Got an environmental message to spread? Don’t go running to the press yet, because all you may cause is the chopping down of more trees instead of getting your point across.
These days, more and more activists are going digital to promote their causes and to raise funds in a more wholesome and effective way.
Heal the Bay’s Anna Luisa Ahern says: “Social media helps by putting out the spirit of the organization to a broad audience.” Unlike traditional newsletters or a news column in the local papers, social media helps you gain traction and gets things done faster.
Tip #1: Use relevant, straight-to-the-point content
Have an environmental issue to get across to your audience? Now is not the time to beat around the bush. Relevant and straightforward content will reach your intended audience faster than anything else, and once you vary them in different formats across various channels, you can easily make your point known. For example, if you have a message to relay, consider making a short but impactful video and share it across the hundreds of video sharing sites available online.
Think of what would be of relevance and interest to your target audience, and create and share content with that in mind. By doing this you’ll rapidly grow a fan base of valuable likes, followers and subscribers who will share your content to help you expand your reach. Think of content you can use in different formats across various channels. For example, a short video interview can be inexpensive to produce whilst letting you benefit from the popularity of online video.
Tip #2: Use crowdfunding
From raising funds for one’s college fees or medical condition, there are many crowdfunding websites created to connect donors and fundraisers. Environmentalists are quickly catching on to this trend, and sites like Life.Indiegogo.com and Green Fundraising are two such sites where activists can obtain the funding they need to make their environmental cause a success.
Tip #3: Discover a whole new world of action-takers via petition sites
Many petitions pertaining to environmental issues have been created and signed on dozens of major petition sites. Creating petitions is a quick way to garner support for your environmental issue, and to drive targeted traffic to your website. Once your audience have shown their support on these petition sites, it’s likely that they will respond to your call for help and funds.
Tip #4: Listen and respond
Social media is a two-way communication tool. Instead of putting up a Facebook page or setting up your Twitter to predominantly blast news and updates, why not look at them as a viable source of feedback? Whenever possible, do engage in conversation with your audience so that you can readily understand their needs and interest, thus creating content that will appeal to them.
Tip 5: Make use of the right tools
There are literally thousands of social media tools out there that selecting the best ones would be a feat in itself. Your best best would be to look at the big picture, thus opting for tools that would best fit your strategy.
As always, you have to keep with the slew of new tools that are being developed virtually every minute, and a type of tool that’s fast gaining popularity is a social locker. For the uninitiated, social lockers are plugins or tools that prompts your audience to share your content on their social networking channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other sites before they’re allowed to view them. This answers the “what’s the catch?” question, and at the same time gives your article or blog post a lot more shares and re-tweets than you’d usually enjoy.