Social media has become a great platform to reach customers but also to educate and inspire climate action. Used by climate change activists, environmentalists, and companies, environmental social media builds a vital awareness of climate issues. When it comes to brands, it helps followers understand how their product is a solution to the climate crisis.
Environmental social media hashtags: #FridayForFuture
Using specific hashtags will ensure your brand or message reaches a broader audience. Environmental brands have even started campaigns bringing awareness to particular topics: #FridaysForFuture is one of them.
The movement started in August 2018, when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg and other young activists protested in front of the Swedish parliament for three weeks. They were trying to raise awareness against the Swedish government’s lack of action against climate change, and the movement went viral through Twitter and Instagram. Today, #FridaysForFuture is present in 7,500 cities and has over 14 million members. Their worldwide celebration is on the 19th of March.
Of course, the scenario is different for brands: it’s essential to know where your audience is. Clean tech B2B brands, for example, can leverage LinkedIn and Twitter to engage with specific stakeholders in their audience or generally engage with people in their target market.
Remember to show up consistently and keep a conversational tone!
How to start your environmental social media strategy
The posts covering the impacts of climate change are often on focused education, news, awareness, and warning against its negative consequences. Cooler Future, for example, a Berlin green start-up that created an investing platform for users willing to invest in companies tackling climate change, uses Instagram to inform and connect with future users. Although their product hasn’t been launched yet, they already have more than 5,000 followers.
A few basic steps to kickstart your strategy:
- Define your audience and how you’ll speak to them. And after that, keep it consistent.
- Identify important topics. These can be questions, challenges, needs, or recurring themes that your audience find interesting and relevant.
- Publish constantly. The content should be distributed on platforms where your ideal audience hangs out.
Developing your environmental social media content strategy
Your social media content should aim to educate and enlighten (or entertain) your audience, and it should sell your product too. With this in mind, we recommend starting with three pillars of monthly content:
Pillar #1: education
Find a core education topic related to your product’s value proposition. Continuing with CoolerFuture’s example, that could be financial investment and climate change educational posts.
Pillar #2: entertainment
Here, we have the opportunity to highlight internal company expertise, sourcing information internally to share with your audience. Thought-leadership posts and expert interviews are a few of the examples.
To source what type of information your environmental business should be sharing here, talk to your team regularly and focus on their background, interests, and expertise.
Pillar #3: selling
The content on this pillar is pretty self-explanatory: it should be focused on selling your product and its features and benefits. Think of content pieces like testimonials, case studies, partnerships and media announcements, and much more.
And an extra tip!
We recommend starting with these three pillars with one key topic per pillar. Check out Plan A‘s example.
First, they did a series of educational posts about carbon emissions’ scope 1, 2, and 3. Once that was thoroughly explained, they moved onto product posts, telling their audience how Plan A Carbon Manager works.
Once you’ve defined your strategy and executed it consistently, your environmental social media can scale up into more thought-leadership topics or core educational topics related to your product. But first establish the content engine by setting up processes and your content calendar. Start writing content.
A simple and effective way to find content inspiration is to publish your educational content around yearly events or environmental-related holidays, using specific hashtags to draw your audience toward your business. If an event already has a significant interest and traffic, your posts will get more attention!
Popular environmental events to write content around
#World Wildlife Day: 3rd of March
A day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The 2021 theme was “Forests and Livelihoods: sustaining people and planet”.
#SolarAppreciationDay: 13th of March
A day to celebrate and shine some light (pun intended) on the benefits of solar energy.
#InternationalDayofForests: 21st of March
2021’s theme was ‘Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being’. This day celebrates the importance of all forests and reminds us that we currently lose 10 million hectares of them every year.
#WorldWaterDay: 22nd of March
Held every year since 1993, this day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. The 2021 theme was ‘Valuing Water’.
#EarthDay: 20th-22nd of April
This event was first held on April 22, 1970! Now, it lasts three days, with events coordinated by EarthDay.Org in more than 193 countries. 2021’s theme is ‘Restore Our Earth™’.
#InternationalDayforBiologicalDiversity: 22nd of May
A United Nations–sanctioned international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues.
#BikeWeek: 30th of May – 5th of June
An initiative from Cycling UK, this annual celebration aims to make the world better by bike – and it also reminds us how brilliant bikes are.
#EUGreenWeek2021: 31st of May – 4th of June
This week celebrates the EU Action Plan toward a Zero Pollution Ambition, complete with a virtual conference
#WorldEnvironmentDay: 5th of June
Encouraging worldwide awareness, this is the UN’s leading event for promoting action towards protecting the environment. This year’s theme is ‘ecosystem restoration’.
#WorldOceanDay: 8th of June
This event aims to raise awareness and public interest in preserving oceans, not to mention the sustainable management of its resources. In 2021, the theme is ‘The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods’.
#WorldRefillDay: 16th of June
A public awareness event to help people live with less plastic.
#PollinatorWeek: 21st-27th of June
An event celebrated internationally supporting pollinator health — crucial animals that create and maintain several habitats and ecosystems.
#CleanAirDay: June (different dates)
Celebrated on the 2nd of June in Canada and the 17th of June in the UK, this event raises awareness of the air pollution issue, recognising how dependent our health, our environment, and our economy are dependent on good air quality.
#InternationalPlasticBagFreeDay: 3rd of July
A day to consider environmental alternatives to single-use plastic bags. A plastic bag free world is possible!
#ZeroEmissionsDay: 21st of September
Could we keep our fossil fuel emissions on zero for 24h? A day to give our planet a break.
#EuropeanMobilityWeek: 16th-22nd of September
A week to rethink the way we move around cities and how to make daily transportation more sustainable.
#WorldCarFreeDay: 22nd of September
Give up the car for a day, and let’s see how our cities would look like without them.
#GreenConsumerDay: 28th of September
A particularly appealing environmental day to be used on social media. It aims to raise awareness of recycling-reusing and reducing waste material.
#WorldHabitatDay: 4th of October
Established by the UN in 1985, it aims to remind us of the responsibility to make the future of our cities and towns better.
#EnergyEfficiencyDay: 6th of October
The #EEDay2021 is an on-going collaborative effort of several energy efficiency advocacy groups around the US. Their message is simple: Save Money. Cut Pollution. Create Jobs.
#WorldFoodDay: 16th of October
Since 1945, this UN event aims to tackle global hunger, striving to eradicate hunger worldwide.
#WorldDevelopmentInformationDay: 24th of October
Focused on young people, this UN event focuses on improving disseminating information and mobilizing public opinion. No more fake news!
#EuropeanWeekforWasteReduction: 20th-28th of November
Europe’s most extensive communication campaign on waste avoidance and reuse.
#WorldSoilDay: 5th of December
This UN event celebrates the importance of soil quality for human well-being, food security, and ecosystems.
#HumanRightsDay: 21st of December
This event honours the UN’s proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948.
Although the 2021 date hasn’t been announced yet, Climate Action Day has happened in various cities and countries since 2012.
Examples of excellent social media accounts
Looking for even more inspiration? Here are three brands that develop great and effective environmental social media content. They consistently publish high-quality posts that educate, entertain, and sell.
With well-researched case studies, Ecosia often posts about their new partnerships, which adds value to the brands using them. Their content is objective and focused on their product’s features and benefits.
With top-notch branding that extends beautifully to content, Tomorrow’s posts are always cohesive — both visually and copy-wise. It’s easy to identify which contents are educational and which different topics they address: financial health, joint accounts, etc.
They’re doing a great job posting different content types, too: pictures, video, polls, and text.
Human-centered and with a highly educational approach, PlanA delivers consistent content that engages their audience (and is super relevant too). There are education posts around environmental holidays that educate about their selected topics, give exciting facts, and provide a compelling question at the end of the post.
Environmental social media content should drive traffic but also be genuine, informative, and engaging. What other green brands are producing inspiring content?
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