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Communicating Sustainability using Social Media - Agrion Webinar by @JoeyShepp
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Communicating Sustainability using Social Media - Agrion Webinar by @JoeyShepp


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Companies today are able to engage in dialogue with their consumers through a variety of mediums, from traditional methods such as product packaging, to newer methods such as social media. However, …

Companies today are able to engage in dialogue with their consumers through a variety of mediums, from traditional methods such as product packaging, to newer methods such as social media. However, according to a recent study by Carbon Trust, only a small percentage of consumers place confidence in companies’ sustainability claims. Additionally, hesitations in integrating social media into communications strategy still exist alongside a lack of understanding of how effective these tools can be. Our session today will examine how synergies between social media and communication strategy can have a tremendous impact by restoring consumer confidence, creating two-way dialogue, and promoting green practices. We investigate cost, return, strategy, transparency, and benchmarking for these communications campaigns, within the greater conversation of how this form of new media and globalization have compelled change in the corporate- consumer relationship.

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  • 1. CommunicatingSustainability Using Social Media by
  • 2. Presenter•• Founder and
  • 3. Social Media Today
  • 4. Information Age• The industrial age filled the world with Stuff• The Information Age is Filling our world with Information.• Cheap, Accessible, Abundant• potential limitless growth
  • 5. Disruptive Technology• Free• Mobile• DeCentralized• Real-Time• Hyper-local
  • 6. Closing the Digital Divide • Internet to reach 2 Billion Users this year, Representing 30% of global Population • 70% of Developed Countries • 21% of Developing CountriesSource:
  • 7. Moore’s Law• Speed of computers Doubles every two years• “Singularity” is coming… Computers transcend Biology ~Ray Kurzweil
  • 8. Facebook: Global Citizenship• 500,000,000 Active users• 700,000 New Users Daily!• 70% outside the US• 380,000 Likes / minutes• Accounts for 25% of all USA page views
  • 9. YouTube: You are the Media• 35 Hours Uploaded every Minute!• Hundreds of the most popular users make 6 Figures a year• Lady Gaga and Eminem surpass 1 billion hits
  • 10. Twitter:The Pulse of the pLanet• New Record Set: 8,868 Tweets/Second• 40% USA 60% international• In the USA, 87% awareness, yet only 7% use it• Sentiment Analysis Proven as accurate as Exit Polls
  • 11. 3,339 Texts Per Month
  • 12. Born into this world• 92% of U.S. Toddlers have an online presence• The vast majority of children today will have online presence by the time they are two years old — a presence that will continue to build throughout their whole lives.
  • 13. Why use Social Mediafor Sustainable Business?
  • 14. The New Marketing Landscape • Earned Media (Public Relations) • Owned Media (Website) • Advertising (Paid) • Social Media (Community)
  • 15. Social Media Is DIFFERENT Old School New School B2C C2C Top Down Bottom Up Closed Open Print Media Digital MediaOne to Many Many to Many Privacy TransparencyAdvertisement Conversation
  • 16. Four out of five NEW MEDIA USERSinteract with companies and brands online source
  • 17. Belief that Social Media Provides an Opportunity to Reach New Customers Source: MiresBall and KRC Research interview Brand Marketers
  • 18. Two-thirds of American new media users Feel they can influence business practices by voicing opinions online. source
  • 19. What people Want From Sustainable Businesses• 85% what’s in products and how they’re made• 83% additional details about labels and claims seen offline• 82% providing a forum for consumers to voice concerns over business practices• 82% reporting progress on social and environmental issues• 80% advocating for social or environmental issues source
  • 20. Social Media is perfect for Sustainable Business Openness Authenticity Transparency Full Disclosure• Sustainable Businesses have an authentic story• Sustainable Businesses are fine with transparency• Social & environmental responsibility is what community wants to hear
  • 21. Greenwashing Today
  • 22. TerraChoice Marketing
  • 23. More Green• Between 2009 and 2010 the number of “greener” products (products claiming to be green) increased by 73%• As consumers demand greener products, companies are attempting to meet that demand with more green products.
  • 24. More Greenwashing• In 2010, over 95% of “greener” products commit one or more of the seven “Sins of Greenwashing”
  • 25. Greenwashing Progress• Companies are improving with practice• Big Boxes Stock More Green• Eco Labeling Good and Bad• BPA Claims Rise• Toys and baby products poor
  • 26. Avoiding Greenwashing
  • 27. Hidden Trade Offs• Paper from Sustainably Harvested Forests• Need to tell the full story
  • 28. No Proof• Tissue paper claiming recycled content, but not how much• Need to show proof to claims
  • 29. Vagueness• Food claiming to be “all natural”• Use specific sustainability terms or certifications to describe your product quality
  • 30. False Labels• Giving the impression of third-party endorsement• Be clear with endorsements and certifications
  • 31. Irrelevance• CFC-Free, despite it being banned by law• Make your sustainability claims meaningful and relevant
  • 32. Lesser of Two Evils• Organic cigarettes• Sustainability isn’t about less bad, it’s about going to the root of the issue
  • 33. Fibbing• Claiming to be Energy Star certified when you’re not• Honesty as a practice
  • 34. Focus on Accountability
  • 35. News Travels Fast• People trust people, not companies• Many to many communications speeds up information transfer• More people connected more time in the day
  • 36. Radical Transparency• many to many communications accelerates sharing• people trust their peers• Brands no longer control the message
  • 37. Reputation Sticks• Every review and comment builds reputation• People trust reviews• One good or bad review can make or break reputation
  • 38. Sustainable Marketing Tactics
  • 39. Reposition Sustainability1. High Performance2. Affordable3. Good for People and Planet
  • 40. Think Community• No longer “Consumers”• Community manager• About Engagement• Acknowledged Power Dynamic• Customer as a Stakeholder
  • 41. Localize
  • 42. Encourage regional Independent Social Media
  • 43. Independent MediaList of WholeFoods Regional Twitter Accounts
  • 44. Local Benefits Special Offers withFoursquare Checkins
  • 45. Deliver Social GoodUse Social Media to Deliver Social Good
  • 46. Million Baby Crawl• Seventh Generation• Consumer Activism Campaign• Toxic Chemical Policy Reform
  • 47. Crowd Sourcing Sustainability Draw innovation from your customer community.
  • 48. Starbucks Sponsors EcoCup contest
  • 49. CSR EvolutionTell your company’s responsibility story every day
  • 50. Seventh GenerationCEO, JEFFREYHOLLENDERWhat the world needs is... "Mediamavens who can leverage social media into political change." • CRS Innovation • Open Feedback • Contests for Innovation
  • 51. Environmental ImpactSocial Media is Reduces Environmental Footprint
  • 52. Social Media is Sustainable• Reduced Travel• Many to Many Communications• Paperless Office• Energy Use… getting better
  • 53. Measuring Sustainability Communications
  • 54. Conventional Measuring of Social Media ROI• Direct (sales/lead gen)• Baseline: 6-12 month process• Brand Sentiment• Engagements
  • 55. Engagement as the basis for Social Currency• Responding• Engagement / Participation• Sharing / Thanking• User Generated Content
  • 56. Few Sustainability Standards• There are no mandatory sustainability reporting standards• All existing standards are voluntary• GRI, Natural Step, ISO 14001
  • 57. Carbon Offsets• The universal patch• A good start, but better to solve underlying problems
  • 58. Common Sustainability Measurements• Commuting Miles Saved• Energy/Water Conservation• Product Lifecycle Analysis• LEED Standards
  • 59. Sustainability Dashboard Vision• “Quickbooks for Sustainability Measurements”• Many attempts at Sustainability Dashboards, but none have succeeded• A Complex Task
  • 60. B Impact Rating System• The B Impact Rating System is a useful management tool to:• 1) to assess your companys impact on each of its stakeholders and• 2) improve your social and environmental performance
  • 61. Good Guide• Measures environmental impacts of common products• Search online and with mobile apps
  • 62. Klout• Measures Social Media Influence• Combines many social networks• Influence as a basis for reputation
  • 63. Communicating Sustainability Goals and Progress
  • 64. Set a Roadmap• People understand you can’t be Sustainable overnight• Admit to where you’re at• Make achievable goals against a timeline• Report on those goals
  • 65. Tell Your CRS Story• CRS Reports are not interesting for consumers• Break down your CRS report into an ongoing story• Provide daily/weekly updates of your Sustainability Story
  • 66. Sustained Engagement• Ask employees to report on how sustainability impacts them• Ask customers for feedback on how sustainable your company is
  • 67. Where are we going?
  • 68. Growth in bothSocial Media and Sustainability
  • 69. Create a Sustainability Roadmap
  • 70. Use Social Media to TellYour Sustainability Story
  • 71. And remember to Stay Human
  • 72. Resources
  • 73. Twitter Accounts @JoeyShepp @Earthsite @SocialGoodMedia
  • 74. Tweet me your Questions @JoeyShepp [Your Question]
  • 75. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial- Share Alike 3.0 United States License.To view a copy of this license, visit by-nc-sa/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.