The interest in and demand for sustainable travel options have been growing exponentially year on year, which is fantastic news. However, as more travel businesses shift towards this model, it has brought some challenges, such as unintentional greenwashing, public shaming, and general confusion around how to approach on social media a topic that not all travellers are aware of, although it is becoming increasingly important to many. In this blog post, we will discuss the top five mistakes we see sustainable travel businesses make on social media and how to avoid them.
Focusing too much on educational content
It’s important to teach your audience about sustainable travel, but it’s also important to remember that not everyone is at the same point in their journey toward sustainability.Unless your community is requesting tips on sustainable travel or definitions, the likelihood of those posts performing well is low. People have very short attention spans on social media. Therefore, educational posts are only recommended when closely linked to conversations your audience wants to have. While it’s crucial to raise awareness, there are plenty of other ways to get your message across.
Neglecting to position sustainability efforts in a positive light
It’s crucial to communicate the gravity of sustainability efforts. Still, it’s equally important to do so in an inspiring, positive light. Many businesses fall into the trap of highlighting the doom and gloom of environmental challenges. Instead, focus on the positive impact of sustainable practices. Share the impact your travellers are having on the environment and the local communities they visit.
Neglecting to share personal stories and why sustainability matters
Businesses that are genuinely committed to sustainable travel often have personal connections to the cause. It’s vital to share these stories and explain why sustainability is not just a business decision but a personal one. This helps build trust with your audience and creates a connection with potential clients. Sharing personal stories can also inspire others to take action in their own lives.
Not talking about what you’re doing on social media for fear of greenwashing
Greenwashing is a significant concern in sustainable travel, and understandably so. However, this fear should not prevent you from sharing your sustainability efforts on social media. It’s crucial to be transparent about sustainability practices and be honest about where you’re at and where improvements are still needed. Instead of waiting for full accreditation, share your goals and what you’re doing to achieve them.
Using all the big words without explaining what they mean
Sustainability jargon can be confusing, especially for those who are not as familiar with the topic. When you use complicated words without explaining them, you can turn off your audience and even end up greenwashing by accident. Instead, focus on using plain language and explaining exactly what you are doing. In fact, we recommend avoiding terms like “carbon emissions” or even “sustainable travel” in your marketing if your audience isn’t well-versed on the topic.
We hope this article has been helpful in highlighting some common mistakes we see sustainable travel businesses make on social media. We believe that by avoiding these mistakes and finding ways to showcase your sustainability efforts in action, sustainability-minded travel businesses can create more engaging and inspiring content that resonates with your audience.