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Lead or Follow? What’s the Value in Leading Sustainability Narratives on the Social Web?

sustainability communications_narrative“There’s only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about.”  Oscar Wilde, 1890

This quote written over a century ago summarizes one of the driving factors for today’s social media engagement strategy developments.  With the increasing speed of communication now available through the variety of social tools, most executives might think that limiting conversation (i.e. managing business risk) may be the ideal social media engagement strategy.  However, at Taiga Company, we advocate the exact opposite.

At Taiga Company, we advocate that sustainability professionals and executives should not only engage in conversation but actively work to lead the discussions.  Drilling down into the value drivers of social media success in forward-thinking cultures, knowledge management is being expanded as a driver of social media strategies.  Some of the most recognized incentives of proactive social engagement include:

  • To make innovative ideas visible and accessible
  • To allow people to have conversations
  • To build community
  • To facilitate information exchange
  • To enable knowledge sharing
  • To assist with expert location
  • To power collaboration on idea evolution
  • To help people educate themselves
  • To connect people to others who share their passion
  • To surface the insights and strategy that people should be building ideas from

Sustainability and social media together offer a refreshing and innovative approach to business.  In fact, results have shown that socially engaged enterprises see 4x better returns.  For these and a number of positive business sustainability reasons, our professional consulting provides information and services to help your business discover the value of social media for sustainability communications.  Visit us to learn how you can drive the conversation.

3 Missteps to Avoid with Social Media Communications

social media communications misstepsSocial media engagement has become an essential tool for value creation.  In fact, the perception of social media marketing has shifted quickly over the last few years.  Previously viewed as a trendy or passing fad to now a “must have”  for any business seeking to secure a place in both the traditional and digital marketplace. What could once be accomplished by a traditional website now needs to be supplemented by a robust and responsive utilization of the tools social media engagement offers.

Navigating this strange, new world can be quite confusing at first. With new tools and strategies changing the way the business world communicates and exchanges information, social media has revolutionized communications in a way that marketers and corporate communications teams fail to embrace.  Why?  Because applying marketing strategies of the past to newer social platforms doesn’t work. Common mistakes seen in our social media consulting with clients include:

Misstep #1

Communications teams and marketers select low-impact social media opportunities because they overestimate the benefits and underestimate the resources necessary to execute. Failing to think through the audience, strategy, and required resources before launching accounts leads to unfocused use of social media that quickly loses steam.

Misstep #2

After accounts are established, it’s hard to continue creating and finding a consistent stream of relevant content to keep stakeholders engaged. Account owners are time constrained and may miss content opportunities from elsewhere in the organization.

Misstep #3

Social media is social, engaging, and community oriented. Account owners wondering what to say, how to say it, should you say it at all, and what will people think if you do say it – are encouraged to stop it… And instead ask, “how can I help other people today?”  “Which issues are most important to stakeholders and how best can I communicate that information to them?”

The solution?  Our consulting practice advocates that social media engagement offers an evolved approach to business growth and stakeholder participation.  
Social media marketing can address more mainstream marketing drivers as well as more sophisticated ones.  It’s all part of the social media strategy that you have in place and how that strategy relates to your overall business goals.  Because social media intelligence incorporates a thorough 360-degree assessment of stakeholder engagement, there are a number of ways you can use information to your advantage. The right kind of information can be used for a whole range of processes in the business that can ultimately lead to your business’ success.    Need help with your social media engagement?  We’re here to help!  Social media marketing can be a win for your business and a win for sustainable business strategies.  Get started today.

Can Social Media Capture the Interest of Investors to Secure Investment Dollars?

 

Nine-Investing-Behaviors-Art2Given a choice between two companies that are otherwise equal, investors will place a higher value on the one that is more open and transparent. Given that sustainable businesses embrace the concept of transparency, one would think that access to investment capital would then be easier.  

Unfortunately, securing financing and investment dollars is one of the most pressing issues facing any start-up or businesses seeking to grow.  The ability to entice funding or ensure needed credit almost exclusively depends on meeting the qualifications defined by the lender.  Yet, as the future stability of business becomes further intertwined with sustainability ‘risk and reward’, investors now place business sustainability qualifications atop their list as a dominant determinant of return.  

The fact is, businesses with a demonstrated effort to reduce risk have a higher probability of a stable future.  With that said, ‘green’ investors are seeking executive leadership which understands business sustainability risk and opportunity.  Leveraging social media for sustainability and communicating corporate sustainability initiatives in the social space creates bridges between the corporate world and its stakeholders.  

Yet executives new to social media marketing question the social media strategy  and accompanying content to deliver on reaching investors in the social space.  Among the many potential areas of interest, following are a few that areas worth considering.

Energy Consumption Plan – The increased business risk of rising energy costs has investors rewarding companies with a demonstrated plan to reduce energy consumption and evaluate alternative sources of supply.

Emission Reduction Programs – As Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) continue to receive attention, proactive companies implementing process improvements and advanced remediation technologies are seen as more attractive.

Sustainable Supply – Growing concern with supply chain stability in the current economy, preference is being given to companies with strategic sourcing and procurement guidelines in alignment with business sustainability strategies and supplier operations.

Sustainable Market Strategy – With a noticeable change in consumer behavior, investors are seeking businesses with a business sustainability plan to tap into the expanding ‘green’ market and increase consumer loyalty.

‘Green’ and sustainability has shifted from a movement, to a market, to an investment opportunity.  As companies target risk reduction and a new, growing customer segment, investors are seeking to align with today’s best.  Our consulting firm provides information and professional services to improve your business and catch the eye of sustainable business investment via social media success. Contact us today to learn more.

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