5 Ways for Green Businesses to Connect with Customers in Uncertain Times
In times of political upheaval, green business owners may feel as if their customer base is slipping away. Sure, it may seem as if consumers are watching from the sidelines right now in the U.S., trying to anticipate how their lives and health may be affected by a Trump Administration. But now, actually, may be the time to remember the most essential ingredient of any momentum or social change: people’s demand. A huge segment of our society, especially millennials, want to support green businesses. Instead of wallowing and wondering, take action! Reach out to your loyal following and reaffirm your commitment to the ideals of a green world. Here are 5 quick ways to reconnect with your customers.
Send out a letter to your customers
Sometimes, your issues as a green business become the issues of the national discourse. When that happens, you need to speak out. It’s incredibly important to push out relevant communications to your customers when any event or trend may affect your business. In the case of the recent U.S. presidential election, candidate Trump and his surrogates absolutely dismissed climate change and, by extension, argued that green issues aren’t relevant. In contrast, let your customers know how strongly you are working to make your business eco-friendly, to protect the Earth, and to create a greater awareness of environmental issues.
Make sure to write in your own voice. Speak with clarity about the importance of green issues to you and your company. I know that, when the publisher of this website reached out to me and other writers after the recent election to reaffirm his and our collective dedication to a green world, it meant a lot.
Spend more time being visible on social media
Do you have a community Facebook page that speaks to your green activism? How frequently do you post on Twitter? By reaching out to the social media community, you’ll do more than just market your product – you’ll bring a group of people together and raise their mood. You can reconnect with a loyal community that believes in your brand for ethical reasons.
There are many resources to help you improve a green business social media presence. A quick primer on the constantly repeating cycle: 1) post an item of news about your company; 2) post an item of regional interest, such as your support for a green festival; 3) post a link to an educational item of interest to the green community.
Provide data About your green business
A significant way you can spark renewed interest in your products and services is to provide data. For example, how much positive impact on the environment does your company? For best results, tie it to a dollar amount spent with you, and include as much information as possible. Demonstrate the links between how your profitability also generates sustainability. Continue to make the case that you’re not in a niche market: mainstream investors are now actively involved and will need to continue to do so in order to remain viable to their customers. InfoGraphics create extremely visually appealing data representations, and it take only a few minutes to learn the platform.
Revitalize your community and peer-to-peer connections
If you’re feeling a bit concerned about potential economic twists to your green business, others in your community are probably feeling the same. So make a plan to meet with them, both informally and formally. Create a common platform that you can then publicize together, cutting down on associated marketing costs. Write a small ad in local community publications affirming your commitment to a green world. It may be time to start to reach out to millennials, tech workers, college students and teachers, as they’re most likely to rally to your cause. Partner with local events focused on green energy, environmentally friendly living, technology, and the arts.
Let their voices be heard
Social media has given consumers the platform to express their desires and demands. There’s no better way to identify what your customers want than to send out a survey. In this day of data analysis, designing a quick and efficient series of questions that capture your customers’ primary interest in your green business is quite easy to do and may reveal ways to improve, create a new line of products or services, or just reestablish your relationship. I’ve used SurveyMonkey and Google Forms with equal success– and a simply survey with them is free. You might also embed a survey as a pop-up on your website so that you can determine why people stop there.
Remember: it’s the pull of consumers and the market that ultimately fuels the biggest changes. Follow some of these ideas about being proactive and you’ll likely feel a lot better about the current state of the state. They may not only continue your robust relationship with existing customers— it may give you some ideas for generating new customers. Who knows?
Photo credit: jacilluch via Foter.com / CC BY-SA
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