back on my home turf with Green Festival.So, first, I want to find out a little bit about who I’m talking to today:How many of you are already using social media?How many of you are on Facebook?How many of you are on Twitter?And what do you do? Does anyone here own a business?Does anyone here work for a nonprofit?For those of you already on social media, feel free to tweet at me! And definitely use the hashtag #GreenFest on twitter as you wander around and enjoy the rest of the festival!
  • So that’s all well and good. But, Green Festival is a huge event! So let’s get back to how you can use social media on a smaller scale. I also get this question a lot: Why should I be on social media? Why is it important for my business?Here are a couple of really good reasons.
  • - If you have any kind of green business, chances are people talk about you online. That may mean posting a review on Yelp. Or it may mean sending a Tweet. Posting on a message board. Posting on Facebook.Whatever it is, on thing to keep in mind is that people rarely post things online when they feel like their experience with a company was “fine”. They post if they are really happy and excited… or really frustrated or disappointed.So with that in mind, you can either choose to show up for that conversation, or not. And when you’re making that decision, here’s something else to keep in mind.
  • 14% of consumers trust advertisements.90% trust peer recommendations.In this age of digital sharing, you need for the information shared about your brand online to be positive. When I post my opinion about something on a social media platform, I am making a peer recommendation. If you’re active on social media, you can catch the negative, and troubleshoot. You can comment back, ask what you can do to fix it. People will be receptive to your attentiveness. You can literally “flip” customers using social media.
  • Because of the shift in the way information is exchanged, you need to go where you audience is. They have options when choosing how to receive information and communicate with each other and the You need to be available to connect with people in the way they want to connect.
  • Lots of people just want to jump in. Ask yourself some basic questions.
  • Think about this outside of social media.What are your goals?Fundraising – nonprofit?Sales – clothing?Creating a community - DotGreen
  • How do you want to be perceived? Think about how you would speak to someone in person.
  • Have a plan. Especially if you won’t be the one doing the social media for your organization. How to respond in crisis. What can you offer?
  • Twitter directories. What is your competition doing? Google. Google. Google. There is a wealth of information out there. You just have to look for it.
  • Many of the tactics are the same. You can take the majority of the information I give you today and apply it to almost any social media endeavor. But the wonderful thing about using social media for your green business is this: You already have a network! The environmental community is alive and kicking online. There are even social media platforms dedicated completely to environmental and social progress. Look through hashtags and twitter directories.
  • - These are just 30 or so of the social media platforms available to you. The are a LOT more. Am I on all of these platforms? No. And it would be ridiculous to try. - - For one, it would be impossible to keep up. Remember, we are talking about SOCIAL media. In order to have a successful social media presence, it is crucial that you have the time to be present and to interact with people. To BE social. - So start with one or two. If you’re not already on Facebook and Twitter, I recommend starting there. All sorts of different communities interact on Facebook and Twitter, and the people interested in environmental issues are definitely there.- From there: - Look up similar similar companies to yours online. Find out where they are having the most success. (And while you’re there, take notes. How are they using the platform?)- Pay attention to what other platforms your most engaged users are on. Are they constantly linking to Instagram? Tumblr? Pinterest? It’s worth looking into whether you should be there too.- Having said that, don’t be afraid to pave your own road. Search for keywords related to your business on platforms you think may have potential. If it looks like somewhere conscious consumers spend time online, by all means, jump in! - But the most important thing to keep in mind: Don’t overdo it! If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t be able to keep up and your pages will lose value to your followers.
  • This is all about interactions. Don’t buy followers. You need to be connected to the right people. It doesn’t matter how many connections you have if they don’t do you any good.
  • Remember that you are talking to people. You will hear it time and time again. Social media is a conversation. That’s what makes it appealing to the masses. People have been seeing adverts forever *STAT about not trusting ads* But they do trust their friends. Getting people to say positive things about your business online sometimes means listening to their complaints and responding. Social media in many cases becomes a customer service tool. Having said that, here are some tools to help you schedule Facebook and Twitter posts. Just remember not to rely on them completely!
  • Most platforms allow you to set the time the post goes live.
  • That means time. And possibly money.
  • Ask the right questions. – Ask what their problem-solving philosophy is. – Give them a real life problem to solve. – Ask what channels they’ve worked with in the past. – Ask where they get their news. – Ask about the parameters their past employers have had for social media.Strong writing/editing skills.Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Communications background.Excellent listener.Can think on their feet.Make sure you (or your hire) are present and available.To do social media, you have to be open. Platforms are constantly changing and new platforms are constantly becoming available.You can DEFINITELY learn yourself. My experience learning social media. The beautiful thing is that once you start learning platforms, you can find almost any information you need on social media through the platforms themselves. If you’re confused, google, check twitter, look at message boards… chances are, there are already people out there talking about it.Keep an eye out for trends. Check Mashable, etc. Follow some social media “experts” so that information is -- Maybe you’re not the one who decides. A few tips for convincing your boss you need social media: 1. Tell her what I just told you. 2. While social media does take time, it is largely a FREE marketing tool.
  • So now, you’ve learned why social media is important, decided how you want to be perceived, set a few goals, done your research, found your niche, and built a community around your business. Great! But here comes that age old question. What is success? Just like in life, there are an infinite number of possible correct answers. Think back to the beginning of this presentation, when I asked you what you wanted. Success for your business may mean…
  • So now, you’ve learned why social media is important, decided how you want to be perceived, set a few goals, done your research, found your niche, and built a community around your business. Great! But here comes that age old question. What is success? Just like in life, there are an infinite number of possible correct answers. Think back to the beginning of this presentation, when I asked you what you wanted. Success for your business may mean…
  • So now, you’ve learned why social media is important, decided how you want to be perceived, set a few goals, done your research, found your niche, and built a community around your business. Great! But here comes that age old question. What is success? Just like in life, there are an infinite number of possible correct answers. Think back to the beginning of this presentation, when I asked you what you wanted. Success for your business may mean…
  • Blah blah blah. We’re
  • Social Media for Growing a Green Business

    1. 1. The Green Business Network™The Green Business Network is a vibrantcommunity of over 3,000 businessescommitted to creating a better world.Our mission is to help businesses everywherebecome more successful and grow a greeneconomy that is good for people and the planet. www.greenbusinessnetwork.orgThe Green Business Network is a program of Green America. We harness economic power— the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to build a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. www.GreenAmerica.org
    2. 2. The Green Business Network™We have been building a green economy for three decades.Join us in celebrating:30th anniversary of Green America20th anniversary of the National Green Pages®11th anniversary of Green Festivals®QuestionsNick Bibernbiber@greenamerica.org202.872.5330
    3. 3. The Green Business Network™We help green businesses across the country toConnect. Market. Grow.
    4. 4. Introducing Sara Needham @SaraNeedham @GreenFestival
    5. 5. Putting Down YourDigital Roots:Social Media for Growing a Green Business
    6. 6. @SaraNeedham@GreenFestival#GreenFest
    7. 7. Why is social mediaimportant for mybusiness?
    8. 8. People are alreadytalking about your brand online.
    9. 9. 14% of consumers trustadvertisements.90% trust peerrecommendations.
    10. 10. More than one billion people worldwide use social media.More than 800 million are Facebook users.
    11. 11. There are currentlymore people onFacebook than therewere on the planet 200years ago.
    12. 12. Twitter now boasts morethan 200 million activeusers.They collectively sendmore than 340 milliontweets a day.
    13. 13. The way information isexchanged is constantlychanging.In the last ten years, it hasbecome portable,participatory and personal.
    14. 14. 9 out of 10 nonprofits have a presence on social media.
    15. 15. Internet users are more likely to be involved in civic, social and religious groups.
    16. 16. You have to beavailable to connectwith people in theway they want toconnect.
    17. 17. So, where do I start?
    18. 18. Who are you?And what do youwant?
    19. 19. “Today, I shallbehave as if this is the day I will be remembered.” - Dr. Seuss
    20. 20. What’s your policy?
    21. 21. Do your research.
    22. 22. How is social mediadifferent for greenbusinesses?
    23. 23. Choosing your platforms.
    24. 24. Facebook Yelp DailymotionTwitter MySpace Care2Instagram Klout YouTubePinterest Flixter VimeoKickstarter Squidoo PlurkReddit SlideShare DiggGoogle+ Tumblr GrouponNing Habbo LivingSocialFlickr IMVU Change.orgLinkedIn Xanga KivaGoodReads Renren WiserEarthStumbleUpon QQ DoSomething
    25. 25. Building yournetworks.
    26. 26. Content creation.
    27. 27. Keep it real.
    28. 28. Tweetdeck.
    29. 29. Facebook.
    30. 30. Blog Posts.
    31. 31. Social media is an investment.
    32. 32. On hiring a socialmedia manager…(or turning yourself into one.)
    33. 33. What is success?
    34. 34. And how do I measure it?
    35. 35. HootSuiteAnalytics.
    36. 36. SocialMention.
    37. 37. Facebook Insights.
    38. 38. “Tug on anything at all and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe.” - John Muir
    39. 39. Now, what else doyou want to know?
    40. 40. @SaraNeedham@GreenFestival#GreenFest

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