USGBC Studio: Super Bowl 50 on social: A winning lineup!

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USGBC Studio: Super Bowl 50 on social: A winning lineup!

What could USGBC and the Super Bowl possibly have in common? This year, everything! Although the green building community and the sports industry may not be the most immediately obvious groups to jump on the same hashtag, jump they did, and it showed that sustainability goes with any aspect of life and culture.

LEED was all the talk this year, as the Broncos and Panthers took to the football field in the 2014-certified LEED Gold Levi’s® Stadium, the first of its kind. And that’s not all…the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee brought quite a few sustainability firsts to this year’s big game at the arena the San Francisco 49ers call home. Social media provided people with an awesome platform to incorporate a climate change discussion into one of the most active national Twitter discussion of the year. Some wore orange, some paraded blue, but LEED brought the green.

Team Super Bowl 50 did a great job of promoting the many green features inside and outside the stadium in a packed surrounding village they coined “#SuperBowlCity.”

Sunday marks our #SuperBowl debut as the first LEED Gold #NFL stadium.


— Levi’s® Stadium (@LevisStadium) February 7, 2016

Help make #SB50 a net positive event by playing your part. Learn more here:

— Super Bowl 50 (@superbowl50) February 6, 2016

Help make #SB50 a net positive event by playing your part. Learn more here:

— Super Bowl 50 (@superbowl50) February 3, 2016

So did USGBC!

#SuperBowlSunday‘s here! DYK ab. @LevisStadium awesome #sustainable features w/ #LEED? #SB50

— USGBC (@USGBC) February 7, 2016

T-20mins: #Kickoff! If up to us #LEED wins this #SuperBowl! THX #SB50 Host Committee: putting #sustainability 1st!

— USGBC (@USGBC) February 7, 2016

In addition, #SB50 featured a solar-powered stage graced by those needing no introduction…ahem…Bey!

Countdown to kickoff and a #solar-powered stage! #SB50 #SolarFTW @REWorld @RhoneResch

— Solar Industry (@SEIA) February 5, 2016

Even the U.S. Department of Energy weighed in:

#SUPERBOWL FACT: @levisstadium is the first #LEED Gold stadium in the @NFL! @USGBC #SB50

— Energy Department (@ENERGY) February 6, 2016

All in all, Super Bowl 50 was a win for the Green Team.

Follow USGBC across all of our social media platforms for great insight:

USGBC (Twitter) 

 /USGBC (Facebook)

U.S. Green Building Council (LinkedIn)

@USGBC (Instagram)

USGBC (YouTube)

USGBC Studio: Making a social media campaign

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USGBC Studio: Making a social media campaign

In the wake of the #Top10LEED campaign this week, I thought it would be a great time to reflect upon what goes into creating a great campaign on social media. True, it is a lot of work, but though that may feel daunting, it can all come together quite swimmingly if you keep these tips in mind.

Staying well prepped and organized is your best bet for launching a project without a hitch. That, and finding the comfiest position at the computer—you’ll be there for a while, ready and waiting for whatever the Twitter board may throw at you!

Prep yourself

  • Pick a #: Keep your hashtag unique but relevant, and avoid too many characters.
  • Incorporate graphics, infographics or multimedia: These will absolutely increase the shareability and virality of the content sent out into the social sphere.
  • Connect with influencers in advance who can help leverage messaging: Create one-pagers with all messaging someone would need to promote your content. It should be as simple for them as a copy-and-paste job. Members, stakeholders, government, journalists—whomever it may be—make it seamless for them to participate and make your content so strong they want to participate.
  • Create some buildup: Send teasers across channels to build up excitement. Remind people of the launch date and include just enough information, without giving too much away.

…and go!

  • Track that hashtag constantly: Notice every ebb and flow. If you have a data tracking system, note what content performs best, what time of day people are most engaged, on what platforms people are talking about it and especially, who is doing the talking.
  • Mix up messaging: Keep things interesting and change it up throughout the campaign.
  • Pace yourself: Don’t invest all of your promotion in day one. Organize the content in a way that keeps it timely, different and interesting even on day five.
  • Stay alert and connect your message to other trending items: Sometimes a topic will begin socially trending that happens to relate well to your own campaign messaging. Jump on the opportunity to bring your discussion into a larger, popular and relevant conversation.

Measure your successes

  • Dig deep to find most the important successes. Performance can measure many things. Maybe your campaign increased channel follower counts exponentially. Maybe engagement rates were off the charts. Or perhaps your pre-release outreach to influencers did wonders for the hashtag in the long run. Find ways to highlight what scored well.
  • Assess areas that could use improvement. Of course, there are always tweaks that can be made and areas to be improved upon. It could be as simple as communication among the team members or as big as “We need a whole new strategy.” But hopefully, if you’ve taken these points into consideration—not a chance!

Good luck! See you on the campaign trail.

Learn more about creating social media content

Creating Social Media Content

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Creating Social Media Content

Social media needs no introduction. At this point we know the basics, but this ever-changing, lightning-pace field is no one-trick pony. My advice: take the “guru,” “maiden,” and “specialist” tips into consideration, but find what works for your brand. There are endless tips and tricks out there, but the foundation of solid social media management boils down to effective communication and organization.

I remember interviewing for this position one year ago, and while I had no idea what to expect, I was confident in my social networking skills. I described myself as a “connector, networker and engager,” alert and deliberate in linking those with questions, those with answers, and those with shared interests.

These are just a few of USGBC Studio’s general tips for making your social media platforms active spaces of brand-building conversation.


Some days, this job requires me to do a lot more listening than talking. I’m often asking myself the question, “What is trending?” We like to function on a 60%:40% Rule: roughly 60% of our content is strategically planned and often created by our marketing team; then, we leave 40% open so that we can incorporate LEED into part of a larger, timely, more relevant conversation. These topics may be related to a story on environmental activism; a major legislative announcement, or even a press release/media announcement by a partner organization. Planned content includes campaigns, blogs and pre-conceived goals/initiatives.

Think global.

Any international expert will tell you that technology—and now social media—have expanded globalism in ways we never imagined. It’s important to think about content creation and promotion on a global scale. This includes something as simple as language transcriptions and cultural sensitivities, to time zone considerations when posting. As the LEED market continues to grow worldwide, it is important for me to tune in to how green building is being discussed and what people are saying about it—the praise and the criticism.

Be a connector (2D &3D).

Whether I’m grabbing my morning coffee from the kitchen or live-tweeting a major event, I’m always trying to engage with my peers. Sometimes that may be my coworkers or colleagues, chapter members and volunteers, even untapped audiences who know nothing about LEED or the industrial sustainability movement. Social media has a ripple effect, depending upon who is amplifying your message.

For example, let’s say there is a LEED certification ceremony tomorrow afternoon in the Atlanta region. I want to be sure I’m tweeting at and tagging all those who would be interested in covering or being part of that particular event. Ideally, I don’t even have to do major research prior to learning this information—I know exactly which reporters, local organizations, and legislative representatives are active on social media and guaranteed to spread that announcement further.

Perhaps our COO, Mahesh Ramanujam, travels to India for the launch of a particular green energy initiative. I know well before he even boards the plane:

  1. Which Twitter handles I want to Direct Message, encouraging attendance.
  2. Any handles of keynote speakers, or leaders, in so that I can tweet at them during the launch (in the hopes of a retweet)!
  3. Whom I may want to congratulate or acknowledge for their efforts in hosting us (this includes hotels and conference spaces—especially if they are LEED-certified)!

It’s about being aware of the connections that should be made, and setting up a strategy to make those relationships happen. Sometimes this happens quite randomly, in passing. Other times, it requires a lot more creativity (and charm).

Be confident.

I am the voice of my organization on social media: that’s huge! Of course I maintain the utmost professionalism, but I don’t pretend to be a robot, and it’s not in my best interest to act like one. I give my organization a personality and a voice that has to connect audiences across industries, nations and political affiliations. There are many ways I try to engage with individuals on light-hearted matters still relevant to our mission. I can do this through creative language; sometimes I make LEED puns (never gets old); sometimes I draw on pop culture references; regardless, there is definitely a little bit of me in every post! Just the right amount of wit doesn’t hurt, either.

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30 Days of Raw

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30 Days of Raw

This June, I decided to take National Fruits and Vegetables Month to the next level. Inspired by the fresh produce enthusiasm this past June, I cleared out my kitchen cupboards and prepared for 30 days of a strictly raw-vegan food diet.

I know the typical paragraph that follows these blog posts will give you some sort of exercise regiment; meal plan; weight loss goals, but that wasn’t what compelled to take the month-long challenge, and that isn’t what I want to share about my journey in sourcing my meals as locally, freshly and sustainably as possible.

Raw food hasn’t been cooked, processed, microwaved, irradiated, genetically engineered or exposed to pesticides or herbicides. It includes fresh fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs in their whole, natural state.

While it is no secret that a raw diet may result in rather immediate short-term or long-term weight loss, the raw foodist is far more interested in the natural enzymes and nutrients that are packed into uncooked foods, and how those individual ingredients are sourced. It can be considered its own food movement.

Sound hungry at the thought? The potential benefits make it well worth the try.

People have lots of reasons for getting involved: some are seeking a digestive cleanse; some are attempting to cure physical or mental ailments naturally; maybe a person is determining food allergies or trying to notice certain trends in food and feelings internally. There’s no one script and everyone arrived here in a different vessel, which is why it’s important to find what works for YOU.

Here are a few tactics I implemented and highly encourage.

Grow knowledgeable.

Research food groups in advance. It’s important to maintain well-balanced diet. How else will you have the energy to get through the long workday? Learn what foods are best for which vitamins and minerals. If you know you don’t like raw spinach under any circumstances, then plan a substitute. The options are endless and the web is full of fast facts. One of the many things I learned, included the importance of being prepared. There was never a time of day where I did not have fruit, nut bars, and a variety of other raw snacks in my bag; at my desk; etc.

Get prepped and stock up!

It’s easier to clear out the kitchen cupboards and refrigerator before you start your raw journey. Keep waste down by using up all perishables before you begin your 30 Days. On the flipside, stock up on items you don’t typically use in your everyday diet. Changes for me included: raw honey, coconut oil, raw pepitas (and nuts of all varieties), cacao, and raw granola. I, personally, always bought my produce the morning-of my workday, but that is your decision. Your local farmers market is the best spot!

Embrace Balance.

Food is fuel. Listen to your body. If it’s not getting something it needs, then it will tell you. If you feel lethargic or nauseous, or if you’re confident you aren’t consuming enough calories in a day, make accommodations. You may even find you need to adjust your workout routines at first, until your body adjusts to the new diet.

Be mindful. Notice what has changed over time with the incorporation of more raw foods, and less processed ingredients. It may be helpful to keep a journal to document how new or different foods initially make you feel. It’s also a good spot for all your new recipes and favorite ingredient combos!

Raw Granola Recipe

1 cup soaked and dehydrated buckwheat
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried, chopped apples
1/3 cup maple syrup (agave is also fine)
1 tbsp coconut or flax oil
2 tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
Dash salt

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the maple syrup, water, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour over dry ingredients and mix them well with your hands. If you’d like to make a sweeter granola, you can add another tbsp maple syrup, or a few drops of stevia; the amount listed is intended only to add gentle sweetness and to bind the granola together.
  3. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 10-12 hours, or until granola is sticky but adhering firmly. Refrigerate till ready to use; this will help maintain crunch and texture!

*Please ensure you are getting the appropriate vitamin and nutritional intake for your height and weight. Consult with a doctor or nutritionist before determining if this is an appropriate diet choice for your body.