Posts Tagged ‘social media’

During a meeting with a client this morning, he mentioned an article he had recently re-read about Facebook, written back in 2005. At that time, there were a few million Facebook users, and the article talked about how the social network would be mostly for college students.

Fast forward to today: Facebook now has more than 500 million users. And they are most definitely not just college students. My mom is on Facebook. My Grandma is on Facebook. And some people even have profiles for their dogs.

So, what’s my point? Well, other than the fact that I can no longer post scandalous photos on my profile (as if I ever did), social media is blowing up. And it’s not just the hardcore geeks who are blowing it up.

I just discovered this company, Futerra Sustainability Communications, a PR/communications firm based in the UK. They focus exclusively on CSR and sustainability, and have a rather kick-ass blog. One recent post discussed social media. I took one quote in it’s entirety, because it sums it up really well:

A key realisation that many at the table felt was that social media is moving ‘beyond the usual suspects’. This is in relation to age, sex, and location but also sustainability knowledge & engagement. Social media creates a dialogue with potential advocates that other media sources have little influence over.

So, basically, social media may be opening up doors to communicate issues of sustainability with people previously not very reachable. Of course, reaching out to people and actually affecting change are two completely different things.

Did you find this post interesting? Leave a comment below, or share it via your social networks.


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As if social media doesn’t already completely permeate our lives, now the cultural phenomenon has its own week. Five cities – Bogota, LA, Milan, Beunos Aires, and Mexico City – are hosting a week-long event featuring workshops, presentations, and of course, parties. If you can’t manage to catch the next plane to Italy, some of the classes will be offered as webinars.

Mike Bonifer, CEO of GameChangers, LLC, posted a great overview of the week’s festivities on the Huffington Post.


Photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff.

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I love getting e-mail. I think it’s a feeling left over from when I was a kid, and getting mail was an event that only happened a few times a year. I remember the first time I got a credit card offer… it was a big defining moment in my life. Needless to say, my dreams were shattered when my mom pointed out that a 15-year-old couldn’t have a credit card. But thankfully, I still get lots and lots of them today.

These days, most of my e-mail consists of the kind of material on par with credit card offers. Offers like, “Save my Nigerian prince brother and I will transfer $1.5 million dollars into your bank account!” or “Enlarge you _______!” or “Lose 48 pounds in the next 3 hours!” show up on a regular basis in my Inbox. And then of course, I get a newsletter from every website I ever visited since 1998.

So, the idea of signing up for Google alerts, just so I can get MORE e-mails, seem counterproductive, but at least Google alerts are on topics I actually want to read about.

Today’s alert summary on “sustainability” brought up a blog post from Smart Planet, an interactive website sponsored by CBS. The post was about prioritizing your CSR goals for sustainability. I won’t summarize it here, because you should just go read it. But one tip stood out to me, and made me think of how it applied to what I’m usually talking about on this blog.

“You need tools that analyze in real time, not just a moment in time. Yes, I know that getting a grip on your carbon footprint is not easy. But, once you do, why would you report it just once a year?”

The tip ends with a great question: why would companies just report it once a year? Especially when powerful (and virtually free) tools, like Facebook, Twitter, e-books, websites, YouTube, etc., are easily available? And who really wants to read an annual report? I mean, seriously. I would much rather watch a cool video like the one below on a topic like corporate social responsibility. Or view a Facebook photo album about a company’s latest going green efforts. Or get a tweet when my favorite company has reached an important sustainability goal.

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I found a post on Fabian Pattberg’s blog about a recent virtual CSR conference. Pattberg has a great wrap-up list of some of the topics and speakers.

A virtual CSR conference sounds like a great idea. I’ll have to keep up with the news for 2011, because I would love to participate in something like this.

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For all the naysayers out there, here’s a recent stat to disqualify all your naysaying:

Twitter just reached 10 billion tweets. That’s a lot. That’s more than I can really explain or wrap my head around. All I know is that 10 billion is a really, really big number. And it proves that Twitter is probably here to stay (at least for a while).

So take that, Twitter-haters!

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Had an awesome meeting today with one of my many bosses. Several of her clients have some really exciting stuff going on (especially in the areas of social media) and I am really looking forward to getting finished with school and getting my hands into some “real world practice.”

I’m also still musing over Marc Epstein’s book “Making Sustainability Work.”

This book is written by an academic researcher who also happens to have more than 25 years experience as a sustainability consultant. Because of his background, the book provides a nice balance between a technical, theoretical perspective and a practical, hands-on perspective.

Epstein stresses that sustainability is not just for large, international corporations. He says it is also vital for “companies with either high or low social and environmental impact, companies small and large, manufacturers and service companies, with large community affairs” (p. 15).

A study conducted by SIRAN (Social Investment Research Analysts Network found that 79% of the S&P 100 companies have sections on their websites for sharing sustainability policy and performance information (p. 223). I think this statistic proves that sustainability is a priority at the majority of major companies.  Regardless of whether they wanted it or not, sustainability is a part of their business (for the better, in my opinion).

The Internet is changing the way information about a company’s sustainability efforts is disseminated. “Users of corporate websites have greater control over which portions of the report to review and which to disregard” (p. 232). Although Epstein doesn’t really make the connection in his book, I think there is a correlation between the ability of the user to control the information and how credible the company appears. In addition, I think the more information that is made available the better.

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logo-1At exactly 8:30 last Saturday morning, I walked into the doors of the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering for the 2nd Social Camp Memphis. I went to the first one, back in April, and learned a ton, so I was really looking forward to take two.

I was not disappointed. I started off the day in the session by MLGW communication experts Stacey Greenberg and Richard Thompson. Super cool how they are using Twitter for customer service. And they have a Facebook page and e a kick-ass blog. Energy companies get a bad rap, but MLGW is doing a great job of reaching out to customers. Again, what they are doing is a great example of how social media and sustainability can really go hand-in-hand to fuel innovation.

The second session I went to was called “Don’t Be a Social Media Douchebag.” Hey, I’m allowed to write the d-word… it’s the formal title of the session! The presenters were Kerry Crawford and Zachary Whitten. Great tips on what NOT to do on Facebook and Twitter. Most important thoughts: Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Know the rules of the social media tools you are using.

The final session of the day (for me… I had to scoot to Project: Motion dance class) was by Rod Kirby and was all about writing your blog more like a magazine (basically, tips on how to make money off your blog). He had some great advice, and even if I’m probably not going to start posting ads on this blog, his ideas apply to blog quality in general. Expect to see a few changes on here in the near future…

Overall, a successful day. Looking forward to the next Social Camp!

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