Top CSR Social Media Trends to Watch in 2020
Organizations who are good corporate citizens will benefit greatly from highlighting their Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR social media trends efforts via social media. In 2020, the good (or bad) actions businesses take in their communities is under a microscope. Aron Cramer, CEO and President of Business for Social Responsibility says 2020 is likely “the decisive decade” because now is the time for systemic change to address society’s discomfort with how the market economy works. The public’s expectations for companies’ CSR efforts have been increasing for a while now, and the Coronavirus quickly escalated it. Mark Kramer of Harvard Business School predicts that the way organizations respond to the crisis is a “defining moment that will be remembered for decades.” Wow, no pressure, right?!
Given the heightened awareness and sensitivity of today’s consumers, communications related to your CSR will have a measurable impact on how customers view you. CSR social media trends is a top important factor in establishing your company’s image. For companies in some industries, like the consumer financial products realm, a good corporate reputation is even more important. Customers need to trust those who are handling their money.
It’s no longer wise for your CSR commitment to be in the background until you need it during a crisis. Now is the time to showcase it regularly in your social media.
Social media channels are an easy way to leverage short soundbites to capture a wide audience. This works well for simple branding of your CSR social media trends. Think hashtags like #GoGreen, #Volunteer and #Ethics. Social media also increases your customer interaction as they engage with you via shares, likes and comments. Using techniques specific for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you can educate your audience in a way that builds a positive reputation for your company over time.
There are many ways to discuss CSR-related topics on social media. Here are four techniques we believe are especially effective and are useful to incorporate into CSR campaigns.
Get Your Employees to Talk About It
Generally, people believe employees more than corporate leadership, so your message will resonate more with customers when it comes from your people. Plus, part of your reputation is how you’re seen as an employer and this builds a positive image.
Encourage your team to post CSR actions on their social media. For example, say you spend a day volunteering. Send some of the day’s pictures of employees to them and encourage them to post about it on their social media channels. Hopefully, they will tag your company, but if not reply back with a thanks for their volunteer work. Another option is to ask employees what they liked about a recent CSR initiative at your company and share some of the quotes (with employees’ permission).
Weave CSR in Rather Than Broadcast It
Offer periodic bits across different channels over a longish time period. Posting too often about CSR can start to seem preachy, or worse, like you’re bragging (see below). A better approach is to let your audience form their opinion over time. Rather than just saying you have a strong CSR commitment, let them gradually discover it as they read your posts.
Take a glance through @Square’s social media and you’ll see posts like the following tweet interspersed among typical, company-related posts. They steadily educate followers on their CSR efforts.
Showcase, but Don’t Brag
While promoting CSR social media trends is good, if it’s perceived as bragging it will turn viewers off. Avoid this by using concise words that tell a simple story about what action you took and the impact it had. Don’t embellish much – just the facts – and stay away from telling your audience how they should feel or react.
@Wells Fargo has several successful CSR programs and they employ this technique well in their social media campaigns. Here’s a recent post on their Facebook page about their support of the #NoBarriersSummit. It’s informative and has a humble tone.
You Will Get a Response – Have an Engagement Strategy Ready
The point of social media is to get users engaged. Posts on a hot topic like CSR are sure to activate followers. If your audience is friendly, the response will probably include support and applause. Great! Ask them to share it if they don’t do so on their own. Here’s a positive response Square received to their Tweet:
Positive reactions is the goal, however, be prepared for people who feel your efforts are not enough or ineffective. In that case, it’s good to have a strategy prepared. Similar to crisis communications planning, in your CSR approach have a strategy for when things don’t go your way it.
A commitment to CSR will impact many of your company’s metrics, from business costs to employee satisfaction. Highlighting CSR efforts in your social media to build positive awareness of your business will increase your company’s value. A study on CSR and company value found “79 percent of fund managers and analysts indicated that social management has a positive impact on firm value in the long-term.”
It can be daunting to focus a spotlight on your company’s CSR social media efforts. However, with some careful thought and planning, it can build a positive image and reputation for your organization. For business success, it’s now more of a requirement than an option.
Photo Credits: www.makeameme.org, www.brainstuck.com, Square’s Twitter page, Wells Fargo Facebook Page.