Social responsibility is a significant part of any business, especially after a few years of steady operations. Broadly defined, social responsibility is the process of giving back to your community, donating time or money to good causes, and reducing or eliminating any poor side effects your business might have—in short, it’s a way of making the world a better place.
While many entrepreneurs conduct these social responsibilities out of the pure desire to do something good for their communities, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that the process has many benefits for your business. Getting involved in the community brings more attention to your brand, and positive associations with your brand’s charitable or beneficial work can breed goodwill among your potential customers.
When you go out of your way to do a little good for your community, why not show it off? You don’t want to go overboard, or your motives will come into question, but there’s nothing wrong with mentioning your brand’s social responsibility in your ongoing content. The key is to remain tactful and introduce your social responsibility in otherwise great standalone pieces.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
Blogs are relatively low-key, and if you’re already in the habit of using them for periodic company updates, they’re the perfect opportunity to announce your involvement in an upcoming volunteer or community event. For example, let’s say your company is going to attend a park cleanup initiative for a park near your headquarters. You could detail the event in the context of a blog post, list the employees who plan on attending, and invite others to join the cause.
This last part is crucial; when you publish or syndicate a blog about your social responsibility, make it a point to get other people involved. This serves multiple functions. First, it proves your commitment to the cause (because a company using the event as a mere gimmick to get more publicity would not go to the effort). Second, it justifies your publication and syndication. There’s a valid and good reason why you’re writing about it. Third, and perhaps more importantly, it gives more attention to the issue at hand, meaning your company will be doing an even greater good for your community.
People favor visuals over text, so when you’re active in a particular event or volunteer activity, take advantage of it. Take pictures throughout the event, and use a hashtag if one has been designated. Be sure to publish and distribute those images on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media platforms you might use. It will show your audience a firsthand perspective of your work, which will leave them with a much greater overall impression.
This is also effective because it will prompt others attending the event to do the same. The more people you have posting pictures about the event, the more attention it will cumulatively receive, and the more brand visibility you’ll earn as a result.
Most charitable and other non-profit organizations rely on donations to stay running. As such, they’re always open to monetary and resource donations. If you have a bit of extra revenue to donate, do so for the non-profit organization of your choice. Most organizations would be happy to list your company as a donor or sponsor on one of the pages of their website. This will include a link pointing back to your domain, which will also increase your relevance for search engines.
Once that relationship is established, you can request the non-profit to host a guest blog (or several) that you’ve written. Any additional outlet you get for your work is a boon, as long as you keep it somewhat relevant to the organization as well as your brand.
Press releases are great opportunities to spread the word about your brand to multiple, high-profile news outlets all at once, and since you’ll be piggybacking off the event, you can be guaranteed to have some newsworthy, (reasonably) unbiased coverage. For press releases, however, you’ll be limited to actual events and initiatives—donating money generally doesn’t warrant a press release unless it’s on the order of millions of dollars. Still, they can be a decent outlet for your socially responsible brand, and because they’ll be featured offsite, they’ll earn you more reputation points.
People like to see other people involved in their community, not faceless corporations. That’s why you need to partner with your employees to get as many people from your business involved in the effort as possible. Reward your employees for donating their time or money, and encourage them to post on social media about the experience. The more of your company’s employees get involved in volunteer work and charitable initiatives, the better your company is going to look.
Social responsibility is mutually beneficial for everyone involved. Charities and community organizations get more money and resources to continue aiding the community. You and your employees get the positive feeling of giving back to society. And your brand gets more than enough exposure to justify whatever you’ve invested in the opportunity. As long as you position your endeavors correctly and in the context of content, you should have no problem reaping the full rewards of your initiatives.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.