How to Make Your Sustainable Business Stand Out on Social Media
Marketing your sustainable brand is about to lead you to greener pastures, my business-savvy friend. A study from Nielsen observed that “products with sustainability claims generally outperform the growth rate of total products in their respective categories.”
If sustainability sounds a bit dry, let’s talk about something we all understand: chocolate.
Just two years ago, chocolate sales grew by 4.5%, while sustainable chocolate sales increased by 16%! Tendencies in the mentioned report show that there is a high number of consumers who are willing to spend more money on green businesses. Of course, this is excellent news for your sustainable brand, but it also indicates there’s a competition to win over these customers.
And you’re not just facing new competition. Established brands are catching up and producing sustainable alternatives as well.
You can stay ahead of your competitors, gain life-long customers, and encourage conscious capitalism by making your sustainable business stand out on social media.
1. Make Consumers the Heroes in Your Messaging and User-Generated Spotlights
First of all, avoid explaining to consumers how your products are going to save the world, even though it’s awesome that they do. Instead, turn your customer into the hero (which never gets old) by demonstrating how they’ll change the world by using your products and services.
Next, in order to endow your customers with a superhero cape, you should focus on making your content about them or something they can easily engage with.
For instance, TOMS has done a wonderful job with user-generated content and engagement campaigns.
The “I Stand for…” campaign encourages consumers to decide which issue (those that match with TOMS’ brand mission) they support. This message enables customers to commit to a cause with their purchase. And because this is something they can share with their friends, it leads to organic traffic.
In other words, your customers show off their good deeds — and voila! Your content becomes easily shareable and viral.
You can do amazing things for your sustainable business by including videos that focus on the customer experience in your content strategy. Let your audience know the difference they’re making when they support your eco-friendly brand, and your customers are more likely to show their friends the new eco-friendly lifestyle they’re choosing with your products or services.
At the end of the day, this presents your bottom line with a double win—you’ll improve your customer relationships and generate shareable content to increase awareness and boost sales.
2. Market More of What You Are and Less of What You’re Not
When you are about to make a good impression on new customers, do you begin by telling them about everything you aren’t? We hope not!
Enhance your content marketing message on social media by focusing on what you put forward as a sustainable brand and business.
Remember, your ideal customer values and expects change with a sustainable purchase, while Jane Doe may not feel the same. Our recommendation: focus only on the consumers who are willing to transform their lifestyles, budgets, or expectations when shifting to eco-friendly or more ethically sourced products.
While this may be difficult for some target audiences, there’s no need to apologize. Continue to promote all the attributes your product adds to a customer’s life (and the world), and you'll see solid results.
For example, vegan ice cream can be more pricey than store brand ice cream. However, you can talk about how much protein and healthy fat the cashew milk holds while reducing carbon emissions from dairy farms.
In case you sell ethically produced clothing, you can center around quality over quantity and reduce harmful fast fashion impacts.
In the end, customers choose your brand because of what they earn—not what they lose or need to improve in the process. It’s all about how you shape your messaging to work for your brand. Just remember to steer away from dominating the conversation with people who may not be ready for the changes that you inspire.
3. Partner with Like-Minded Influencers
The billion-dollar influencer industry still has plenty of steam, and this is excellent news if you’re planning a social media strategy for your sustainable brand.
As powerful as your message may be, influencers engage with their followers every single day, making people even more receptive to targeted messages. Their followers trust them. And if you create the right partnerships, they’ll trust your business, too.
Collaborating with an influencer to feature your sustainable products on social media will convert amazingly well when you pick the right micro or macro influencer.
Take Trash is for Tossers, Lauren Singer, for example.
Behind the catchy name is a true environmentalist who shows us the value of making small changes, like composting food scraps. She makes sustainable look doable and can influence your customers that caring is the new trend.
You can collaborate with brand ambassadors like her to make your socially responsible product and mission stand out to people who are interested in developing a more sustainable lifestyle.
4. Use Trending #Events on Social
It’s always clever to leverage trending topics and make the most of them if they’re relevant to your sustainable brand.
You can do so by applying hashtags your followers already employ, narrowing in on holidays and special events, hashtags that concern your business, and more. Hashtags help people find your content through organic search, so it’s essential to use them in every post.
You can find hashtag inspiration by taking a close look at an annual calendar. Choose events like Arbor Day or Earth Day that you can produce posts around. You can also study your community or relevant audiences to find out what events are most preferred and which hashtags they use.
You can even do a little ‘ethical spying’ on your competitors to see what they use in their posts. Of course, you could be a pioneer and create your own hashtags. Either way, ensure to use Instagram insights to understand how hashtags influence your reach. And optimize accordingly.
If you want an illustration of how influential hashtag campaigns can be, look no further than REI.
They subtly suggested people to #optoutside rather than indulging in Black Friday activities. However, the company didn’t imply that consumers that do opt-in are facilitating rampant consumerism on Black Friday.
They simply recommended a better option, helping to solidify their brand’s image and values in the mind of the consumer. They even closed their stores and compensated employees to go outside, showing their followers how they chose to #optoutside.
It was a fantastic illustration of a smart social media strategy.
5. Stay True to Your Branding in Everything You Produce
The internet is an excellent little indexer, and your brand’s every movement will most likely be filed away. When a brand disappoints its audience by using a spokesperson who acts against their core values, or when they inadvertently support a controversial cause, the world takes notice.
Ensure that the content you produce, the products you sell, and how you run your sustainable business are something you’re proud of when displayed for everyone to see. Also, make sure they’re compatible across every channel on social media. You can achieve this with proper branding.
When we promote sustainable brands, we believe the money’s in the messaging.
And a huge aspect of your messaging incorporates the way your mission, vision, and brand style are promoted on social media. These things help build and maintain what your environmental conscious company stands for, and they also support you in clearly communicating it to your ideal customer.
Going green still isn’t so popular, so take into consideration the unique culture, voice, and tone of your target audience. Use a language they can relate to when you tell your story. Then, apply these practices for your internal team so everyone knows how to address your audience using your brand’s voice.
Social media practices for sustainable brands are a great source of inspiration for planet-positive business owners. The industry continues to expand as people are more responsive to the messages sustainable businesses like yours promote.
By leveraging digital marketing best practices, you can easily reach a bigger audience and prove to them how valuable your products are to their future and, of course, our world.
If you ever need help figuring out how to make your eco-friendly company stand out online, get in touch with us.