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Social Media for Social Responsibility

August 31, 2010 | By | No Comments

Social media for social responsibility

We might be business professionals, but we’re not all Gordon Gekko, the fictional movie character who famously said, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” In fact, some of us are downright do-gooders. We—and the people who work with us—volunteer at camps for disadvantaged kids, work at homeless shelters on Thanksgiving Day, or create and print flyers for the local domestic violence shelter. We are good corporate citizens.

And there’s nothing wrong with sharing those corporate social responsibility efforts (CSR) with consumers. In fact, social media is the ideal way to share those efforts with the world. Here are tips for incorporating social responsibility projects into social media strategy:

  • Tell them why the cause is important to you. Did you lose a much-loved employee to breast cancer? Does your CEO’s child live with autism? Personalize the reasons your company supports a particular charity—those are the stories that will resonate with your customers. Use blogs or Twitter to get the message out to your customers, the blogosphere, and the media.
  • Help consumers understand your long-term commitment to the cause, whether it’s by tallying the funds your yearly telethon raises or by sharing the personal stories of those who you’ve helped, according to Socialmediatoday guest blogger Laura Hall. For example, you might share photos on Flickr or post stories on the corporate blog.
  • Engage your customers in the project. Hall highlights P&G’s “Future Friendly Challenge” initiative, which asks Facebook followers to commit to saving energy and water as well as reducing waste. In exchange the consumer giant will donate, among other things, one day of clean drinking water to Children’s Safe Drinking Water. The result? A community of engaged followers that stands nearly 48,000 fans strong.
  • Monitor your efforts. Social media monitoring will provide insight into how the CSR efforts are being received. For example, do stakeholders view your efforts as authentic? By tapping into online sentiment, you can adjust, if necessary, the way you share those social responsibility projects.

Don’t hesitate to use social media and online listening to share the CSR efforts that are close to your company’s heart. Not only does it help build relationships with consumers, it also brings attention to those people you’re helping, whether it’s kids who don’t have a place to go after school or a single mom who can’t afford a suit for a job interview.

Learn how to use the power of social media and online listening for your corporate citizenship projects by contacting Social Strategy1.

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