CSR and Social Media – What not to do



Many companies strive to increase their social media presence through corporate social responsibility (CSR) actions. However, this can often be a major struggle for growing Facebook pages, Twitter accounts or Instagram pages.

What is the key to effectively promote your CSR efforts on social media?

Where is the magic button to get thousands of likes, RT’s, followers, increased brand favourability, and greater stakeholder engagement on social media sites?

Many people are unaware that a lot of work goes into planning, executing, and communicating CSR campaigns both internally and externally. The Statistics Portal estimates that in 2016 there will be around 2.13 billion social network users around the globe. With this growth comes a greater market and opportunity for companies to showcase their CSR through the tool of social media.

Over time, many different companies and organisations have attempted to utilise social media in various way and forms. This is showcased great examples of effective social media use and also not so great examples. We will take a look at an example of bad CSR by Walmart through social media.

Walmart, Walmart, Walmart. This discount retailer has a record of popping up whenever CSR is concerned. Facing many criticisms, the company has been accused of environmental crimes, discrimination and many more. Additionally, now with the ease of access to communicate directly to a company through social media, many angry customers have posted their accusations against Walmart online.

Recently, Walmart plead guilty to multiple various environmental crimes, resulting in the company paying $81.6 million in damages. The company was found liable of failing to have a system set up to deal with hazardous waste and also refused to train employees in waste management and disposal. This lead to great backlash from members of the community and loads of negative feedback throughout various social media channels.

The company however did not respond with great transparency or sincerity to the situation and resulted in an increased bad reputation over the whole brand.

Entrepreneur, Jeffrey Hollender, Executive Chairperson of the green products company Seventh Generation, argues that most corporations are not nearly transparent enough when it comes to social media actions.

“It’s a mistake for companies to think that they cannot tell the truth and hide anything they do,” said Hollender. “Whether it’s a customer, or an employee, or a reporter, someone will disclose a corporation’s dirty little secrets.”

If Walmart was more switched on and had better policies involved, this situation could of easily been turned around, resulting in much less damage on the company and brand image. To turn this situation around, the company needed to show transparency and steps they were doing to fix the situation throughout their messaging. Jonathan Bernstein, from Bernstein Crisis Management, states that the best and fastest way to reach some of your stakeholders in order to respond to tricky situations like Walmat’s, is through the use of social media. Bernstein argues that importance of development a number of followers, stakeholders and contacts on different social media platforms in order to respond effectively when CRS actions are needed.

What has been the best social media platform for to you show your CRS?


How to get the most from CSR via Social Media


(source: PageLizard)

As corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social media collide, company’s need to make sure they are ahead of the game and know what to do when it comes to getting the most from their CSR through social media.

Put simply, CSR is the ethical behaviour of an organisation or company. There are two common CSR exercises carried out by company’s.

1- Contribution to charity in the form of time or monetary

2- Environmentally sustainable actions

With over 1.5 billion monthly active users on Facebook alone, the growth of social media as revolutionised the way company’s conduct their CSR. Company’s now have the ability to promote their CSR activities further and faster than ever before. Social media allows company’s to raise awareness of the causes they are supporting so other can also join.

In return, company’s acting ethically give people a reason to share their brands messages and actions. Joe Marchese, CEO of SocialVibe, a Los Angeles-based startup that runs and takes care of CSR campaigns for brands such as Kraft and Powerboat states that

“What we’ve learned is it’s not the cause, but it’s the idea of a brand truly doing good that has significant impact through social media”.

He goes further to add,

“When you do something good, it used to be that you had to buy a bunch of media and tell people or do PR. Now, the potential is for people to tell each other that you do good.”

For growing brands and upcoming organisations, charities and CSR actions are an effective way to expand their brand through the tool of social media.

Here are three tips to get the most from your company’s CSR via social media:

1- Know your audience 

What good is it to speak in a language only you can understand?

Spend time getting to know your audience and the language they use, phrases they say, styles they like and methods of communicating they use.

By talking their talk, your audience will find it easier to engage with your messaging and understand your actions.

2- Don’t be afraid to talk back

Social media is phenomenal for the ease of two-way communication. It has allowed for customers and stakeholders to easily ask questions and pose viewpoints.

This opens the window for genuine conversation.

When customers ask questions or put forth their opinions you must reply. There is nothing worse than a company not answering questions on their Facebook pages or Instagram photos.

Spark authentic and transparent conversations over your social media platforms. This will also allow you to learn what it is your stakeholders think of your CSR activities and better understand your audience.

3- Share, don’t sell

It’s painful to see organisations showcase their fabulous CRS activities only to sell or promote a new product. Audiences feel used and lose trust of the brand through social media actions like this.

CSR communications are best used to increase brand trust. Share the good work you’re doing as a company, and encourage others to get involved. Simple.

Have these tips helped? What are some other crucial tips you have discovered to get the most from your company’s CSR through social media?

Why is social media vital to corporate social responsibility?


(source: Versio2)

Social and corporate shifts are taking place on a global scale.

Gone are the days when companies could do almost whatever they wanted to and control the communication of these activities, both good and bad. Social media has forever changed the way companies interact with their customers, how customers interact with the company and also how customers interact with each other.

Today, a companies image and reputation is heavily reliant on their social media presence. This is linked to the thoughts, conversations and likes from customers online.

In this new age of digital democracy, social media allows companies to constantly influence and simultaneously monitor the customers behaviours to their products or services. A major game changer.

Social media has also now started to play a key role in the way companies construct their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and show themselves as good corporate citizens. Executed in the right way, this can be greatly beneficial for any company.

A growing number of organisations and companies are taking use of social media to broadcast how they are conducting CRS. Although this may be seen as a chance to boast of their good works, many companies are now gaining more trust and strengthening their good reputations through their social media platforms.

CSR is no longer an obligation that companies feel they need to take on, but has become central to the operations of many of the best companies today. Whether it be cash giving, volunteering hours, employer-matching programs or in-kind services, more and more companies are now doing it, and happy to let others know about it.

Fun fact – not only does CRS help those outside the company, but also those within it. Research is starting to show links between doing good for the community to growth within the business. Companies that are giving back to society have been shown to outperform companies that are not. Go figure.

As a result, more companies are now offering paid time off for volunteering.

Many companies are now taking their CRS publicly through social media sites, and people love it. Companies that previously were doing good for their community are now finding out that others want to know about it. As a result, companies are launching cause marketing campaigns, which is translating into mass increases of their online followers and fans.

For example, Target, dedicates 5 percent of income to charity. Recently it launched a new campaign inviting fans to choose from a list of charities to which the company would donate $3 million. Through this process of voting, users were then able to broadcast their decision to their Facebook friends and invite others to do the same. Within one week, Target gathered 40,000 votes and even more peer-to-peer impressions through people voting. Increasing their fan base and improving their public image.

Are these companies only doing good for the community to benefit themselves?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.