Sustainability is already a tough sell, since primary factors for investing in a product or service are driven by price or quality advantage. So, when considering your green marketing campaign, it is important to use all of your marketing resources and to use them well.
Social media is a fantastic platform through which to discuss social issues like environmental consciousness, allowing you to engage both existing and potential customers, but it needs to be done in the right way.
According to the 2014 Social Media Sustainability Index by Sustainly.com, of the 475 companies studied, over half discussed their sustainability efforts through their social media networks. However, the majority did not understand their audience, or more specifically how to speak to this audience or approach them in an engaging and efficient way.
So what is an effective way? First, let’s establish that merely preaching to a social community about saving the environment is not effective enough. Companies need to focus on presenting their brand and sustainability goals in a creative and entertaining way, so that it not only conveys useful information, but also engrosses the market base and personally connects with them or resonates with their own social consciousness.
Moreover, the campaign needs to engage the market base into a reciprocal discussion, what is being termed as a ‘living’ campaign. Where traditional marketing schemes consisted of putting ideas ‘out there’ and hoping that they landed on good soil, took root, and sprouted, a living campaign tests the waters, sees how the marketing scheme is being received, and adjusts from there – it actually has a much better chance of growth this way.
In other words, a living campaign monitors how the social community responds to the information they are being given. It starts a conversation – speaks with them as opposed to speaking at them – and encourages and listens to responses.
For a successful social marketing campaign you will need to track and analyze feedback and carefully respond to convey your message of sustainability. The best way to achieve this is to employ a Social CRM tool, something like what Brand Embassy offers, to keep all of the communication organized in one location. Not only does this give a company access to all of the conversations in its social networks, but it tracks and analyzes the content so that it is easy to differentiate content and generate a personalized dialogue. Moreover, this data allows you to monitor the strengths and weaknesses of your social campaign which can help you improve future campaigns.
So to summarize, your social media strategy needs to not only drive brand awareness and convey your sustainability goals, but it needs to generate a meaningful connection with your customer base. Social media marketing is all about building relationships, and these relationships in turn build brand loyalty and increase ROI.
For more insight on marketing strategies for sustainability campaigns see our article “Green Marketing is a Hard Sell!”
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