5 Ways to Push the Climate Conversation on Social Media

“Minimum Viable Planet” is a weeklyish commentary about climateish stuff, and how to keep it together in a world gone mad. This week, five quick tips that really do work!

If you’d told me 20 years ago that there would one day be a company that owned all my most useful communication tools and knew everything about me and most of the world and had the power to torque elections and incite genocide and that its most vocal critic was Borat, I…would have said I’m not really into sci-fi.

And yet, here we are.

I’ve done the social media diet before. The one where I abstain from everything. The problem is all the tools and resources and information that I miss out on. How would I know when to next inflict my violin playing on the local klezmer jam? How would I know about the latest nimby happenings in my neighborhood? Many people are wrestling with deleting their social accounts after watching The Social Dilemma. And I sometimes wish I could do likewise. But I need my socials for work and niche neighborhood news.

If you need your accounts for work, life, or maintaining contact with your far-away aunties or special communities, you accept the good and bad of these platforms. But there are ways to try to use these spaces to push for change, and to make the experience richer for yourself and those around you by sharing valuable climate information, which is severely underrepresented on social media. The goal is not to try to swell your social following. The goal is to try to swell climate’s social following.

We know that Facebook and Instagram algorithms prioritize a certain type of engagement: enragement. It amplifies the emotional, like angry Trump rants or a cute baby dance. What does this mean for someone who shares climate content? Lots. 

Climate content is often downvoted because it’s not exceptionally engaging. This isn’t because people are evil and don’t care about the world. It’s because they came to Facebook to look at their second cousin’s new sailboat with the tasteless name. Not to be confronted with an article about the world’s rapidly exhausting carbon budget. 

Herewith, Five Tips for Planetary PR: 

1. Be a first-rate curator (without ever referring to yourself as a curator)

Share the most thoughtful articles. The ones that don’t front load APOCALYPSE. Share beautiful pieces with good data and great art and resonant ideas. Amazing stories of magical plastic-eating enzymes, hydrogen trucks, game-changing forest regeneration techniques, the rapidly dropping cost of solar….

Read More: 5 Ways to Push the Climate Conversation on Social Media

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