With its constant growth and evolution, CSR has become more of a well thought of digital business strategy than a mere investment. What now becomes crucial is, for various digital groups to strategically integrate the firm’s CSR activities with its overall content marketing plan. We can see a lot of firms strategically embedding their philanthropic initiatives within their marketing agenda so as to increase customer engagement, boost site traffic, and enhance business reputation.
Future of CSR = Social Media
The inevitable prevalence of digital media has established a direct communication link between organisations and its customers. Increasing expectations of customers have prompted organisations to portray themselves in a more experience-based and morally appealing manner. This has been done by sharing their CSR initiatives on digital platforms as undertaking CSR initiatives is not enough, CSR communication is equally important. That’s where social media plays a crucial role. Digital marketers are heavily relying on the use of social media for communication of CSR initiatives.
Why CSR + Social Media ?
Firms have only recently realised the power and influence of social media. They are now trying to use it to their advantage by adopting a long term approach towards sustainability to enhance their brand repute. If you come to think of it, both CSR initiatives and social media are built on the pillars of transparency and community. So, easier virality and engagement can be achieved by playing the philanthropic-cause card on a social media platform.
A comprehensive CSR campaign on social media should clearly:
- define the objective of the firm undertaking a particular CSR initiative
- portray the type of work being done for the initiative
- illustrate the positive consequences as a result of the work done for the initiative
- ask followers to spread the word
- urge them to talk about the same
If the quality of content published on social media is high and people on social media are able to identify with the cause, your followers will eventually like your campaign, share the post and participate in any such future campaigns as well, thereby leading to increased engagement through effective storytelling. However, sticking to those social media platforms where your target audience and influencers are present is key.
How CSR + Social Media ?
To promote a CSR campaign on social media, it becomes necessary for the firm to appreciate the concerns & feedback of its various shareholders and address the same in a transparent fashion. Treat social media as the voice of your firm to engage in a conversation with your social media friends and followers by replying to their comments, solving their doubts, and responding to their queries, preferably within 24 hours. The aim of promoting your CSR campaigns should be to inspire people to work for the betterment of the society; positive feedback, increased customer awareness and engagement, improved brand recall value all become by-products.
Social media is just another marketing tool used for communication but the reason it holds value for firms is because of the non promotional way in which the firms can accelerate their goodwill. This is done by keeping their core business activity at the backseat and letting their cause related initiatives be in the limelight. Furthermore, active engagement of customers, if utilised well, can foster favourable brand image and escalated brand value. Conclusively, social media can be used as a powerful channel for establishing the image of a firm as that of a good corporate citizen by communicating, listening, answering and monitoring cause related initiatives undertaken by the firm.