This week I came across one of the smartest uses of social media by an NGO that I have ever seen. Unsurprisingly it was by Greenpeace who continue to prove themselves adept in the use of social media to drive their campaigns. Most recently they have used social media successfully to ‘rebrand BP’ and produce a now award-winning viral video to challenge Nestle’s palm oil sourcing but their most recent campaign aimed at facebook uses facebook itself to spread their message.
The campaign ‘Unfriend Coal’ aims to get facebook to switch from buying coal-powered energy to power their servers to buying clean energy. Greenpeace have even turned the campaign into a competition. People are asked to upload their own photos to the page on facebook in support of the campaign. The ten users with the most-liked images on the facebook page by Earth Day, April 22nd will all win a campaign t-shirt.
At current growth rates, according to Greenpeace, data centres and telecommunication networks – two key components of ‘the cloud’ that facebook depends on – will consume about 1,963 billion kilowatts hours of electricity in 2020. That’s more than triple their current consumption and greater than the current electricity consumption of France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined.
With such campaigns, Greenpeace and other NGOs demonstrate perfectly the connection between sustainability and social media and how the two complement each other. In contrast, many businesses have so far failed to effectively engage the public on sustainability issues with social media in the same way. At MHP, we can help provide clients with the insight and strategy needed to find their social media voice and engage their stakeholders on sustainability issues of relevance and interest to them.