In the contemporary business landscape, green businesses, also known as sustainable businesses, are defined as organizations with minimal negative impact on community, society, economy or environment. The most important initiative of green oriented businesses is to decrease or completely eliminate environmental harm caused by production and consumption of their products. Usually, green businesses have progressive human rights and environmental policies.
Due to enormous aggravation of factors that threaten the well-being of our ecosystem and rising consciousness about environmental pollution, the number of green businesses is constantly increasing. Factors such as climate change, ozone depletion, loss of biodiversity and habitat are the most common reasons for an ecologically conscious businessperson to go green.
With a growing number of eco-friendly businesses, entrepreneurs often ask themselves: How can my business connect with customers while going green? If you decided to start a green business or just make your existing business more sustainable, here are some tips on connecting you’re your customers.
Website and Social Media
Currently, millions of people are using social media every single day. One of the most cost-effective and important ways of connecting with your customers is through social media. Find your own unique voice which will speak to your customers. Talk about your company’s vision, and bring it closer to your community. Tell your story through their eyes. What would they like to hear? How would your customers describe your company?
Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media, you can stay connected with your customers and keep them up to date with news about your company and business. By organizing giveaways and posting educational links, you can improve your sales and introduce more people to your products and business. Publish daily Facebook posts relevant to your company and your products. Even one Facebook post per day is better than zero. And, you can publish a post to Facebook in less than a minute.
Social media also lets people express their opinions, as well as demands. Send out free surveys through Google Forms or SurveyMonkey, and let your customers review your business and suggest improvements. Many consumers enjoy taking surveys because it lets them share their opinions and feedback. At the heart of it all, your customers and prospects want to be heard. Give them several outlets for expressing their thoughts.
It is also important to provide data about your products and services. What makes your product or service different from the competition? Why should the customers buy your product and not the competition’s? Provide as much information as possible about your products–talk about the manufacturing process, let your customers see how your product is made.
Post photographs of the manufacturing process on social media, bring the process closer to the customer, show them how green you are and how your production affects the environment – that way you’ll not only keep the old customers, but also attract some new ones.
Imagine you’re giving them a tour through your images. Customers want to know what goes on behind the scenes. They want to be your friends. And, we can all use more friends—right?
Make sure that your website displays your company’s history, vision and its effect on the environment. Introduce your company to the customers, talk about the ideas and beliefs behind your green business and be sure to connect your website to your social media accounts.
Give Back to the Community
Consider sponsoring a green community event or a non-profit organization. By providing support or funds, your company will get exposure to target audience and generate new customers. Involvement in green community events will bring your company even closer to regular people and show that your business supports environmentally- related issues. If possible, volunteer your facilities for events or meetings of local green organizations.
Events like local park, forest or beach cleanups and green festivals and fairs can be a great opportunity to advertise your business while taking care of your environment and giving back to the community. You can even go further by advertising or providing recurring support for a particular event or an organization. Organize green fund-raising marathons for a cause, or maybe sponsor a green music festival.
Improve the Quality of Your Business
Some global online surveys have displayed that the green businesses are usually able to attract top talent employees and improve employee retention. By hiring talented employees in your company, your business will operate efficiently and produce better products. High employee retention also speaks volumes about your company – if your employees are satisfied with their jobs, they’re more likely to continue working for you.
Another important factor, that displays the level of quality of your business, is customer loyalty. Think about your customers – if you were a customer, would you say that your company is trustworthy? A recent study found that 94 percent of customers would be more likely to trust a company with a firm social responsibility program, and 93 percent would be loyal to such a company. This shows how customers prefer companies that implement their moral values into the production of goods and services.
Try improving your customer loyalty with rewards program that offer discounts or rewards to customers who frequently purchase your products or services. Use a simple points system – your frequent customers will earn points with every purchase which can later be translated in some type of reward or a discount.
If you want to connect with your customers, it’s important for your company to be proactive and listen to your audience. By connecting with your customers through social media and giving back to your local community, you can build a strong and trustworthy brand that will not only retain the old, but also attract the new customers. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas for generating new customers, and implement the above-mentioned strategies in your green business. Remember to hire top talent employees and award your customers through loyalty programs.
Your customers, and your environment will appreciate it. After all, the future of our planet lies in the hands of eco-friendly business people!
Katrina Manning is a content marketing specialist who has penned thousands of articles on business, tech, lifestyle and digital marketing for a wide variety of global B2B clients. She mostly writes for Gogreen.org and she is also the author of three books and is currently working on her fourth. In her free time, she enjoys fundraising for charitable causes, playing with her cat and baking.