Using Social Media to Further Your Brand’s CSR Campaign
Corporate social responsibility has become increasingly important over the past few years. As a result, more businesses are integrating corporate social responsibility campaigns into their business strategies.
If you study the ones that are doing it well, you’ll notice that social media plays a big part.
The What and Why of CSR
Corporate social responsibility has gained momentum over the past couple of decades and has quickly become a global movement that serious companies and organizations can no longer ignore. You’re on board, or you risk missing out.
But what is corporate social responsibility?
As The Balance explains, “Corporate social responsibility, or ‘CSR,’ is the act of fusing environmental and social concerns with a company’s planning and operations. These programs are based on the idea that businesses can reduce their adverse social and environmental impacts on the world.”
Examples of CSR include things like grants, scholarships, ethically sourcing goods, charity organizations, volunteer work, labor fairness, not-for-profit products, educational programs, and community initiatives. Corporate giving – which is surprisingly easy to set up – is another popular option.
While the benefits of CSR on those directly impacted by the causes are clear, the company almost always reaps indirect benefits as well.
In a world where 84 percent of millennial customers say they don’t trust the companies they do business with, CSR is seen as one of the best ways to increase trust. An estimated 59 percent of consumers say they’re more willing to patronize companies that have “good values.”
Then there are the employee benefits. One study shows that employees at companies with CSR strategies in place are much more engaged and put in 60 percent more effort than those in companies without CSR initiatives.
Using Social Media for CSR Campaigns
CSR initiatives can range from simple involvement in a local charity to a full-fledged arm of your organization that oversees millions of dollars in strategic spending initiatives. But regardless of where your program lands on this spectrum, social media can help. Here are a few specific ways you can use it:
Toot Your Own Horn
It used to be considered a major faux pas to publicly share the good your company was doing. Just like you’d never walk into a shopping mall and start telling strangers about how much money you donated to your favorite charity over the holidays, businesses typically haven’t been outspoken about their good deeds and causes. Until now, that is.
It’s not exactly clear when the shift occurred, but it’s now perfectly acceptable to “humble brag” about your company’s good deeds. In fact, customers will actually cheer it on!
Social media is the preferred outlet for tooting your own horn. Whether it’s sharing behind-the-scenes videos, branded graphics, or graphs and charts about your latest initiatives, you’ll be surprised how much engagement this content gets.
The key to using social media effectively in conjunction with your CSR campaigns is to engage with people. The more you can get people buzzing, the more they’ll actually do the PR for you. And one of the preferred methods for doing this comes in the form of competitions and contests.
Contests work because of the underlying gamification, which motivates people to participate. But it’s especially valuable from a marketing standpoint because of how it encourages virality. If you run your contests correctly, you can force the social media algorithms to pay attention to you, and your brand will start popping up in newsfeeds everywhere.
The third tip is to gather as much feedback as you can. Facebook questions, LinkedIn polls, and Twitter surveys can all be great ways to engage your audience and find out what causes they’re most interested in. Based on this feedback, you might be able to shift your CSR initiatives to account for the things that your audience is most passionate about. This will give your future campaigns even more momentum.
Adding it All Up
The right social media strategy will do nothing but enhance your CSR campaign. Use it strategically to generate buzz and visibility, while also humanizing your brand and raising awareness for the causes you support.
Social media is always evolving, so make sure you stay up to date with the latest practices and keep your eyes peeled for new trends that could help you generate even better results.