We’ve analysed the data and spoken with the leaders. From this we have compiled these nine common principles, themes and trends all attributed with giving brands a sustainability boost on social media.
There’s no magic formula for social media influence for sustainability – we’ve seen the big influencers have very different approaches. Key is having a clear strategy based around objectives and an understanding of your audience.
Marketeers and communications teams know this well, but we still see sustainability commitments, case studies, etc. being announced without a call for followers to react and respond.
Dedicated social media handles can be effective, and are arguably easier to plan content and editorial strategies around, not to mention allocate resources to. But integrated channels join up communications that increase sustainability awareness and get the corporate brand narrative linked up as well.
Just as your overall corporate communications strategy should reflect your key audiences, so should sustainability communicators know exactly who it is that you want to reach with sustainability content. Understanding who they are, where, what and how they interact on social is critical to gaining traction, response and influence.
If you’re a B2B tech company who wants to talk to your customers about how R&D is delivering product innovations that achieve improved environmental impacts across the full product life cycle, the language you use should reflect this. Don’t be wary of using industry or audience-specific terminology if that’s what the audience you’re talking with will respond to.
Be authentic when announcing goals, targets and commitments. Share your plan to achieve them. Demonstrating that you need the assistance of partners such as NGOs adds credibility and is more likely to be shared.
Employees can be ambassadors for your strategy through their own handles if they feel empowered. These don’t necessarily have to be CSOs or VPs, as an informal, human voice can champion your actions and add meaningfulness.
CSR and sustainability professionals are only too willing to network on social media. For broader impact and engagement, ensure that you understand the specialist influencers that have an opinion and relevance to your business’s material issues.
Quite simply, the more social media handles you use the broader the potential reach of your communications. Empower your different communications teams to feel equal ownership of your sustainability story to avoid conflicting priorities.