Other Online Allies:
The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith
Slightly cheesy but really simple, effective ways to use new media for social change
@ Is For Activism: Dissent, Resistance And Rebellion In A Digital Culture by Joss Hands
A more academic look at new media and social movements
Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky
The go-to for understanding the ways social media are influencing social movements (and vice versa)
Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected by Devora Zack
A guide to overcoming that horror of self-promotion that’s holding you back
Share This!: How You Will Change the World with Social Networking by Deanna Zandt
Half manifesto, half manual, 100% percent helpful! A lively, thoughtful exploration of the hows and whys of social media
1. Express genuine passion for your product and explain why you take pride in it. Folks are flocking to farmers’ markets and buying artisanal food products to satisfy a yearning for real food produced by real people, so share the story behind your business.
2. Be authentic; communicate in your own voice. Avoid generic tweets and boilerplate blogging; mind the fine line between homespun and hokey. And beware the “Curse of Knowledge” syndrome—i.e., assuming that everyone knows what rBGH or CSA stands for.
3. Emphasize your commitment to the “triple bottom line”— people, planet, profit. Conscientious consumers have demonstrated a willingness to pay more for products that reflect their values and allay their health and environmental concerns, even in a weak economy. But don’t greenwash! Be consistent, transparent, and prepared to answer questions.
4. Think of your current and future customers as “food citizens,” rather than consumers, and engage them in conversation, in person and online. Enlightened eaters can be your greatest allies, spreading the word about your awesome added value products or stellar services.
5. Get plugged in to—and stay on top of—the conversations taking place online that are relevant to your business. Find and cultivate your online “tribe.” Keep your website current and if you choose to use Facebook or Twitter, do so regularly, not sporadically.