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We’re investigating running campaigns in which social media users directly reach out to consumer brands’ followers about gaps between sustainability image and reality as well as better-performing competitors. By attacking the bottom line we get companies to pledge to decarbonize their supply chains.
How it works
The big picture
The 100 consumer goods companies have a revenue of $1,730B. International regulatory pressure is building up far too slow to decarbonize that industry in time to keep Earth habitable. What’s necessary is consumer pressure.
Social is key
Advertising money is shifting to digital channels and direct customer interactions on social media are becoming key elements of brand communication. Modern social networks are designed to amplify paid voices and therefore have a chilling effect on social media campaigns that rely on posting and sharing.
The answer is C2C lobbying
Every social network user can become a friend/follower of any other user. Direct messages between friends/followers are unrestricted. Our campaigns identify industries with a high variety of sustainability commitments and single out players with the biggest gap between reality and brand communication. Everybody with a social media account can sign up to participate in a campaign. We provide campaigners with templates and target user account lists to become friends with and reach out to using their own social media account. Communication is always positive, helpful and non-judgmental.
Participants not only inform target users about gaps and alternatives but also encourage them to participate in the campaign. Our users’ effort is therefore invested in impact and growth to boost and maintain momentum
The first campaigns target small, easy targets to make sure that the majority of campaigns succeed. Every success contributes to the overall momentum of our effort.
The only piece of technology is a tiny tool that pulls follower lists and distributes them among participants.
We don’t have to reach all followers
There are limiting factors to how many people we reach:
- Not every campaigner will actually execute their workload
- Not every brand follower will accept a friend request
- Not every brand follower will read the incoming message
Paid advertising campaigns on social media typically reach 10% of a brand’s followership. Considering these limiting factors our concept of distributed lobbying still has a much higher penetration of the target audience than what the target brand could achieve with money.
Where it hurts: The bottom line
Companies pay a lot of money to acquire and retain social media followers. Targeting that asset with objective information about gaps in sustainability and pointing them to better-performing competition can lower a company’s bottom line within days.
- Seasoned professionals are willing to coach and consult professionals from climate NGOs a few hours per month.
- This coaching and consulting generates long-lasting benefits for impact professionals.
- New relationships can be established without central matchmaking.
- Occasional surveys and a centralized 1on1 directory are enough to track the project.
- Professionals from climate NGOs refer us to their networks.
This has been one of several discussed tactics. Among them victims of climate change sending postcards to executives’ families (working title Family Letters) and sales agents reaching out to SMEs with info material to decarbonize them. We did a comparison in 2020-06-04 Scalable Campaigning Tactics and decided to follow up on the concept outlined here in this document. There’s also an outdated document looking at both of them: 2020-04-14 First Concept Draft for Scalable Campaigning.