How To Use Green Social Media – Let Me Count The Ways

Everyone is wondering what to do about social media. How does it fit into a marketing plan? How does it fit into a business plan? Should we engage? How much? What is this thing called social media?

An article Where Does Social Media Sit in a Firm? Probably Many Places in Marketing &Strategy Innovation Blog, one of my favorites, details several places. Quoting Jim Tobin, a few obvious and not so obvious applications are identified.

  • Brand managers can now use social media as an integral part of marketing campaigns.
  • Product developers can use social media for consumer intelligence. The idea that you have to spend tens of thousands to get limited information from focus groups is becoming outmoded.
  • Public relations can look at the messages that they send and figure out how they can make them a) more interesting and b) more easily digested by the blogosphere and the networks.
  • Customer service should be using social media to decrease call volume and increase customer satisfaction. Paying $35 per phone call to answer the same types of questions thousands of times isn’t helping anyone.
  • Human resources can be using social media to convey what working at the company is all about, and they should certainly be using it to go find candidates with particular backgrounds.

Going a bit further….

  • Research or insight teams make use of social media to monitor or probe customer opinions, watch how their brand and their competitors are being discussed, understand more about customer lives and habits and even ask specific questions..
  • Senior managers should be using social media as a way of them connecting directly with consumers.

This all seems to make sense to me. In my experience, the title of “social media something-or-other” seems to be popping up across organizations big and small. Crossing organizational lines it’s only a matter of time before we see “Chief Social Media Officers” assigned.

But, for companies on the cutting edge of new trends, of which green and eco friendly living is one, social media plays an even bigger role. By appropriately working with and within social media, green and social change entrepreneurs have the ability to shape the progress of the movement.

Green websites and blog networks (such as yours truly) are popping up across the internet. Green social media sites like Hugg, as well as the growing number of green video sites, like Livepath and Viropop are driving chatter about the movement and bringing visibility to heretofore unknown firms.

So, how can your company effectively use green social media to increase traffic to your website or sales of your green product? My recommendation is focus. With limited resources, and who doesn’t have limited resources, decide where you best fit.

Do you have a dedicated staff member to focus on green social media? This is a great summer intern or entry level position. And face it, recent college grads are far more comfortable with social media than those even a few years older.

Are you video oriented? Are you creative and funny? Does your company’s product lend itself to viral video? If so focusing on producing videos as Andy Keller at Chico Bags did.

Are you more print oriented? Do you or someone on your staff really understand how top social media sites work? Then focusing on becoming a key member of a green community like Hugg or Care2 or those on Digg and Reddit might be for you.

There are a thousand strategic ways to approach your social media effort. What works for you?

Photo Credit:labcji at Flickr Under Creative Commons License

Related Posts about Green Social Media:

Using The Web to Build Your Green Business.

Social Networking and Online Marketing for the Ecopreneur

PR Tips For Green Entrepreneurs

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About the Author

Hear Maryanne speak on Social Media for Socially Conscious Brands at Expo East on September 27th! Maryanne Conlin is CPG brand marketer and digital marketing expert, CEO of RedRopes Digital and Partner Digital Strategy, 4GreenPs. A Shorty Award winner for best Green Content on Twitter, she was a member of the IAA team that won the Green Award in 2010 and most recently was a finalist for the PRSA - Los Angeles PRISM awards for social media. She and her team focus on providing strategic marketing direction, custom content for web, mobile and social platforms, social media community management and online promotions and digital advertising solutions for companies in the green, food and Hispanic space. Follow her on Twitter @maryanneconlin