Guest post by Meghan Nesta, who blogs at Meghan Nesta’s Musings. All views in the post are the author’s alone.

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At first glance the pairing seems as divergent as camping in a tent and enjoying fine wine. However, they are more closely related and more complementary than you may think.

If you have spent time really engaging in social media, not just sitting on the side-lines and listening to everyone else, you have most likely noticed two interesting things:  The increasing force of the sustainability movement and a unique engagement of consumers with the brands they buy.  Perhaps you have heard a little bit about greenwashing or some commentary on personal sustainability choices. Maybe you were able to resolve an issue with your Comcast account on Twitter. Or, more likely if you have found your way to this blog, you have a peaked interest in sustainability and marketing, and you know a seismic shift is occurring.

Both sustainability and social media put tradition on its digital ear. Companies are being forced to become more transparent in both their stewardship of our earth and in their marketing practices.

In the social media business and marketing world, consumers are gaining unprecedented access into what once seemed only as the man behind the green curtain – the omnipresent corporate brand. The way in which brands do business has forever changed. While the platform will surely evolve, (It seems at least plausible that Twitter may fizzle out in a few years according to some recent studies, one of which cites “5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity“, the expectation of the consumer to have the ability to not only interact with but also garner a personal response will continue. Perhaps it is the marketing circle of life. The days of the family-owned community shoe store, thriving on downtown Main Street, where customer service was paramount to success, has now been replaced by the global brand (read: “Zappos“) which is thriving on those same fundamental principles – customer understanding and providing the service that this understanding demands.

Climate change and other eco-issues are becoming more prominent political topics, and the average Joe is becoming more aware of the impact of his decisions. A community of consumers is connecting and is compelled to act. News travels at mach speed: blogs and news bits encourage and require debate. In my case, they compel change.

Here at the intersection of sustainability and social media, real change is happening. Not just a political shift or some sort of cultural fad. Our expectations and the ways in which we communicate are evolving. It’s sure to be an exciting ride.

Come stop by my tent and enjoy a glass of organic wine.

Meghan Nesta is a student of sustainability and social media. You can follow her on Twitter.


Image credit: wharman

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 2:56 am. You can follow comments to this entry through the comments RSS feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.

Posted via web from Just Meghan