Corporate Social Responsibility can be described as a company’s obligatory contribution to the social and ecological wellbeing of society. Factors such as globalization, environmental policy, and cases of unethical business practices have made CSR increasingly more important in the eyes of consumers. Due to the evolving transparency of brands through social media, it is essential that they practice CSR in their everyday affairs. It is also imperative that brands capitalize on the influence and popularity of social media in order to accomplish successful CSR endeavors.
What are the best practices in using social media to aid in CSR efforts?
1) Listen to consumers!
Starbucks exemplifies this practice in its Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. On the “My Starbucks Idea” page of its company website, consumers can offer their opinions and ideas as to how Starbucks can better contribute to its community. Actively engaging with consumers can generate awareness of the values and social needs of a brand’s audience.
2) Influence consumers!
Seventh Generation incorporates consumer education regarding environmentally friendly cleaning products into its social media CSR strategy. This consumer knowledge can be parlayed into contribution to the company’s environmental efforts. Spreading awareness of a cause will influence people to get involved.
3) Engage consumers!
Proctor & Gamble’s “Future Friendly Challenge” is an extremely successful Facebook campaign due to its high consumer engagement. In this initiative, P&G asks consumers to fulfill a number of tasks such as a commitment pledge to conserving water & energy for 90 days with the help of P&G’s own products and tips. With consumers able to actively participate in a CSR movement, they are more likely to spread the word and continue their involvement with any given cause.
4) Inform consumers!
Be loud and proud about CSR accomplishments and milestones! Share success stories with consumers and they will not only ‘like’ them but will share the news with other potential cliental. Informing consumers about CSR progress keeps them involved, informed, and continually supportive.
These four practices of a successful social media CSR campaign can not only establish a company as more likable to socially and environmentally conscious consumers, but can also aid in a company’s bottom line. Ultimately, consumers are willing to go the extra mile to support brands who are actively making the world a better place.
What are your favorite socially responsible corporations? Share your thoughts in the comments below!