Posted 15th Jan 2019 by Jo
This was a guest blog featured on up2yourself.com
Knowing how to react to your customers is key to your social media presence - what do they want to know about you and when? Standing out in a crowded marketplace on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram is a never ending game, especially if your competitors offer a product/service that is very similar to yours. So be different and insert your Corporate Social Responsibility practices into your marketing strategy.
Why C.S.R. ?
68% of people believe that the most successful brands will be those that make the most positive contribution to society beyond just providing good services and products. This should be an incentive to any business to ensure that whatever they are doing has a positive impact. From using recycled paper to partnering with charities to ensuring a clean supply chain, there is no limit to opportunities for S.M.E.s to practice sustainability.
Bring in your business’ personality
This is also the chance for you, as a business owner, to be able to bring your passions in. What do you care about? Or can your business be linked to a certain cause?
What do your customers care about - use a poll to find out what they would like you to support. Do you have a team who could hold regular fundraising activities for a favourite charity (voting to choose a cause is a great way to build team morale) or perhaps you would like to donate on a regular basis to a project? This also gives you another avenue of content for use on your blog or social media - updates on fundraising or what your chosen good cause is doing is something else your customers will love to read about.
Make sure you also practise sustainability internally
You can also ensure the ‘engine room’ of your business is sustainable
Using ethical suppliers and equipment
Being mindful of transportation methods for you and your colleagues
Switching lights on when not in use
This is another thing you can shout about - use an online carbon footprint calculator to get a figure on how much energy you have saved and broadcast this. You can also use those facts and figures to encourage your team to do those things - challenge them to increase the energy saving effort each month.
Show off your efforts
You can show your customers you are being good for the planet by demonstrating your practices on social media and integrating your actions as well as your product into your marketing to ensure you are getting the attention of that 68% who select companies based on their corporate social responsibility actions. The Oxford Soap Company have successfully newsjacked environmental reporting in the Guardian by announcing on their Facebook page that they are planning to produce shampoo bars in 2019, which fully relates to the press article on how readers can be further reduce their carbon footprint this year.
The late Pamela Hartigan, Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, defined Corporate Social Responsibility as a “precursor, a first step of companies trying to prove that they are good citizens... many companies are moving away from that now and saying, ‘this isn’t about something with do in the charitable sector, this is actually about how we run our business.”
In conclusion, you should show the world that you are a good citizen - your customers will love to know that their chosen brand is more than just about making money and this will encourage them to buy from you. Regularly post about the good that you are doing - and include pictures of you doing it so the social platform algorithms like you as much as your followers will!