We all know social media gives the corporate world big advantages. Between advertising, brand awareness, engaging loyal advocates, and more, companies are learning to take advantage of social media more and more every day. But as much as they gain from social media, shouldn’t they give back? Normally my posts put emphasis on the ability for companies to harness social media for marketing purposes, but today I wanted to make a point that as much as they take, they should give. With the large following and therefore reach that some of the more social-media-successful companies have, they also have huge potential to do a lot of good.
We see companies giving back to the world everyday, through volunteer days, fundraising events, or even sponsoring charities or events. So, just like in the real world, companies can also give back through social media. It’s called corporate social responsibility. Several companies do this nicely, including Wal-Mart. This Facebook post of there’s is a prime example of them taking charge of their social media responsibility:
With the amount of reach that Wal-Mart has on social media, the message of can food month was spread farther with their help. And it didn’t take that much effort on their part but positively affected the community around them as well as their brand image. Which brings me to my next point.
All though this post is geared to the “selfless giving” of companies, taking part in social media charity (sort of speak), also benefits them. Companies taking a more active role in their social responsibility on social media are generally viewed more favorably by consumers. As stated by a philanthropy organization, Truist, “Corporations that want to protect their brand understand that social media is an integral part of public perception. When a corporation exercises social responsibility in the form of fundraising or setting up employee giving programs, using social media to promote these actions helps to create a positive branding environment and it is a great way to engage with your audience on a deeper level that goes beyond your products or services.” And its true, many consumers make purchasing decisions based on how they feel about a company, especially when their specific product is in a very competitive market. And if the charitable doings of that company are visible on social media, likeliness is increased that they will support that company over others.
So, its a win-win situation. And at the end of the day, corporations need to take a step back from the greed of the economy and understand that their researched and analyzed and targeted “consumer” is human. Just like them. And it is their humanly duty to support each other and give back to those that need help. So, I challenge you, Corporations, to step up; and not only take advantage of the power of social media for your own benefit, but for the benefit of the community around you, as well.