Andrea Learned

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Outdoor Afro: Social Media and the Sustainable Business

My most recent SustainableBusinessForum piece takes a look at Outdoor Afro, the thriving social-media savvy business launched by Rue Mapp.  This business, which emerged from Rue’s personal passion, is now powerfully connecting African Americans with nature – and with each other – and is poised to do so much more.

Here’s an excerpt:

As the business has developed, Mapp has taken cues from the ways in which social media and interdependence of many systems of connections mimic nature. The more diverse, multi-platformed “habitat’ forms the strongest foundation, which lends Outdoor Afro its likely long-term sustainability as a community. 

In order for the business to create and maintain this, as Mapp puts it, “pathway for people to attach to, that is relevant in their own lives,” it must:

  • Serve up deep, personal, authentic engagement. Mapp’s audience, for example, knows she truly understands their interests/issues/apprehensions about doing more camping, hiking or biking.
  •  Provide many ways by which community visitors and members can connect with one another around the brand.
  •  Amplify the passion and engagement of the core audience so that they then go on to influence their own families, friends and communities.
  •  Partner with affinity groups and NGOs to broaden reach and influence.

Please check out the entire piece and let Rue inspire you!