Is Social Media Marketing the Green Way to Go?

23 01 2009

When typing “Green Marketing” into Google, I was looking for companies, blogs, news articles, websites, etc. about which marketing companies claim to be green.  All I found were marketing companies calling themselves “Green Marketing”, not because of their own sustainability or the reduction of their office’s carbon footprint.  When they say “Green Marketing” all they are suggesting is that they market green products and or companies.  That’s great and everything, but what is your office doing to be green?

When it comes to Social Media Marketing, if you ask me, it’s the green way to go.  I worked for a traditional PR/Marketing company for a short period of time and right off the bat, I think about all the promotional products we had made for our clients — chapsticks, magnets, visors, water bottles, notepads, golf balls, etc.  All materials that will be thrown into a landfill at one point or another, hopefully to be remembered by that dry lipped golfer that reached for your Brand X chapstick.  Thrown away.  That is exactly where the majority of traditional marketing companies’ efforts unfortunately go.  You pay x amount of dollars for a magazine ad, it’s thrown away, you pay x amount of dollars for a radio ad, gone in 30 seconds, you pay x amount of dollars for a billboard, taken down, replaced and thrown away.

Man, that’s a lot of garbage.  Social Media Companies like us here at Extanz don’t throw anything away. We don’t have to.  Everything we do, from writing blogs to micro-blogging, from setting up profiles and interacting on social media sites, blog commenting as well as creating and uploading YouTube videos. All these ‘products’ sit on the internet creating your long lasting digital footprint that can be found for years down the road.  How’s that for getting your money worth and saving Mother Earth?

Extanz is saving Mother Earth in several other ways.  For starters, we are constantly and primarily online; we rarely use any paper or print anything out.  The average American office worker prints 10,000 pages per year! Not us!!  We carry our handy laptops around in meetings to show what needs to be shown digitally.  Speaking of laptops, I use the new MacBook, which Mac is claiming to be the greenest laptop yet.  Saves energy, is made out of recycled, non-hazardous materials, minimal packaging, I could go on and on.  Yes, we use electricity to power these laptops and computers but here in Colorado we have the option to pay a little bit more to use wind power with Xcel Energy.  Extanz employees also work from home, so we do not have to pollute the air with our cars.  However, we are all avid bike riders and weather permitting, we travel to meetings on bikes. Not only that but our clients support online collaborations in health, create a whole new mind with innovative educational arts software, build/renovate/sell/support green homes and green home building and create community events. We love where we live.

So if you are a tree hugger, a greenie, a hippie, trendy, eco-friendly, green or just plain smart, you now know the kind of marketing that makes Mother Earth happy, keeps other green stuff in your pocket and leaves a lasting digital as opposed to carbon footprint!

Keeping it green (and real),


Thanks for the cool pics bitzcelt and Frenchista aka Yann

Social Media and Extanz – Together we rise

3 09 2008

The whole is greater than the sum of all its parts

As someone intrigued by the ways in which individuals, communities, organizations and societies coordinate and communicate themselves, raising Extanz and the adoption of social media has provided much food for thought and opportunities for reflection. As someone deeply committed to the practice of good work and also intimately involved with the creation and continued growth of Extanz, I have participated in many an interesting conversation about these issues. As I tell my students in my Good Work class, it really starts with an idea of spirit, or the vision, values and rationality of any group or organization. These collective values are always derived from the people having those conversations and so our ongoing evolution of Extanz reflects the values of its principals. Here is a list of some of the things to which we are committed, as individuals as well as Extanz….

1. good work – that is, work that is excellent and ethical – to engage in work that is meaningful for us, our partners and our communities
2. inclusivity/community – this value comes from our cultured backgrounds – to engage in work that brings people together, in support of a larger purpose and collective
3. sustainability – at both an individual and collective level – to engage in work that encourages the continued sustenance of us as individuals, partners and communities
4. extra-ordinary – this value comes from our cultured experiences – to engage in work that is beyond the norm, edgy, visionary, creative, that stands out (the meaning of Extanz)

Wow, kinda lofty, right? Yes and no. I recently read a blog about parallels between the push for social media and sustainability by Max Gladwell. According to Gladwell, these two movements have some interesting things in common — both are motivated by a new politics, both are driven by a democratization of information and energy, both are determined to lose the adjectives (so that we no longer think of social media but all media as social, nor green energy because all energy will be green), both pose integration challenges for corporate culture, both localize culture as we grow our own ‘content’ and become activated as participants, both are grassroots movements but with top-down results, and the virtues of both are constrained by how we use them.

When I think about the folks who engage with Extanz and social media, I end up with a ‘composite prosumer’ (c.f. Revolutionary Wealth, The Digital Economy, The Cluetrain Manifesto etc). In our experiences, this producer-consumer is also a philosopher-pragmatist; activist-artist; local-global; individual-communal. As Gladwell points out, the often missed but ultimately important part of the phenomenon we call ‘social media’ is the social part. It’s about meaningful and interactive content, meaningful conversations, and meaningful as well as interactive community. As we have discussed in the blogs, it is not about ‘you’ and ‘your organization’. It’s about the us(er)’.  So if you’re looking to be part of some thrilling conversations, if you’ve ever wondered just what your ‘audience’ is thinking, it is time to get out there and have a ‘naked conversation’ a la Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re for-profit or non-profit (like we can distinguish this way, right?), social media can and will change the/your world. I’ve seen it happen here at Extanz and with our partners.