Get hooked in the social net revolution

The Green Blue - All At SeaLast year I was given the project of upgrading The Green Blue website and after 12 months of designing, searching for images, uploading content and getting everyone’s opinions, we finally went live.

During the process it became clear that these days creating a website is just not enough and much to my horror some smart Alec suggested that we get right up to date and incorporate social networking media.

But the very thought of it filled me with dread. Why on earth would we want to start tweeting and posting our status? After all, who’d really be interested in the finer details of everyday life in The Green Blue office? (By the way, Dan had a coronation chicken sandwich for lunch today from Bonne Bouche!)

Well it turns out that social networking media isn’t just a fad. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate and it’s not just for the young. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is in fact 55 to 65 year-old women, and the numbers of users are vast.

If Facebook were a country its population would be the fourth largest in the world.

Relevance to The Green Blue – well a quick search on Facebook revealed that over 100,000 UK members mention an interest in sailing.

With a huge potential target audience like that, I decided to find out more and I learned that social networking media is not as overwhelming as I first thought. Yes there are many sites, Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, My Space, Linked- In etc, etc, but actually it’s all quite simple.

The message that came through loud and clear was just do it, give it a go, get blogging and you’ll soon get followers. But who had the time for all this when there was real work to be getting on with?

Well it seems that this is real work! Apparently, we no longer search for the news, the news finds us, and it is predicted that in the near future we will no longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media.

So with nothing to lose The Green Blue has jumped in with both feet, and we’ve now gained 60- plus followers/fans. That may not sound like many, but the numbers are growing steadily and more importantly organically every day.

That’s 60-plus people who now know who we are, who might want to come along and see the ‘Calypso’ Contessa 32 eco project at this year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show, who might be interested in applying for a Volvo Eco Challenge Club Grant or who might want to find out how to fit a wind turbine on board.

So far we have just dabbled in social networking with lots more to do but the great thing about it is that you can just pick one thing at a time and get going.

It occurred to me that social networking media and sustainable boating are similar. They are both here to stay and knowing where to start can be overwhelming but burying one’s head in the sand won’t make either go away you have to jump on board and make a start.

And there is plenty of help at hand. Experts to ask, workshops to attend, and grants available. Just like social networking, you don’t have to try to tackle everything at once. Just pick one issue, go for it and get some quick wins. Do what you can when you can and you may even save some money at the same time.

So if you’re thinking of trying to make environmental improvements in your business, training centre or on b o a rd , The Green Blue is here to help. We offer free advice and can support you through the maze of options ensuring that you make the right changes for your organisation. Just remember it’s ok to start with the easy stuff, do one thing at a time and see where it takes you.

So why not get in touch for free guidance, check out the new website

www.thegreenblue.org.uk for ideas or even join the social networking revolution and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

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