Unraveling the Power of Social Media in the World of CSR

There is not an iota of doubt that social media has gained importance in every sphere of life. From branding to publicizing things, you can’t really imagine the world without it, and corporate social responsibility is no different.  It goes without saying that Corporate Social Responsibility has gained a huge importance in company’s operating model and it has become an indispensable part of the functioning of the company. With the passage of time companies in CSR and sustainability domain are scrambling to revamp their communications and marketing strategy and are emphasizing more on the power of social media that is playing a key role in CSR activities. Today, the situation is such that the social media and CSR are intertwined. While some would argue that CSR should not be looked at in terms of PR and marketing but the reality is that every business embarks on CSR Initiatives with the goal of improving brand image. Today, social media and CSR are intertwined.


So, to understand the importance of social media space in CSR, U.S. Chamber of Foundation (USCCF) partnered with IBM for a breakthrough analysis of social sentiment.  The report highlighted that there is real value for companies to strategically frame and discuss their CSR efforts online. It also added that framing discussions in ways that encourage a thoughtful and emotional response can elicit more interest from users of social media, and encourage them to write about a company’s CSR initiatives. Social media leads to perception building and the perception that leaves an indelible imprint on the mind of the people/consumers forever which in turn leads to positive results for the corporations. Here is a quick detail of how social media can play a vital role in CSR initiatives.


Engaging in two Way Communication

In the age of digital supremacy, one can’t easily forget the importance of social media in CSR activities.  After any product or service has been launched by the company, social media allows influencing and viewing the behavior of their customers.  Social media provides platform for the dialogue exchange between viewers/customers and the company. It plays a very important role in CSR activities of the company as it helps to amplify its voice. CSR activities and campaigns have huge dependence on social media platforms for their reach. Simply putting, you can spark conversation and show people that you genuinely care about the issues your brand is backing. So, it’s pretty clear that social media provides a platform for the starting of two-way communication between the company and its customers.

 

Company’s Mission

The intertwined concept of social media and company’s mission is also to let the section of their customers to know the values that the company stands for and also clear their stand about the mission of the company. Social media also provides avenues to the corporations to link connect CSR to your company mission. Simply outlining how an initiative operates is not meaningful on its own. With the intention of making their initiatives resonating with the audience/viewer social media is a crucial platform for the corporation. And on the top of all things, these CSR initiatives on social media also reincarnate the brand image and image of the company. That is why we see that companies are enthusiastically linking their names with various CSR initiatives and earmarking huge amount of money for particular reasons.


Not Self Patting Exercise

But there is a thin line between ego-centric publicity and attracting fair publicity. That is a very important difference to understand. Social media is to draw attention towards particular issue and let people start conversing about the issue. Companies should be little cautious while using social media that the whole exercise should not be reduced to self patting exercise rather the objective should be confined to draw attention to get the conversation started on that particular issue.


Social Media: an Informer

You may end up spending crores on particular issue but your consumers and audience is not abreast of the issue and what their end results are; then objective of spending crores and your set targets are futile. Social media can be a big game changer in informing about the issue, its consequences, objective behind spending money for this particular purpose and at the end what are your desired end results. Informing customers about all the intricacies is possible only through the power of social media, and this should be done at the initial stage.

 

The value of social media has increased more in the times like this when everything is digitally done, from publicity to marketing, in the age of growing contactless culture; the corporations are flocking to make more sense of social media platforms. It is evident that social media has a huge role to play in CSR and it would be appropriate to say without social media CSR for the corporations would be a half hearted measure.

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