Yesterday was Earth Day 2011 and I couldn’t help but ponder the effects that social media has had on our planet. Before social media became a prevalent tool in marketer’s arsenal, trinkets and printed materials were two of the primary tactics marketers had as means of keeping their brand in the front of consumers brains. Now I am not going to pretend to be old enough to have ever gone to a trade show, where companies shovel countless trinkets at everyone (aka plastic that will end up in landfill). But I am old enough to remember having my parent’s mailbox being bombarded with direct mailings. Although I recycled roughly 75 percent of them, I still can’t help but think about the trees that were cut down and the natural resources squandered in their production.
I believe that the acceptance of social media as a means of connecting with consumers will positively impact the planet and business. I base this statement on the assumption that as social media becomes more prevalent as a means of connecting with consumers, less trees and other natural resources will be consumed.
Lets face it folks the trinkets embroidered with a company’s name and intended message don’t have the ability to form meaningful relationships with consumers. However, social media allows companies to have a meaningful conversation with consumers through a forum that allows for two-way communication. A perfect example of this would be companies using Facebook to communicate with consumers. Through the use of Facebook insights, companies have the chance to evaluate how their intended message is received by through the use of Facebook likes, page views and impressions. In addition to allowing customers to respond with their own content. I have yet to see a direct mailer that can do that.
I believe the acceptance of social media will benefit business by allowing them to communicate with consumers in a manner that allows them to evaluate consumers responsiveness to the message.