The Social Network Most Green Businesses Miss

By GreenSmith Consulting

With the recent release of the film The Social Network , a lot of attention is being focused on Facebook. But one social network of a different sort and vastly different numbers bears paying attention to if you’re a green business: Care2 .

  You’d be in good company if you said you’ve never heard of it. Or dismissed it as a bastion of petition signing activists. But you’d be off the mark and missing out on an important group of people to pay attention to and engage with, that could prove tremendously valuable allies. 

Already a group inclined towards action, both online and in the real world, Care2 incentivizes member participation by awarding points for nearly every action you take  on the site, then allowing you to redeem them for things you’d never expect: a toy for a shelter dog. Raising a farm animal humanely. Life saving oral hydration salts. Note the lack of swag for the member themselves.

While at first this may seem counterintuitive, my experience at 3rdWhale Digital Media , a green mobile app developer, showed that many people would prefer beneficial gifts to others and the environment rather than themselves. A surprising and hopeful find, wouldn't you say?

Of greatest interest to green companies is what they call C2NN - Care 2 News Network

A social news site a la Reddit and Digg, people post articles on there, tagging them for relevant subject matter so members can find them. To be sure, there are lots of environmental and political posts. But, with thought and awareness of the community you’re participating in, posts about companies can be very well received there. I post the majority of pieces written about my clients on there, and get to the front page often. 

How can you do this too? 

As with other places, steer clear of hype filled empty language. Write an introduction that connects it to people’s everyday experience. And tag, tag and tag some more. Care2 offers a selection of popular tags by category. Do not choose the Business category, as these tags tend to be of the bad, evil corporation slant. I generally choose Green Lifestyle, which has many more amenable, appropriate tags. 

Then watch, as people will begin to comment. Sometimes it’s the bare minimum to earn 20 credits. But often it’s positive, constructive, useful comments, indicating their support and interest in the company, or a question/feedback. Even the not so positive comments have proven fruitful, as they’ve asked what my clients haven’t thought about, or thought people would care about. Their issue gets addressed before an influential audience, and the new information makes outreach for my clients that much better for it. 

Care2's own blog entries are a surprising hidden gem.

I was told that their pieces regularly get 5000 to 25000 people reading, along with a weekly news summary that goes out to 16 million people, the last figure I’ve heard (which has likely increased since then, post incentive system being put...

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By GreenSmith Consulting | February 05, 2011
Categories:  Live

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GreenSmith Consulting

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