How Social Media Transforms Sustainability Messages from Logic to Heartfelt Connections

How Social Media Transforms Sustainability Messages from Logic to Heartfelt Connections

Many people are confused as to what sustainability means and how it applies to business.  To some, they hear sustainability and it means renewable energy to them.  To others it may mean organic farming practices; however, to another person, sustainability  might mean energy efficiency or responsible purchasing in a supply chain.

Social media engagement offers the opportunity to define and put context around the definition of sustainability by articulating it in tweets, status updates, pictures on pinterest or even a video on YouTube. It offers the opportunity of personalized brand expression. When you think about it, oftentimes, corporate communications of a company’s goals, mission, and day to day business operations can be sterile or even confusing.  That information lives in our heads - not in our hearts.

Social media transforms these sterile messages into captivating and dynamic messages that engage the imagination of others.  The ideas resonate in the hearts of stakeholders because these mediums are a gateway to inserting brands, products, services into the day to day lives of consumers, employees, and others.

Take for example, AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign.  Going back to the definition of sustainability, many are confused to the social aspect of the definition.  We know sustainability is defining the success of your business from an economic and environmental aspect, but how does the social aspect express itself?  Well AT&T embraces the social aspect by caring for its stakeholders by advocating safe driving.

AT&T’s It Can Wait started at the top - driven by chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson’s personal desire to stop texting and driving. In the last year the multi-media and multi-platform awareness raising program has been so powerful that even AT&T’s competitors, including Sprint Corp, T-Mobile US and Verizon have got on board.  One of social media storytelling highlights was this 30 minute documentary directed by Werner Herzog, detailing the suffering of families whose loved ones have been killed in texting and driving accidents.

Both are examples of the use of social media to define what the social aspect of sustainability means to AT&T while also executed in a heartfelt manner pairing sustainability, and AT&T to the daily lives of its stakeholders. 

Your business can harness the power of social media for sustainability communications too.  As we mentioned in our post, Communicating Sustainability on Social Media - The Right and Wrong Way, new tools and strategies are changing the way the business world communicates and exchanges information.  We fondly state that social media is becoming the transparent, engaging, competitive advantage that business sustainability delivers.  The propagation of sustainable information to effectively communicate business sustainability successes is becoming a more active dialog.  Need help finding your voice? Engaging with stakeholders? Contact us!  We're here to help!  Or, enjoy the related post for additional information.

This piece originally appeared on the Taiga Company blog. Distributed with permission of the author.