The green movement has become somewhat of a marketing trend these days. “Eco”, “organic”, “sustainable”, “all natural”, and of course “green” are all the advertising buzzwords. Consumers now take into consideration how safe a product is. Lip balms and face washes declare that they are free of chemicals. Household cleaners like Method are marketed as safe to use on your baby’s highchair. Water bottles declare that they are BPA free. SunChips come in decomposable bags. Clothing made from organic cotton has become more popular. But because the green movement is such a powerful marketing trend, many companies are looking to align themselves by claiming that they are “organic” “eco-friendly” and “green” without actually backing it up. So then how do companies successfully market themselves as a green company, through and through? Social media is being used by many brands in highly successful ways to promote them as trustworthy companies.
In a world wide survey by ImagePower Green Brands this year, the public ranked Burt’s Bees as the greenest company. Following behind in second place, Whole Foods, which has a huge social media presence. The rest of the list, in order, was Tom’s of Maine, Trader Joe’s, Google, Aveeno, S.C. Johnson, Publix, Microsoft and Ikea. Let’s take a look at how the top ranked brand on the list has utilized social media to promote itself as authentically “green”.
Burt’s Bees has over 96,000 fans on Facebook. A look at the Events tab shows dates for their Day of Change tour, which partners with Kashi to provide information to the public about living their most healthy life. Over the winter holidays, Burt’s Bees held a “Who’s Your Reason For Giving?” campaign to collect stories from their community about the people that inspire them. It is just one way that Burt’s Bees involves their consumers. And for something more fun, they hosted a microsite called FindYourBurt.com in April to coincide with Earth Day. The site provided a look into Burt’s persona as a nature loving person and encouraged users to upload pictures of themselves to “Burtify” by adding Burt’s signature cap and beard. The site provided information about how Burt’s Bees limits waste and saves water by reclaiming it for the manufacturing process. The “Find Your Burt” campaign concluded offline during an Earth Day celebration in New York, where people dressed as Burt handed out samples, beards and hats. It was a full scale promotion that provided believability to Burt’s Bees claim as an eco-friendly company. And it is clear that they are increasing their following at the same time.
The thing about being green is that you have to continue to walk the walk. Two years ago, Green Brands surveyed the UK and ranked the top green brands. At number 10 was Greenpeace. Number 9′s spot? BP.