Part One of this series describes the reasons why social media has the power to create change and provided examples of movements that had impacts in recent years because of influence carried through the power of Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Now, let's take a closer look.
If you’ve been following the #WeAreStillIn conversation on Twitter, you have witnessed the power of the humble hashtag to galvanize support for the Paris Climate Agreement. “We Are Still In” is a coalition of more than 2,700 leaders — including mayors, businesses, and investors — who have declared their support for climate action after Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Agreement. Companies like Nestlé and Mars are among global corporations that used the hashtag to publicly state that green is good business.
Using a hashtag (that can be as simple as #climatechange or #cleanenergy) makes it easier for users to see your message in a search. Building a Twitter list, or a curated group of Twitter accounts, around climate messaging creates a timeline of influencer tweets that keeps you current with relevant news and campaigns. Great ways to engage with like-minded users are to retweet (RT) their message, or RT it and add commentary. Here are the top 100 sustainability influencers and brands of 2016, according to Onalytica (which has me listed)!
If you’re writing an original tweet, the ideal length is 120-140 characters; or 20-40 characters for an image-based post. (Tweets with images receive 150% more engagement, according to Buffer). What to write? Try linking to a blog post or article, ask a question, or pull out a fact or inspiring quote. Keeping tweets to a theme that you’re passionate about (like ocean health, clean technology, or biking) positions you as a go-to source of information and might even get you a spot on someone else’s expert Twitter list.
If you’re tweeting for business, clustering your posts around 12pm and 5pm on weekdays encourages engagement, or liking, retweeting or favoriting your post. Figure out the time zone where the majority of your audience is located by using Twitter Analytics.
With more than 540 million professional users around the world, LinkedIn is a powerful platform to refine and showcase your expertise on impact-related topics (and since people tend to use it for networking, it’s not riddled by trolls).
Many climate organizations — like C40 Cities, Climate Leadership Council, BSR — post insights, news and even job openings on LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s invitation-only Influencer list is a collective of 500 of the world’s most innovative leaders who write about trending topics like policy and energy. Virgin’s Richard Branson and Unilever’s Paul Polman are two widely-followed Influencers carrying the torch on climate issues.
In recent years, LinkedIn has allowed all users, not just Influencers, to post long-form blogs, so you can join the sustainability discussion or become your industry’s climate spokesperson. Like writing any blog, choose a topic that you are passionate and knowledgeable about. And like with Twitter, you can tag people you want to notify (using @) or topics (using #) that your target audience is searching for.
Keep long posts between 300-1000 words to accommodate busy professionals, and center it on a topic that furthers your brand while letting your personal voice shine. Your blogs will be featured on your profile and on connections’ timelines, and if you build your network around voices you value, discussion in commentary below posts can be rich and constructive.
It’s time to pop Facebook’s fake-news bubble with a strong community of climate leaders. For example, NASA famously called out a climate change denier who, on Bill Nye’s Facebook page, falsely claimed the organization said that fossil fuels are “cooling the planet’s temperature.”
Facebook is a versatile platform that allows users to post status updates, link to articles, organize events and stream live videos. But to vie for user’s already-scattered attention, it’s best to keep your posts short (around 100 characters or less) and frequent.
A few more rules of thumb: keep posts timely, clear (no room for rambling), and end with a call to action, like urging readers to subscribe or to sign a petition.
Are you ready to dive in? Use these tips now to begin building your digital reputation as a leader on sustainability issues. Remember, growing your following and creating an impact takes time and persistence!
Contact us at Climate Social to discuss how we can further help you to become the thought leader in your industry you want to be.