Tweet, Tweet. Post, Post. Like, Like:
Leveraging Social Media to Promote Sustainable Commuting
By: Samantha Maurice
You see people with their smartphones texting, tweeting, posting their filtered selfies (no judgement!), DMing those they probably shouldn’t, YouTubing the latest viral videos or Pintresting their next D-I-Y projects. But here is some REAL NEWS … we operate in a digital space and that will not be changing anytime soon.
Since the inception of social media, businesses have utilized the digital space to their advantage by coming up with creative and innovate ways to reach their target audience and consumer base. Let’s take Wendy’s for example. Wendy’s has given a whole new meaning to the word SAVAGE. Take a look at some of their meme-worthy responses to fellow social media users:
They may come off as rude or mean spirited but Wendy’s has one of the most well-established and successful campaigns. Why? Because users want to engage with them and more engagement equals brand awareness. Wendy’s provides consumers with information about their products and promotions while keeping users entertained. But maybe you don’t want to go the Wendy’s route and I’m here to tell you, you don’t have too! Choose whatever method of engagement works best for your business and the goals you wish to achieve.
Let’s take it a step further if one of your workplace goals is to promote sustainable commuting options to your existing and future workplace employees, your consumers and your community. How can you do so?
I found myself asking the same question when I first began my employment at Smart Commute Markham, Richmond Hill. As a self-professed social media enthusiast, I had never seen a business promote sustainable commuting options and resources, but that was because I hadn’t taken the time to search for it. When I began my employment, I was introduced to another world of possibilities.
So how can you promote sustainable commuting to your workplace employees, consumers, and community? Check out these tips to get you started:
Subscribe to your local and other Smart Commute e-newsletters (if you’re not a Smart Commute workplace, see how you can become one here):
Smart Commute is a program of Metrolinx and the municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, which offers a plethora of resources and information about sustainable commuting options in their e-newsletters. It will give you the latest information and tips from transit agencies, municipalities, and other outlets to help you share and learn about sustainable commuting options that are available to you. To subscribe, you can find a link to their websites on their social media pages. Head over to their website and click Join Mailing List on the right hand sidebar.
To subscribe to our newsletter, click here.
Sign up for sustainable commuting newsletters:
Follow/Like/Subscribe to your local municipalities, Regions, and transit agencies:
By following, liking or subscribing to your local municipalities, Regions and transit agencies, you get a first look at the new sustainable commuting infrastructure that is or has been implemented and completed, and information about new projects on the horizon.
Use your search bar to search hashtags and keywords:
Searching keywords and hashtags is another great way to obtain information and resources right at your fingertips. Keywords and hashtags go hand in hand. Here are a few examples: #sustainability #SmartCommute #cycling #infrastructure #carpool #walking. Don’t limit yourselves to only these key words or hashtags – anything can be a searchable keyword or hashtag!
Check out trending topics pertaining to sustainable commuting/political figures/etc:
Trending topics are essential if you want news relatively quickly and that is generating the most buzz. While Instagram does not have the trending topic feature, Twitter and Facebook do so maximize those mediums! You also have the option on Twitter to change your trending topics to your city, country or even worldwide. If YOU want to know what people are talking about … check out those trending topics!
Check out transportation or lifestyle sections in newspapers or blogs:
Narcity, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, City Lab, TreeHugger, BlogTO and Mobility Lab are some great news outlets that offer the latest news happening in Toronto and around the world. Head into their lifestyle and transportation sections if you’re looking for some interesting articles and updates for sustainable commuting. Articles include ridership survey data, upcoming infrastructure, and commuter stories.
Share your own commuting experiences on social media
By sharing your own commuting experiences on social media, you create a relationship with your followers and those that interact with your posts. Examples include recording your bike ride or carpool group or live tweeting your transit ride. Once you’ve created your post, remember to tag transit agencies, municipalities, or bike groups so that they can retweet or share your posts with their followers to gain more traction.
Once you’ve found your information and resources, there are two final steps: share and interact. By retweeting, reposting or sharing posts you are spreading the awareness to your followers. In your posts, make sure to use hashtags and keywords so that other users can find and interact with your post. Also make sure to interact with posts by leaving comments or replies, whether that be good or bad. Social media is a place to share your thoughts and opinions, so do so (but please make sure it’s constructive. While the internet is great, it can also be a nasty place).
I hope these tips have helped you learn more about social media and how to promote sustainable commuting on your social media platforms.
Thanks for checking out this article! Until we meet again …