Consumers are becoming more aware when it comes time to purchase products and services. Customers actively seek products and services that take a proactive role in driving social or environmental change.
It is for this reason that companies should invest in Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR). This helps people connect with the brand and creates a competitive edge in the marketplace.
With its 4.2 billion users (Statista predicts will grow to 6 billion in 2027), social media is a powerful platform for promoting and engaging people in CSR initiatives.
This guide will help you promote your CSR efforts and programs on social media to increase engagement, reach and empower your customers.
Encourage reaction and action
Promote your CSR program on social networks to let people know what you are all about. It needs to be more than just posting and then leaving. Engage your followers on social media and encourage them to act or even have a reaction.
If you announce a new initiative to reduce your company’s carbon footprint, this can be a great way to get people involved. You can ask for other ideas to expand your program or invite people to a sustainability webinar.
ECOS is an eco-cleaning products company that focuses on sustainability. The Instagram carousel that they created encourages people to experiment with sustainable coffee swaps. The carousel is interactive by asking people to swipe and offers simple, actionable advice on how to protect the planet.
Consistent but not overbearing
Keep your CSR commitments in mind, but do not flood your social media with only that content.
You may appear pushy, overbearing, or sales to a customer or prospect. If you speak too little, you are not serious about your commitments.
Mixing content in your social media feed is a good idea. It is essential to always keep in mind your values and ethos when posting on social media.
Nike is a good example. The company’s values are front and center in this Twitter Profile.
It’s clear where they are focused with two hashtags on their profile, supporting black rights and calling for an end to Asian hatred. Their Twitter feed is filled with content that is both entertaining and diverse. They support sportspeople, promote new products, and look back on moments in sporting history. But they always remember their commitment to CSR. Here’s an ode to Serena Williams after her last tennis match. It includes a prompt asking followers to share stories.
Advocate for change
It’s crucial to stay focused when it comes to a CSR program. More than linking CSR issues with something popular on social media is needed. There are times when speaking out and taking action on matters that can harm society and your industry is essential.
Social justice groups started a StopHateforProfit campaign in 2020. They urged companies to Boycott Facebook for a month because of its inaction against hate speech and misinformation.
Initially, many companies were small. However, more prominent brands such as BestBuy North Face, Diageo Walgreens, and Adidas participated.
The boycott was a powerful message that led Meta to implement several actions, including the hiring of their first Vice President of Civil Rights as well as civil rights training of employees.
Consider how you will respond if an issue is essential to your business or the public. You could do something as simple as donate to a cause or sign a petition and encourage your followers to follow suit.
You can get some ideas by reading this example: caring for Earth Day.
Your corporate social responsibility efforts should include storytelling. You must weave a story so people can relate and want to know more about your social media channels.
For example, posting about your partnership with a local charity may not lead to people clicking. Posting a positive testimonial about a family or person who will benefit from your contribution is more likely to get people’s attention.
Oreo has a history of creating buzz with its social media marketing. You may remember its viral post, “You can still dunk even in the dark,” in response to the blackout at the 2013 Superbowl.
Oreo and PFLAG launched #ProudParent in 2020, an initiative to highlight the impact of love and acceptance on LGBTQ+ youth.
The campaign aims to “empower, inspire, and motivate parents, families, allies, to come out and show loud public support,” in line with Oreo’s ethos of bringing families together. The video has already been viewed over 1.1 million times on YouTube.
This emotional campaign shows how storytelling can be used to promote the brand’s values and beliefs. The campaign encourages collaboration but keeps the focus firmly on the issue.
Humanize your brand
Your CSR program should enhance the perception of your brand. You can put a human touch on these initiatives by spotlighting your top executives and employees.
This is related to the storytelling we discussed above. The story may come from an unexpected place, but it can be told in a way that will help the public understand your brand.
Take Pernod Ricard, a French alcohol company. Ann Mukherjee was hired as the new CEO of North America by the company in 2020. She admitted that she was not a likely choice to be at a company selling alcohol.
In an interview with Fast Company, she revealed that alcohol was a problem for her. She had been abused by an intoxicated man and dealt with her mother’s death, which was caused due to a drunken driver.
Mukherjee’s personal experiences may have hindered many C-suite executives from sharing such details. However, her expertise informed one of Mukherjee’s first initiatives as CEO: a Valentine’s Day campaign about consent, promoting Absolut Vodka, Pernod Ricard’s flagship brand.
Absolut Valentine’s Day consent campaign
The campaign is part of Pernod’s CSR sustainability strategy, highlighting the importance of responsibility under the ‘Responsible Host’ pillar to combat alcohol abuse and promote responsible drinking.
Discover more about ‘Influencing change through digital channels: with Drinkaware.
Your company’s CSR initiatives will resonate with other businesses and have a wide-reaching impact. There are likely to be new developments or research in areas such as climate change which will appeal to the social media audience.
Share information and posts from third parties to bring attention to issues. It will not detract from your CSR program but show that you are committed to the cause, not just because it is clickable.
Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company, is known as a climate and environment activist. The company’s social media feed features its content and groups or events that reinforce the message. For example, this post is from Native Organizers Alliance. In 2022, the public embraced the company when founder Yvon Chouinard announced that he would donate to a charitable trust to fund climate change research.