It’s been a labour of love (although occasionally a little love lost). But we have finally completed our epic research project evaluating which brands and business are the most influential on social channels when it comes to sustainability. And we’ve created an index of the top 100, compiled the findings and are ready to share the results with you all. The study has uncovered that for businesses genuinely interested in sustainability; if you want to make progress around your strategy, build reputation, grow your profile – social media is a good channel to focus on mobilising.
“Sustainability” – what does that really mean?
A good question to start with, as the term can mean different things to different people. When we use the term ‘sustainability’ we are looking at instances where businesses are defining their purpose, their role in society and considering the long term impact this has. So this includes businesses talking about their environmental impact, their approach to employees, their supply chain, product development and so on. The topic is of course, vast. But, we decided to measure the instances in which businesses discuss this broad topic, as opposed to other uses for social media such as corporate communications, marketing, product messaging and so on. That way we could really evaluate how impactful different businesses are when it comes to sharing sustainability content alone.
An index with data behind it
We didn’t want this to be a subjective study. It had to be evidence based. So we used data to really quantify the impact of sustainability communications and understand influence. We counted over 150,000 different data sets. This included tweets, Facebook posts, mentions and all the social interactions in-between that were about sustainability. Then we re-counted them just to be sure. We created our own scoring system to measure and define influence. Essentially we defined influence by scoring the content businesses share on social media alongside the interactions that content generates. The latter point is key, as content is only valuable if the people you share it with are passing it on, talking about it and pushing it out to their own personal networks.
So what did we learn?
An enormous amount. The study has really demonstrated the value that social media can bring to businesses that are committed to discussing in a transparent forum their approach to sustainability. We were surprised by some of the brands that scored highly. And we were surprised by some that didn’t do so well. What was also interesting to learn, was of all the 10 businesses that topped the index, there were huge differences in their approaches to social. So one size really doesn’t fit all. The full results will be shared at our event on 19th March. But do put it in your diaries and join us for the online event. Here, we will be discussing our findings with some of the leaders on our index. We will be looking at how they became successful and how they define the value this really brings to their businesses. There will be an opportunity for you to ask us and the panel questions. Do join us.