Guest Post: Increase Your Social Media Engagement with These Proven Strategies

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There is no question that social media has earned its spot in every business’ digital marketing strategy. The rise of social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have forever shaped the way users express themselves online.

Nowadays, almost every business has some type of social media account. 83% of fortune 500 companies have a presence on Twitter and over 3 million companies have LinkedIn profiles. However, simply having a social media account and posting content is not enough. What makes the difference between good brands and great brands on social is not only the quality of content, but also the level of interaction and engagement they devote to their audience. Are you replying back to users who comment on your photos? Do you regularly like trending posts within your industry? Have you developed an online personality for your brand?

Follow these guaranteed strategies and you’ll be well on your way to connecting with your target audience and increasing engagement on all of your social media platforms.

Facebook

4 million likes are generated by Facebook users every minute.

Liking is one of the most important aspects of social media. So hop on the bandwagon and click the thumbs up button! It’s important to like something when you see that it pertains to your business because you’re not only engaging with your industry, but you’re also connecting with accounts who share similar interests. Over time, social media platforms will start to see patterns in the content you’re liking and expose you to more related items. The great thing about Facebook is that if you have a particular reaction to a post, you can choose that instead of just thumbs up. Choose the laughing emoji when something is funny or the angry face when you’re upset. The important thing is when you react to a post, you begin to get filtered into a particular niche. What you discover in that niche is other users who belong there as well.

Those users are your target audience. So be friendly and say hi! Put a huge emphasis on liking content in your social media marketing strategy. Give users a like on their posts and explore what you have in common. These users will start to recognize your name and become familiar with your online presence. With one click and some curiosity, they could end up on your page! Don’t be stingy with likes, spread the love and watch it return back to you.

Instagram

Instagram generates over 3.5 billion likes a day and its usage has doubled in the last two years.

Much like Facebook, the way you’re able to connect with people through Instagram is by liking photos. Some users will exercise proper etiquette and like one of your photos in return for your like, but other times it just might not happen. That’s okay though, there’s no limit on the amount of posts you can like, so go ahead and double tap on posts that are relevant to your industry!

YouTube

100 million people take social action on YouTube every week in the form of likes, shares, or comments.

Commenting is just as important as liking for the same reason that you get to interact with your target audience and engage in your community. The difference with a comment versus a like is that you have the opportunity to communicate your unique perspective on a topic.

You can answer questions on trending posts, offer insight, or type something reactionary. This will help increase your engagement because users can actually see what you’re thinking.  They can go off on your ideas or like your comment in agreement with what you’ve said. Comments provide another opportunity for users to engage with your brand. Be social and leave a comment!

Twitter

500 million Tweets are sent every day, which translates, to 6,000 Tweets a second.

Twitter is all about the short and the sweet. Essentially, Twitter is a string of comments. The way you get your brand to increase engagement on Twitter is by participating in the never-ending dialogue. You can do this by liking, commenting, and most importantly, retweeting.

Twitter is a little different from other social platforms because it has a higher frequency of posts. According to Neil Patel (social media marketing maven and co-founder of KISSmetrics) the optimal amount to post on Twitter to increase engagement is 1 – 5 posts a day. Plan your posts beforehand or retweet other authorities within your industry. Keep up with the pace of Twitter so users can recognize your effort.

LinkedIn

The 14 most popular posts on LinkedIn are all about advice in the workplace.

LinkedIn is the platform business professionals go to in order to apply for an internship, look for a job, or expand the range of their professional network. What users are looking for on LinkedIn is the means to gain a better standing in their career. This can be in the form of acquiring a job or the knowledge to gain better skills. Your posts on LinkedIn should be about interesting water cooler topics professionals can read in their downtime. It’s perfectly acceptable to be on LinkedIn during work, so keep your content related to the workplace if you want to see engagement from this audience!

A Quick Recap

Social media marketing is genuinely about being social on the screen. If your brand is

participating in the social aspect of each platform, you will begin to see engagement rise because your account is active. It’s important to keep that part of social media in mind because it shows your followers you understand how to use their media! Let’s Recap:

  • Facebook – Like posts that are related to your industry
  • Instagram – Double tap appropriate photos in your niche
  • YouTube – Provide insight, leave a comment
  • Twitter – Keep up with the pace of tweets
  • LinkedIn – Make it about the workplace

 

About Author:

therese

Therese Palmere is a passionate content writer at Aumcore. Aumcore is a New York based digital marketing agency offering solutions from creative social media campaigns to SEO and web design driven by results.

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Guest Post: How Social Media Has Changed Customer Service

The emergence of the 1-800 number changed the customer service game fifty years ago. It enabled customers to directly reach out to the companies they support with their hard-earned money. Back then, snail mail was the only other way to communicate.

Now, five decades later, the game has changed drastically. In 2014, brands were asked over 22 million questions on Twitter and Facebook alone. And statistics from Social Baker reflect that the majority of those questions are not being answered on Twitter.

Your customers want to interact with your brand, and you want to give them better customer service. Here’s how to tweet and deliver the customer service your customers want.

Taking Customer Service Public

Customers are attracted to the public nature of customer service tweets. They are not something a brand can erase. It’s not like calling customer service where you can be put on hold forever or be hung up on. It’s an upside that is no doubt responsible for the staggering rise in these types of tweets in the last few years. But while a public tweet can be very satisfying if you get a timely response, it can be equally frustrating if your tweet is ignored altogether.

In fact, fewer than 30 percent of questions to major brands were answered in the second quarter of 2015, according to Social Baker. Now that is a mind-boggling statistic. When a customer reaches out to you and you don’t answer the phone or respond to an email, it upsets that one customer, or maybe more if they write a bad Yelp review. But if a customer tweets to you publicly and you do nothing, it’s out there for the whole community to see. And you also open the floodgates for more tweets of a very negative nature. Remember, you can block a user but you can’t stop them from using a hashtag.

Making Marketing Magic

The best strategy to handle the public nature of customer service on Twitter is simple: answer every tweet. Every single one. This will not only show the customer tweeting that you’re on top of your game and present on your social media accounts, it will show anyone else looking at your account that you’re interactive and you stand behind your product or service. The best companies hope for complaints and turn them into content consumers. Look at every tweet, whether negative or positive, to show your customers and your prospective customers that you care.

Make Your Feed Extraordinary

If you’re a Twitter newbie, you might notice that a lot of Twitter users, even a lot of businesses, use duplicate content to populate their feeds. You’ll notice that many tweets don’t have pictures or even full-length descriptions, but are cut off in the middle of a caption and followed by an Instagram or Facebook link. Sounds like a great way to save time and build your Twitter following right? Wrong!

Duplicate content is a terrible way to build your brand’s Twitter presence. Your customers are not only looking for remedies to their problems or answers to their questions. Part of providing great customer service is providing information on your Twitter feed that your followers can’t find anywhere else. Why would they follow you on Twitter if they see the same content on your Facebook or Instagram accounts?

Add pictures and videos to your posts, and make them original, as well as useful, for your customers. Every sixth or tenth tweet should be an advertisement. Your other tweets should be relevant industry information, how-to guides, inspirational quotes and other non-advertorial content that helps define your brand, not just your product or service. Take Amway’s Twitter account for example. It’s not heavily recruiting new reps or pushing products. It’s informing its audience about its philanthropic ventures, posting pictures of its employees and sharing its ethos through photo quotations. This is how you engage your Twitter audience and inspire confidence in your customers to reach out to you and give you their valuable feedback.

 

About the Author

Stacy Eden is a Phoenix, Arizona native with a passion for art, power tools, and historical significance. She draws inspiration from classic cars, ancient mythological sculptures and jewelry designers such as Delfina Delettrez, Shaun Leane, and Dior Jewellery creative director Victoire de Castellane.

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Guest Post: How Digital Technology Is Transforming Customer Data Collection

Digital business is increasing the potential monetary value of data, but most companies aren’t leveraging this valuable resource. Smart devices, mobile technology and social media are increasing the volume and variety of customer data available at an accelerated rate, turning data brokering into a multibillion dollar business while simultaneously making data more affordable than ever. General information about consumers is now available for about $0.50 per 1,000 people, estimates the Financial Times. Read on for the trends that are transforming data collection and the tools that smart companies are using to turn data into profit.

Internet of Things

One of the biggest technology trends is the increasing presence of smart electronic devices, a trend known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Earlier stages of the Internet were centered around personal computers and then mobile phones, and now the Internet of Things includes all sorts of smart devices, from smart houses to smart TVs to smart cars, watches and clothes.

All these devices collect data that is centered around the consumers who use these devices. This enables businesses to organize their market research and advertising efforts around the totality of data as well as individual uses, a trend known as marketing personalization. The Internet of Things means that the data collected can conceivably be used to personalize ads they see in their car, at work and while shopping.

Location-Based Data

The Internet of Things forms a digital mesh that enables consumers and their data to be pinpointed by location. Smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note5 are GPS-enabled, allowing marketers to collect data on their location and deliver personalized messages that appeal to customers at specific locations.

One of the emerging applications of this is beacon marketing, which identifies when customers are entering stores to deliver customized coupons, discounts and other special offers. For instance, Hillshire Brands saw a 36 percent increase in brand awareness and a 20 percent increase in purchase intent by using beacon technology.

Context-Sensitive Data

Data collection is becoming more context-sensitive. For instance, a webpage that displays well on a desktop screen needs to adjust to be viewable on a smaller mobile device screen. This means that the site needs to collect context-sensitive data about the viewer’s device and screen size.

Another context-sensitive use of data is retargeted advertising, when information gathered on one device follows users as they use other devices. For instance, Yahoo recently added a feature to its Gemini ad marketplace that enables advertisers to send retargeted ads to customers on websites, apps and Yahoo interest categories based on their browsing behavior.

Social Media Data

One of the most important data collection sources is social media. CMS Wire reports that 90 percent of the data available today was collected over the past two years and 80 percent of it came from social media use.

Social sites are seeking to capitalize on this, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and YouTube all introducing buy button features last year. In 2016, social media brand engagement and buying will drive data collection, predicts Brandwatch.

 

About the Author

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

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Social Cloud Customer Service Has Dismantled the Old Marketing Funnel

Old Marketing Funnel Days: In the days before social media, marketers would target key customers and go through an awareness, desire, interest and then action (buying) process; essentially the old marketing function. The marketer would start with a large number of customers at the top of this so called “funnel” and as the customers in the “funnel” were approached, there would become fewer customers, narrowing down to those with the desire, interest and ending up with enough customers that would eventually take action and buy whatever was being offered.

The Way a Company Manages Their Social Media Can Destroy the “Old” Marketing Funnel. Today, we know that social media plays a significant role in the purchase decisions of potential buyers. That’s why the way a company manages their social media can turn consumers from brand advocates to troublesome trolls. And there’s an invisibility of social media that has completely destroyed the marketing funnel.

How Does Social Media #Fail Affect the “Old” Marketing Funnel? What do I mean by this? Let’s say I am a customer who is having issues and I post #fail and the brand’s name. And then let’s say there are 1, or 10 or 100 or 1,000 people who might have been interested in becoming aware of that company’s products and services. But because they saw my #fail, they make a mental note and a decision, unbeknownst to the brand, to never buy from that company. They saw the company didn’t have that customer back when they had a question or need help. And this is essentially why Social Cloud Customer Service is the New Marketing. How customers get treated in Customer Service and when they share that affects the future purchasing power of that pool of customers who might have been interested.

Customers Opt Out Without The Brand Even Knowing They’ve Lost a Customer Because those customers opted out, they will never be in the companies “old” marketing funnel. They may have had the potential to become part of a targeted segment that could have gone through the various stages of awareness, desire, interest and then action. However, because those customers saw the #fail post, they will never be a potential customers. Essentially the pool of customers that company might have drawn upon is now much smaller.

Loosing Customers You Didn’t Know You Lost. The company many not realize they lost those customers. They make still send out marketing messages. But it’s every likely that those customers who made mental note of how another customer was treated, will never respond to any marketing messages and never buy from that brand. And that’s what I mean about the customers disappearing or becoming invisible to a brand. They are no longer available to be marketed to. They will just ignore the marketing messages because they saw when I tried to get help, the company didn’t reach out in social media and try to help. And this is the invisibility that is affecting many companies and they don’t even realize that by poorly managing their social media, they have shrunk their customer base.

Managing Your Social Media Well Can Be a Customer Attractor. On the other hand, let’s say there is a customer who complains in social media and the company is paying attention. They are monitoring, listening and respond quickly and resolve the issue. 1 or 10 or 100 or 1,000 customers will have seen this and as a result, they make mental note of it. They might not be in the market for what the company is offering at that exact moment, but when they are and they have to choose a brand, they are going to choose a brand that has their back or a company that they have seen take care of another customer’s issue quickly and meet the customer expectations.

Not Responding To #Fail Is No Way To  Manage Your Current and Future Customers. The failure to meet or exceed those expectations can drive away new and existing customers. This is why I think the old “marketing funnel” has really been dismantled. With more and more companies turning to social media to communicate with consumers, it’s important to manage the channels in a way that builds brand loyalty and converts users into advocates. Today’s consumers turn to social media when they have a question about their purchase. The way your company manages customer service via social media can build brand loyalty & turn users into advocates.

info2 info1

You can get the full infographic from IntelliResponse here.

Where do you stand? Are you monitoring, listening and responding? Or are you not even paying attention to social media?

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst

Constellation Research, Covering Customer-Facing Applications that Create Awesome Customer Experiences

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Watch What Twitter Does Next… Customer Service or….

How does Twitter make money? Good question. Many companies use it for Customer Service – as consumers have figured out it’s a great place to embrace a company into fixing a customer service issue that has not been resolved or just to get the brand’s attention. With the announcement of Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen and firm Silver Lake Partners, shares of Twitter jumped nearly 8%.

According to The Information, several investors in Silicon Valley are pulling together plans to buy or restructure the company. There have been conversations around an potential acquisition as some of the senior executives are changing guard, including the head of product and engineering, CEO Jack Dorsey, leaving last month.

One of the questions from investors is how quickly is Twitter adding new monthly active users? Last quarter, Twitter missed the Wall Street forecast, with only 307 M active monthly users. Twitter is used by many people to keep in touch, drive change in foreign countries, provide insights into what consumers think is value and whether they need Customer Service help. Some companies, like Dell, have used it to sell refurbished lap tops and generate revenue. Twitter also provides an invaluable source of customer data. The question for Twitter is what can they offer brands, that they would pay for? It will be interesting to see how one of the darlings of social media ends up!

@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer-Facing Applications that Drive Better Customer Experiences

 

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Making Social Customer Care Great Marketing

Social Customer Care

Social Customer Care, simply put, has become an expectation amongst consumers. Social Customer Care is one of the most important aspects of the customer experience. Telling your community that you’re accessible on social channels delivers a strong message. Your community and supporters are online, and it is fundamentally changing how and where constituents look for support, and how they engage with you today. 

 1-9-90 Rule: Social Customer Care Is Ruled by the Lurkers

I remember when I was first on Twitter back in 2008. It seemed like a great place for customers to express their frustration. But I could see where organizations might not see the real ROI. Part of the reason is of the 1-9-90 rule. That’s a rule that is really an approximation and it goes like this: about 1% of population post in social networks, 9% respond and about 90 lurk (read, but don’t post.) Of course the ratios change for different industries, but the take-a-way is that most people read, they don’t post.

 Social Customer Care Does Matter

This lower posting (10%) rate might lead many organizations to think they are not very many people are on social networks. However, what I learned in speaking to many consumers and even B2B business buyers is that people do look and they do read. And they form an opinion of a company based on what they see. They may not post, but they do make a decision or form an opinion about a company and how it treats it’s customers. So in actuality, that 10% that post is like the tip of the iceberg, where the affect is really on the 90%. So that’s why, for organizations of any size, listening to constituents online not only presents the opportunity to uncover and address complaints and issues, but also the opportunity to learn, improve, and engage your audience in new ways to strengthen – or build new – relationships over time.

My Personal Experience With Social Customer Care and An Airline

I remember one time when I was trying to fly to London to give a speech on customer service. The plane I was supposed to take had mechanical issues and was not going to take off for a long time. If I took that flight, I would miss my speaking slot. I saw another flight that was leaving within 30 minutes to London and went to the gate to see if I could get on that flight. They said no, even though there were seats.

I then tweeted to the airline for help. They responded within 30 seconds. They asked me to Direct Message them with the issue. Low and be hold, within 5 minutes on was on that flight that the gate attendants said I could not get on. I went up to the gate attendant’s and showed them that I was on the flight they had denied me access to. They said, “How did you get on?” I said Twitter. And they were really surprised.

Realizing that gate attendants have rules and regulations they have to follow, I got why perhaps they couldn’t get me on. But I was also amazed that a tweet could over rule either the regulation or the stubbornness of those gate attendants. And I can tell you that, that experience definitely left me with a strong opinion about that airline. And it was a positive one — because when I really needed them to come through for me, they did. And it happened through social media! (And yes I made it to my speech on time! And this episode with Twitter was a large topic of conversation at that conference…)

 Come Hear More About Social Customer Care and Marketing

In June, I will be leading a panel where you dan learn how HP, Alex & Ani and Honeywell not only provide exceptional service to their customers through social channels, but how they capitalize on these interactions as a marketing opportunity. It’s at the Salesforce Connections Conference in NYC. If you are skeptical about social customer service and how it affects the brand and can actually work to your advantage as positive Marketing, please join us!

My Recommendations on Social Customer Care:

1. Start by listening using either free or paid social listening tools

2. Determine if your brand is being talked about: It could be, no one is talking about you; it could be they are and it’s negative or positive; you’ll also want to monitor your competitors to see if people are talking about them and what’s being said.

3. Once you see if anyone is talking about your company in social networks, and whether it’s positive or negative or neutral, you can then create the beginnings of a social media customer care / marketing strategy. But it all starts with listening first. You have to know if you are part of the conversation online or not.

4. If no one is talking about your brand online, then that’s when you have to figure out a strategy to begin the conversation. If the sentiment is negative, then you have to figure out why and what you can do about it. Sometimes it maybe a product defect or poor service. Those are within a brand’s control to fix. And if it’s positive, then a strategy to keep that conversation alive and positive is also required.

Social Networking is Not for the Faint of Heart.

It’s a ton of work, it’s not free and requires strategy, processes, people and technology. And the ROI is very high. Here’s some videos that will give you more info on the business return on social customer care:

• How To Measure Social Customer Care

• How Social Customer Experience and Social Media Benefit the Entire Company

* How To Build a Business Case for Social Customer Care

What’s your point of view on social customer care and how it can affect marketing and brand reputation?

@drnatalie

VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Great Customer Experiences and Keep Brand Promises
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Is Social Selling Going to Make a Difference in Your Sales Organization?

In speaking to many sales leaders and sales reps (especially outside of Silicon Valley) they were wondering, “Would social selling make a difference to my sales organization and our sales results?” Having been in the “social media / digital world” for a while I found that an interesting question. But often if you are in the mix of something you can’t see what others can’t see. So I did some research on social selling to back up what my gut what was telling me, i.e., “Yes, social selling makes a tremendous difference to a sales organization’s bottomline.”

You might be wondering, what types of statistics are out there around social selling and it’s effectiveness. Here’s a few:

  • Sixty-five percent of the most successful sales people who use social media as part of the selling process believe social media is critical to their success
  • Studies show 78% of salespeople who use social media outsell their peers
  • Research into actual use of social selling has revealed that sales professionals who use social selling are 51% more likely to exceed quota, three times more likely to go to a special sales event for top sellers and get promoted faster*

Why might this be the case? Nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on—before even having a conversation with a supplier. Sadly, however, 2/3 of firms do not have a social media strategy for their sales organization, even though 80% of the sales people surveyed believe the sales force would be more productive with a greater social media presence.

So I began looking at the critical components of social selling and found that sales managers, despite the few that are very successful, many are unsure how to use social selling. Sixty-eight to 84% of salespeople surveyed feel the sales process is changing faster than sales organization are responding. However, according to the report Powering Profitable Sales Growth: Five Imperatives from the 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study, Accenture and CSO Insights, digital transformation, digital selling, applying digital tools, online and social media to enable digital relationships and drive sales across multiple channels is fast emerging as a primary driver of market differentiation, business growth and profitability.

Here’s some of the reasons sales team leaders and members are not leaving social media and social selling:

1. Sales leaders are not moving their teams to social selling.

2. Sales individuals and teams don’t have online professional brands.

3. Sales and marketing teams are not working together as a united front.

4. Salespeople don’t have the digital proficiency to develop an effective online brand to drive more sales.

Sales leaders must understand how to leverage social selling to advance the relationship between their prospects, potential customers and current customers. In addition, businesses need to learn how to make the most of each individual salesperson’s online brand while keeping the company’s social persona intact. And I will explore more about social selling and solving these issues in the next blog post.

Here’s a link to the snapshot of the report on Social Selling.

@drnatalie

VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Marketing, Sales and Service To Create Amazing Customer Experiences

Catch Constellation’s Connected Enterprise – The innovation summit for the enterprise November 4 – 6, 2015. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California.

*LinkedIn Research Surveys and Analysis of Using Social Selling Tools Data 2014- 2015

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New Belgium Brewing Creates Great Customer Experiences Using Microsoft Dynamics

The keys to New Belgium Brewing’s success are not just the beers it creates. It’s also having a focus on
environmental responsibility and dedication to modeling core values and beliefs as part of the
everyday culture involved in brewing “green” beer.
New Belgium Brewing believes culture isn’t about what you say or post;; it’s about what you do.
The New Belgium Brewing culture was brewed even before a bottle of beer. It started when Kim and Jeff
hiked into Rocky Mountain National Park with a pen and pad. Together, they wrote down
what they wanted to instill into their business dream. The company’s core values and beliefs
were and are:
1. Remembering that we are incredibly lucky to create something fine that enhances
people’s lives while surpassing our consumers’ expectations.
2. Producing world-class beers.
3. Promoting beer culture and the responsible enjoyment of beer.
4. Kindling social, environmental and cultural change as a business role model.
5. Environmental stewardship: Honoring nature at every turn of the business.
6. Cultivating potential through learning, high involvement culture, and the pursuit of
opportunities.
7. Balancing the myriad needs of the company, our coworkers and their families.
8. Trusting each other and committing to authentic relationships and communications.
9. Continuous, innovative quality and efficiency improvements.
10. Having fun.

Want the full report? Download it here.

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
 | Twitter: @drnatalie 

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:
• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 

SAVE THE DATE!
Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise 
The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st

Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton
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How Companies are Building the Green Internet: GreenPeace Report

The GreenPeace Report puts technology companies into groups of energy use: Dirty Energy, Middle Of The Road and Green Innovators. As an analyst, we talk a lot about the newest types of software, computers and gadgets of which need energy to run. And there is real resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit, where people are looking to feel satisfaction from the work they do and make the world a better place, rather than just tolerating brain-numbing work for the sake a of paycheck, only to find enjoy somewhere else. With all the enthusiasm also comes a great deal of energy use that we may or may not be aware of.

According to the Kaufman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity (KIEA), the entrepreneurial rate in the U.S. is already well above the dot.com bubble of 15 years ago. From social media to music, streaming video, email and commerce, we are increasingly moving much of our lives online. But which companies are storing all of that data, and how are they getting the energy? Here’s who hosts some of the internet’s most popular sites and services in their data centers – and whether those companies are using dirty or clean energy. Find out how you can participate by following the hashtags #clickclean and download the full report and take action for a green internet.

Three Types of Energy As the expansion of technology is continuously accelerating, we are also creating a world where more and more energy is be required. There’s a term called Dirty Energy, which means the focus is only on efficiency and the company has taken few or no steps to switch to renewables. And the there’s the Middle of the Road, which are the companies that are taking steps toward a greener internet, buy not leading the way. And then Green Internet Innovators are the groups that are committed to 100% renewable energy. Their leadership is helping to make our lives, online and offline, greener.

Clicking Clean How Companies are Building The Green Internet

Clicking Clean How Companies are Building The Green Internet

The Green Internet Innovators Here’s one of the companies that is on the side of the green internet innovators.  Apple’s aggressive pursuit of its commitment to power the iCloud with 100% renewable energy has given the company the inside track among the IT sector’s leaders in building a green Internet. Apple has made good on its pledge by building the largest privately owned solar farms at its North Carolina data center, working with its utility in Nevada to power its upcoming data center there with solar and geothermal energy, and purchasing wind energy for its Oregon and California data centers. Apple’s commitment to renewable energy has helped set a new bar for the industry, illustrating in very concrete terms that a 100% renewable internet is within its reach, and providing several models of intervention for other companies that want to build a sustainable Internet. Download the full report. (Full disclosure: I have a relative that works at Apple.)

 Apple Energy Source 2013

Apple Energy Source 2013

 

How Facebook Uses Energy    Facebook continues to grow and dominate the global social media landscape with 1.23 billion monthly active users. Facebook has made huge strides forward since 2012 to become one of the clear green internet leaders. Radical improvements in transparency and efforts to deliver significant wind energy investment in Iowa have helped drive Facebook into the top tier of companies creating the green internet. By building on the advocacy it has started with energy utilities to drive more clean energy investment, and continuing to find ways to bring renewable energy to scale to power its data centers in North Carolina and Iowa, Facebook is setting a clear bar for other major social media networks and internet companies to follow.

How Facebook Uses Energy

How Facebook Uses Energy

How Google Uses Energy Google has continued to lead the major internet brands in purchasing renewable energy at scale to power its massive online ecosystem. The company is now reporting electricity consumption of 3,315 GWh, with 34% of its operations powered by clean energy. Google’s use of power purchase agreements to procure clean energy has been adopted by others in the sector, like Microsoft, and it has successfully influenced utilities in Oklahoma and North Carolina to offer new renewable energy options by using its immense business clout. As Google expands its footprint to Latin America and Asia, it will need to maintain its innovative edge to make sure that it continues to source clean energy even in countries that feature dirty electric grids.

Google Energy Sources 2013

Google Energy Sources 2013

Twitter falls between the types of companies that are clearly innovating in their use of energy sources and those that fall into the dirty energy collection. Twitter’s has changed the way people around the world communicate. Twitter does not yet own any data centers of its own, instead renting data center space from others. The microblogging platform has remained silent about the type and amount of electricity that is powering those data centers. Twitter remains at the bottom of the industry for energy transparency, disclosing no information about its energy footprint. Twitter lags behind its competitors in social media, Facebook, which took significant steps to increase transparency and increase its use of clean energy soon after it went public.

Twitter Energy Sources 2013

And on the side of the spectrum are copies that fall into the Stuck in dirty energy past ways of providing and using energy. One example is Digital Realty Trust (DRT)  which is the largest digital landlord in the world, with 131 data centers worldwide, roughly three-fourths of which are located in the US. Digital Realty operates on the wholesale end of the colocation spectrum, providing both entire data center properties to large customers like Equinix and Amazon Web Services, and also renting portions of facilities to meet the needs of large online properties such as Facebook, Rackspace, Salesforce, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

Digital Realtiy Energy Use 2013

So the question really is – as we build all this technology, are we really making the world a better place? We need / want technology to scale. But at what cost? CEO’s need to consider not only their new innovations in products and services, but also how they are leaving the environment. Are they leaving it in a better or worse state and at the end of the day, what’s the cost in the long run to these decisions.

@DrNatalie

 

 

 

 

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