Can Social Media Lead to a Green Job? A Tweet for Thought.

March 26, 2009 at 5:17 am 1 comment

mattpenned by Matt

Here at Bright Green Talent, we talk a lot about social media. We try to figure out how to use the tools at our disposal to best reach our audience. At a social media webinar last week focusing mostly on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, the moderator asserted that the more connections that you have through these outlets, the closer you get to reaching your target audience (based on 6 degrees of separation) – whoever that may be (a potential customer, employer, etc.).

But can social media be green?

This question struck me while working on a Pottery Barn photo shoot this week (I work occasionally for them while I career transition – see last week’s post on how to transition into a green career) producing their print catalog (the ones you may get in the mail every season).

Although I have been working with this client on and off for a few years, things had dramatically changed this time; a morning debriefing session revealed that 80% of their product sales (sofas, tables, bedding, etc.) were purchased online. During this morning meeting, a flurry of keywords and web 2.0 concepts (pre-coffee, mind you!) was dropped on us: Blogs, Tweets, Search Engine Optimization, YouTube, Owning a Category for Search-ability on Sofas, etc.

Now since this is exactly what I have been working on with Bright Green Talent, I got excited, but my enthusiasm didn’t stop there…

You have to realize that Pottery Barn is quite a conservative organization and has been resistant to change for many years — it’s a subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma Inc. and very large, with over 200 stores nationwide and millions of $ in annual revenue. It didn’t always used to be sales ratio of 80-20 (internet-catalog) — in fact it used to be the exact opposite. The mail order catalog has been integral to Pottery Barn’s past success, filled with enticing images of fine living that are very effective at selling LOTS of product. Now, although times are tough in retail, Pottery Barn is still a robust company with a surprisingly nimble quality – they may be late adopters to such things as digital photography and e-commerce, but once they move, they move fast.

And fast they are moving to (what I can see will be) the elimination of the paper catalog completely, replacing it with e-commerce and interactive web tools. We are seeing this trend with all forms of printed word, including newspapers and magazines. All of these businesses are trying to reinvent themselves – to become more transparent, more authentic, and more engaged with their audience. Not only is this a better option for all the trees of the world (Pottery Barn puts out tens of millions of catalogs a year), it also opens up a HUGE opportunity for a generation of facebook-savvy social media web nerds.

I can only imagine that there is a team of web gurus, leading the “new” Pottery Barn through the darkness that is social media and e-commerce. You may think that this is a waste of time or not really sure how to use it, but the numbers do not lie…Facebook  reaches 79 million/month, LinkedIn has 30 million professionals, Twitter reaches 6.1 million/month, YouTube – 80 million/month (Quantcast).

If you can learn how to leverage this opportunity and become a social media expert web guru, you WILL be an asset to any organization. At the very least, you can put these skills in your tool belt.

It has helped me 😉

And used creatively you may also be able to call it a green job.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Susan Barnes  |  March 29, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Nice post, Matt! You make me proud. Thanks for putting it all in perspective. And I’m glad I found your update on Facebook. Practicing what you preach and what you learned in the webinar (and other places I’m sure -) the more places (aka social media outlets) you are, and the more often you reach out to people, the more likely you are to reach your target audience. Thanks for that too! 🙂


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