Green SM?

A number of protocols have been signed by the governments around the world; yet, it is questionable if they are doing their utmost to ensure that the earth will thrive; barring that, to ensure that the earth ceases to deteriorate at the alarming rate it is being so at the present. With the lacking in action of relevant authorities, the affected have taken matters into their own hands. Climate campaigners have now turned to the latest “trend” of living, the social media, in order to obtain popular support and raise conscious awareness among the global community. Social Media has entered the quest to safeguard Mother Earth with a new vigor. Tree huggers have adapted to the role of “E-huggers”, thus making their stride both longer and powerful.
Social media or Social network can be interpreted as a democratic forum. It is a world created by the people for the people, run by the people for the sake of sharing people’s problems. Unlike other forms of organizations where it is considered a job or an obligation, social media allows people to connect in an interesting and enjoyable manner. Social Media can be clearly understood by breaking it down to its constituent terms. Media refers to an instrument of communication. Then social media in essence refers to a set of instruments through which the society communicates with each other. Rooted in the modern society in its numerous forms including internet forums, web-blogs, social blogs, micro-blogging, wikis, podcasts, photographs, pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking, social media allows amplification of human potential benefiting individuals, businesses and communities, and acts as a catalyst for globalization. Social media has the goals of enhancing the relationship between individuals, customer-client in business, and broadening the limited scope of vision, be it of an individual or a corporate.
In the modern day world, a social networking site can affect a person’s personal life from the relationships they have to define what the person would prefer to eat to their future career, despite where they are in the world. The most famous social networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Google Plus+ and DevianArt.  They offer a variety of activities to the user ranging from sharing their creative photographic ideas to simply stating ‘what’s on your mind’. In a world where virtual is fast becoming reality, in an age where everything is switching to e-forums for the sake of sustainability, it is without doubt that eco-agendas have started encrypting their actions in the language of the machines.
World is no longer held together by simply gravity. What holds the modern world together are economy and industry. With only profits and losses in their minds, the only way to get anything done is to ensure that it is profitable to the parties concerned. As Paul Hawken, a different kind of environmentalist who strives to bridge sustainable world and commerce, says; “Business is the only mechanism on the planet today powerful enough to produce the changes necessary to reverse global environmental and social degradation.” 
20th April 2010: an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico caused a massive flow of oil into the ocean, extinguishing many forms of life and endangering others for years to come. BP Global was accounted responsible for this massive disaster. A few months later, the CEO at the time if the incident Tony Hayward resigned his post, the leak was capped, and BP Global PR created a T-shirt: “Forget your Brand”. Major responsibility for this is claimed by a man knows as Leroy Stick. A comedy writer by career, his creativity found its call a few months after the Deepwater Horizon explosion when he stumbled upon a video on YouTube, where a Coast Guard was ordering, not too politely, reporters off the beach. “It was just so clear to me that BP cared more about saving their brand than they did about saving the Gulf of Mexico. So I decided to make fun of their brand and their PR efforts on Twitter.” Thus began the twitter campaign “In the age of social media you do not control your brand”. The PR brand was twisted and photo-shopped heavily to emphasize the consequences of their actions, and drawing the eye of the global public through satire. This campaign fuelled the patching up of the pipes, and more importantly, stabilized an unwritten law that “branding is probably harder because you need to make sure that you’re backing it up in the marketplace, that you have a culture that supports it and consistently lives up to that brand”.
In the light of the current world that is fuelled by Social Media, it is rather apparent that it constitutes a power of which no individual has ever had. Social Media has the capability to make a brand; as well as to break it. Perhaps due to this very presence, many of the companies are now inkling towards “greener strategies” in their marketing tactics.
On Saturday, 27th of March 2012, the whole world blacked out (2030 local time). This event titled “Earth Hour” is an global action declaring energy conservation has been on the go since 2007. Its main advertising, the main idea and its reach has been prioritized by social media networks that urge its followers, members or tweeps to take an action against earth degradation. Spearheading this campaign were leading global firms including, HSBC, IKEA, Canon and Hilton. Being a registered supporter of Earth Hour has taken the lead in green marketing activities, that now, it is considered quite a sales upgrade to have Earth Hour’s Blueprint for Business and Corporations.
However, obtaining this Blueprint binds the company to do more than turn off its power for an hour per year. It also involves certain eco-friendly actions like using energy saving bulbs. The main point here is this: these firms, once taken the pledge would have to live by it. For unlike tangible protocols, these pledges are observed by the whole of their global customer community. It is rather difficult to lie through actions in an era where the World is literally at your fingertips, thanks to Google.
Starting at Earth Hour, the leading global firms are turning to “green marketing” to promote themselves. This is in such great emphasis that it is becoming a trend; and consumers check constantly if the firm has invested in eco-friendly methods in production before investing their money. Quoting Alex Bogusky, “The old paradigm was pay to play. Now you get back what you authentically put in. You’ve got to be willing to play to play.” 
With the companies lobbying with zeal for being authentic eco lovers, Social Media has indeed done more to save the planet from industrial hawks than years of diplomatic discussions have been able to. The journey is already afoot. Be a part of this greater force: next time you plant a tree, while watering it, pop over to one of the many sites/blogs that promote “green world”; next time you hold a board and protest regarding the harmful acts of an infamous company, do not forget to tweet it and create an FB page. The World will be a better place simply because you tweeted.


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