Social for Good: How Allbirds Leverages Social Media to Amplify, Engage, and Drive Sustainable Change

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The Social for Good series invites marketers from agencies, brands, organizations, and NGOs that have a clear mission to improve the world we live in. Hey Honey’s goal is to encourage readers to be more aware and change their behavior so that they may improve the lives of others and of their own through smarter social-first creative, communications, and community engagement. Meet Lil Goh, Social Media & Influencer Marketing Director at Allbirds.

In an era where sustainability and social responsibility have become integral values in the business world, Allbirds has emerged as a shining example of a company that strives to make a positive impact on the world we live in. Spreading its wings around the world, this footwear and apparel brand has gained widespread recognition for its unwavering commitment to environmental conservation and ethical practices.

With a mission to create eco-friendly products without compromising on style or comfort, Allbirds has not only captivated the hearts of consumers but has also set a new benchmark for the advertising and marketing industry. The company's philosophy centres on the belief that commerce can be a powerful tool for positive change, and this belief is deeply ingrained in every aspect of their operations.

At the helm of Allbirds' global social & influencer team is Lily Goh, whose insights and expertise have been instrumental in amplifying the brand's mission and connecting with a global audience. As the head of social media, Lily has played a pivotal role in crafting Allbirds' online presence, engaging with customers, and spreading the word about the company's sustainable practices.

From its eco-friendly materials to its relentless pursuit of innovation, Allbirds continues to inspire marketers and brands worldwide, proving that success can be achieved by aligning business goals with a genuine commitment to improving the world we live in.

We ask Lily about how social media is used to amplify the company values, bring consumers along on their sustainability journey, and any advice she has for marketers to be successful with social.

Company values and sustainability are big topics for Allbirds, how would you describe them?

When it comes to company values and sustainability, Allbirds is committed to making a positive impact on the world. We strive to make better products in a better way. We prioritize sustainability in every aspect of our business, from the materials we use to the manufacturing processes we employ. We serve as a driving force in a new age of sustainable manufacturing—it’s one of the values our company was founded on and why we exist.

We want our products to make people feel good about buying and wearing them. We want our customers to know that they are making a responsible choice when they buy and wear Allbirds shoes. By using sustainable materials and implementing eco-friendly practices, we strive to create products that not only meet high-quality standards but also align with our values.

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword for us; it's ingrained in our DNA. From the very beginning, our company was founded on the principles of sustainability and environmental responsibility. We recognize that the fashion industry has a significant impact on the environment, and we aim to be a driving force for change.

What role does social media play in communicating and supporting Allbirds’ values?

Social media plays a crucial role in communicating and supporting Allbirds' company values. It serves as a powerful platform for us to engage with our community of customers and supporters, share our brand stories, and keep them informed on our sustainability practices and innovations.

Social media enables us to effectively communicate our values through:

1. Storytelling: Social media allows us to share stories that highlight our commitment to sustainability and responsible manufacturing.

2. Education and Awareness: Our social media channels act as educational platforms, providing valuable information about sustainability and the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

3. Community Engagement: Social media acts as a direct line of communication between Allbirds and our community of customers and supporters. It allows us to have conversations, gather feedback, and address questions or concerns in real time.

4. Firsthand Updates: Our social media channels serve as the primary source for our community to receive first-hand updates on new product launches, sustainability goals, and breakthrough innovations.

How does social media support Allbirds’ sustainability objectives?

Our social media channels are where we keep our community updated on our goals, breakthroughs, and even the challenges that we face along the way as a company navigating our sustainability journey. This shows up through things like our product launches that always incorporate innovative natural materials, our annual Flight Plan—where we share how we are doing with our goals as a company, and where we share sneak peeks of exciting new products like the new M0.0NSHOT (the world’s first net zero carbon shoe).

Social media platforms also allow us to share our mission and values directly with our community, and help them understand what they are supporting when they choose to purchase one of our shoes, or share the love about Allbirds with their friends and family.

We can listen to our customers’ feedback in real-time, whether it’s in the comments section or via their direct messages. We funnel their feedback to our product team and make updates to our shoes based on them. For example, the Golf Dasher shoe that launched 9th May was a product our community had been asking for. We used the Tree Dasher and evolved the design to make it into the perfect golf shoe

We also take note of the type of content that our customers are tagging us in. This gives us insights on how they are incorporating Allbirds in their everyday lifestyles, and helps us understand how we can continue refining our product strategy to serve their needs.

More specifically, with platforms like LinkedIn, we invite our industry peers to join us in labelling their products with their carbon footprint. It’s a little something we started doing a few years ago, and we’re always looking for more friends to join the cause.

What advice do you have for marketers in the digital and social media?

Successful digital and social media marketing requires continuous learning, adaptability, and a deep understanding of your audience. Social media is a 2-way street (it’s so different from what we were used to with traditional editorial content). So always test and learn-this is why it’s so important to be nimble. You have to be willing to change and evolve as your customers do.

What worked a year ago will likely not work in a month. Social is constantly changing as is the audience. So embrace experimentation, listen to your audience, stay informed about consumer behavior, be agile in your approach, and foster collaboration with your audience.These are some of the ways that marketers can have a positive impact and drive meaningful change.

What’s next for Allbirds?

As always, we’ll continue bringing comfortable and versatile shoes to our customers. We recently gave the world a first look at a first… M0.0NSHOT - the world’s first net zero carbon shoe. We’re now working fast and furious to get the shoes into production and into the hands of our customers in Spring 2024.