Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Media: A 21st Century Neighborly Conversation

Mar 25, 2011   //   by Bradley Short   //   Blog, Company Culture, Marketing & Communication  //  No Comments

How does your company utilize social media to enrich its CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives?  Many organizations aren’t using the social web effectively, despite its huge potential for engagement and good.  Here are a few tips to help you get social media to make your responsible message really stick.

You must be interesting to an individual to be interesting to a community

Communicate as if you were only interacting with just one person.  Remember, you aren’t talking to a list of names, you’re having a dialogue with real people.  They’re going to consume your message, one person at a time.  So make sure that what you say would matter even if only one person were to read it.

Solicit, respect, and reply to people’s opinions

This is especially important with sustainability and responsibility.  Things that have an emotional component like these are great for getting a deeper level of engagement with your communities and customers.

Corporate communications used to be organization-centric.  This isn’t the case anymore.  Online communities want to actively engage with brands and thought leaders as if they were talking to their next-door neighbors.  Ask questions and say things that will get people talking passionately.  And if someone wants to talk a lot about something, talk back!  Consumers really like knowing that companies care about what they say.

Learn to listen: let conversation drive sustainability

New to the corporate responsibility world?  Not sure which direction to take your company?  Don’t know what really matters to your customers?  Open your ears and you may be surprised.  Keep an eye on social media to see what people are saying about your company.  Your business may already be being called towards all sorts of responsibility and you didn’t even realize it.

Finally, keep it short and sweet

If people can’t consume the message in one or two sentences, then it’s lost.  Keep it nice and simple; short and sweet.

Use these tips to improve your interactions with your online communities.  Your CSR work will be better for it, and your customers will be more involved with your brand.  Seems like a pretty good deal, doesn’t it?