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The importance of promoting your business’ sustainability through social media

23 March 2022

If you’re not using the power of social media to promote your business then the truth is you’re being left behind. Social media is a highly impactful and cost-effective way for businesses to engage with customers. This is especially true for small business owners who are competing for the attention of potential customers. With this in mind and the growing desire for sustainability from business, it is vital that you are informing potential customers of how you are positively impacting the world. 

Recently Dr. Hanne Knight, Marketing Lecturer at Plymouth Business School, led research into the different approaches businesses use to espouse their sustainability credentials and their impact. Today, we’re going to take a look into this research paper and dissect the elements that you can use in your business’s social media today. 

Why You Should Be Using Social Media

A lot of businesses in the South-West have made huge strides in lowering their carbon footprint and impact on the environment. However, not enough businesses are informing or sharing this with the wide world via social media. The truth is, this hard work you’re putting into lowering your carbon footprint and sustainability practices needs to be shared. Not just because it paints a positive picture of your business, but customers actively look for sustainable businesses to support, especially young people. By sharing this information, you will build a relationship with the customer, which in turn should lead to them becoming a customer, and hopefully in the future a return customer. 

Be part of the conversation and control your green narrative. Your hard work deserves to be shouted from the rooftops! 

Storytelling Is Important

As humans, we love a good story. We respond to compelling narratives. If you can spin a yarn of your journey into more eco-friendly and sustainable business practices, you will grab customers’ attention. Stories are memorable and demonstrate how a business evolved its thinking to develop a sustainable solution; how it built on its eco-friendly heritage over several generations; or how a family business develop a no-waste ethos. 

This brings the customer on a journey with you, they will grow and develop as you do. 

Know Your Audience

According to Dr. Hanne Knight, many businesses, especially small businesses, know who their real-world customers are, but virtual customers are more of an enigma. 

You often hear that young people have ditched Facebook, this is an incorrect assumption. Many may not consider it their first choice, but they still use it. It’s important to ensure you’re on all platforms, no matter who your demographic is. This way your message gets out to a variety of people, of all ages, and interests. In time you will figure out where your main audience comes from, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even TikTok. It takes time and effort but you will figure it out. It’s also worth noting that these social media’s come with stacks of data for you to look at, so you can see when you’re at your busiest, what age group views your content, and much more. This helps you really narrow down who you need to target. 

Social Media Is Your Ally Not Enemy

With all this being said, social media is not always this beaming palace of sales and joy. It can be a double-edged sword in the sense that just as much as you can communicate with people, they can also communicate back. And if they’ve got a complaint, then they will let that be publicly heard via your channels. Which in turn will be seen by other users. However, this is a worst-case situation and there are ways out of this. No, we’re not talking about disabling comments, deleting posts, or banning users. You can simply use the same power to reply, in an understanding and apologetic manner. If a customer sees you actively engaging with people it will increase their opinion, even though it may have been noticed through a negative lens. It shows that you are attentive, responsive, and caring of customer service. 

The fact of the matter is this, more people are spending more time online. Using social media as a strategic business tool will help you increase business, especially if you’ve got a dynamic and interesting story to tell. Don’t be put off, be brave, tackle the online space and get your business in front of as many eyes as you can!

Article based on information from the Plymouth Business School.

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