Silent Spring: Why did green brands ignore Earth Day on Facebook?
If the signature day in your industry passes and you don’t mark it, did it happen?
That’s what I was wondering this week as I perused Facebook pages of green businesses I follow. Earth Day was Monday, a day where environmentalists fly their flag and people of all stripes do the least they can do and send a tweet or like a post. For green businesses, it’s an opportunity to show solidarity with other climate change activists, show leadership and, yes, promote your brand.
If you’re a green business, you’re a leader, whether you know it or not. Whether you have a dozen followers or a million, whether you’re a mom-and-pop shop or a global corporation. To ignore something like Earth Day – it’s a gimme, folks – is akin to Macy’s forgetting about Christmas or Butterball ignoring Thanksgiving.
Macy’s exists to sell people things, and Christmas, as a commercial event, exists for people to buy stuff. Same thing with Earth Day and green companies. If you’re a green company, you must promote sustainability as a core feature of your product or service; Earth Day is a time to celebrate the planet, and by extension your brand. It’s true: Earth Day is a marketing opportunity.
At first, I wondered if brands weren’t posting about Earth Day because of concerns over Facebook. Not the privacy issues we’ve heard so much about, but the idea that Facebook isn’t growing or that users are opting to log on to Instagram or Snapchat. Perhaps you’ve seen headlines that say Facebook isn’t cool anymore, now that parents are on it.
But then I realized that, no, these companies dropped the ball. Plus parents, aka grown ups, are going to be a core audience of these brands. Facebook dominates in terms of daily usage. With 1.52 billion daily users, it dwarfs its own Instagram (500 million daily users) and Snapchat (186 million daily users).
Moreover, these social media platforms are used in very different ways. Snapchat and Instagram are visual, great for quick stories or images that can be digested with a glance and, if you’re lucky enough, a double tap. Twitter is for sharing and engagement. Pinterest lets you share images that tell a story, create curiosity and lead back to your core brand.
Facebook also lets you tell a story, and if you’re not trying to use it as a medium, you are missing an opportunity. Many of the companies I follow have miniscule followings. Perhaps they don’t think it’s worth it to post, or no one will see it (that’s not what they thought around Christmastime!). It’s absolutely worth it, and here’s why:
1) It continues to establish you as an expert and player in your field. You have a unique differentiator: you’re a green brand, working to save the planet. Celebrate it! Let your green flag fly! There are opportunities every day to mark what you do, and to encourage action from the community. Earth Day is one day where you should definitely be making an effort, but there are 364 other days of the year where there are opportunities to establish your presence.
2) It promotes organic growth. Look, building a Facebook audience can be slow and frustrating. But growth won’t happen at all if you’re not posting content. It doesn’t just happen. You need to be posting consistently, whether it’s original content, relevant news stories or blog posts, deals, company news, etc. Facebook and its billions of users won’t find you if you’re absent.
3) It gives your page life and personality. See above. If your page is empty, it raises questions about the viability of your business – or if you still exist. When someone sees your last post was eight months ago, it gives little incentive to seek out more information about you.
4) Those posts can be repurposed. Say you are on Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat. Reuse those posts! Recycle those suckers. Any piece of content you create – a photo, video, blog post, etc. – can be reused across different mediums. These are teed up marketing opportunities.
Unsure how to create a beautiful Facebook post? Sites like Canva or PicMonkey (or others) can virtually do it for you through templates that look great. That’s what Green Collar Communications used in our Earth Day push. We’re pretty happy with the results.
Building a following and maintaining your social media accounts is hard. But don’t give up.
You want a thriving online presence that matches the energy of your brand. Onward!
What’s your story? Green Collar Communications is a digital marketing and PR agency serving companies in the green economy. We help bring your eco-friendly story to more people, helping you get more leads and clients. Interested in working with us? Contact us today.