The Many Ways Twitter Engages Stakeholders for Sustainability and CSR Communications

Green communicationsThe path of business sustainability is a journey.  And what makes up a journey?  Experiences.  As sustainability consultants, we’re aware that high level sustainability concepts are universal and easier to understand.  However, what is compelling is the expression of how an individual or a company embraces those sustainability concepts to deliver results.  We’re all captivated by the unique sustainability experiences but equally important is its delivery and expression.  Social media marketing has proven to be an innovative and effective way to address two of the biggest hurdles around sustainability: defining what it is and providing the means and channels for sharing sustainability experiences.

Why is Twitter great for green and sustainable businesses to communicate with stakeholders?

Branding:  As mentioned, a major component of any corporate sustainability plan isn’t so much how a company carries out those strategies but also how it communicates it to its many stakeholders.  There is an emerging role of social media for stakeholder engagement and for businesses to communicate their broader corporate responsibility agenda. As illustrated in the post, 5 Sure Fire Ways to Find your Green Social Media Voice on Twitter there are multiple branding opportunities for green businesses.

Prospecting: By using the Twitter search function, you can find the people who need what you sell, with whom you can do deals, etc.

Networking: Using Twitter as a tool to create and foster relationships is among one of its best attributes.  Sustainable businesses looking to reduce cost, increase productivity while simultaneously reduce environmental impacts by minimizing travel are looking to technology to do the trick and Twitter as a networking tool aids in this strategy.

Engaging:  By building strategic relationships with key influencers of sustainability in the social space, we all create and empower sustainability and its mainstream adoption.  The post, 6 Ways to Build Strategic Relationships With Sustainability Influencers of Social Media explains how best to engage.

Competitive intelligence:  Creating bridges between the corporate world and its competitors, social media engagement closes the gap on knowledge management and business intelligence.  Social media for sustainability communications has become a risk or an opportunity. Monitoring, listening, and dialoguing in the social space not only offers a competitive advantage but also provides other key ingredients for successful social media engagement and competitor intelligence.

Green Vendor Selection: Companies evaluating their vendors on mutual sustainability values have the opportunity to leverage twitter in building a relationship that provides transparency, visibility into operations, and creates opportunities for performance oversight.

Stakeholder Conversations: Social media engagement provides individuals, communities, businesses, and non-government organizations the ability to connect with business in meaningful discussion from anywhere in the world in real time.  To focus the corporate ear, business sustainability minded organizations are engaging with stakeholders, who have a vested interest in the success of the business and profoundly advance the sustainability conversation.

Reporting: It is becoming more common for businesses to integrate social media in the annual corporate sustainability report.  However, a growing trend is to communications sustainability related KPI’s quarterly.

The role of social media marketing shares similar values to sustainability: authenticity, transparency, and engagement.  Is your green business on twitter?  If not, with over 48,000 followers and a specialty in building social media engagement for green and sustainable Twitter communities, we are here to help you with your social media for sustainability success.  Contact us today or download our free Guide to Green Business Social Media Success.

About the Author:

Leveraging 15 years of business development, marketing, and communications expertise in the Energy, Medical, and Information Technology industries, Julie now consults and advises clients on purpose driven stakeholder communications in the social space. Specialty areas include a variety of issues intersecting between environmental stewardship, sustainable business practices, and the bottom-line benefits of sustainability strategies. Julie leverages a BA in Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and IT studies from Southern Methodist University to meet the social, technological, environmental business objectives of Taiga's clients.