Sharing your opinions and values about social issues on social media as a business may seem daunting for various reasons like potential backlash, negative comments and personal fear of expressing yourself on such a public platform. Whilst all these are valid fears, using your voice for good shouldn’t be something to be afraid of.
Think of what your passionate about. It may be a form of art, human rights or gender equality, use this as your starting point. Now think, how can you use your passion to change the world? Or even change just a few minds?
Now before you go jump on social media clicking, snapping and typing, I suggests you take a second to critically think about a few things that I believe can make or break your move.
Look at your audience
First of all, think about your audience. They are the people you need to focus on when deciding what values and opinions you are going to promote and how you are going to do it.
As an example, the all-natural, vegan/vegetarian, 100% cruelty free skin care brand Lush Cosmetics. Their customers not only use their products for reasonable prices and amazing smelling bath bombs (yes, I am a customer), but because their customers know they are harming no animals in the process of their purchase. People that are interested in this, would also be very interest in their new Lush Cosmetics campaign #carrythecup. The campaign is an attempt to ditch single-use cups by offering free coffee to people that come into their brand-new pop up shop with a reusable cup.
This is an example of when a company thinks about their audience and the possible interests of their audience and using that to create successful and well though-out campaigns. Its shows alignment in their values and alignment with the actions the company is taking.
It is important to be genuine in your pursuits for supporting social issues. Whilst some members of the public may believe ingenuine approaches to corporate social responsibility, it’s not ethical or purposeful. Not only is 100% genuine support better for your business, it is simply the more moral and decent approach.
An example of genuine and honest action is journalist and radio presenter Carrie Bickmore’s #beaniesforbraincancer foundation. She promotes to buy a beanie from her Beanies 4 Brain Cancer website with all funds going towards research to find a cure for brain cancer.
It’s also important to not be too pushy.
Don’t just say… act!
So now you have an idea of what you would like to stand for and what kind of social media posts you may be able to create with this in mind. Just posting and writing about your cause isn’t enough to ensure your message gets across. Its one thing to say, and it’s another, far greater thing to act. You can’t just say you hate plastic in the oceans and do nothing about it. Act, even if it’s just a small step.
For example, the recent drought crisis impacting farmers has brought many large and small-scale business together to help the farmers in need. One being grocery giant Woolworths who has partnered with not-for-profit organisation Rural Aid by donating $1.5 million to the organisations Buy a Bale program. The program helps farmers by delivering hay for cattle feed, providing other necessary items and supporting the increase of counsellors who then support the local farmers and families impacted. It helps farmers and build the reputation of the company.
• Stay away from politics.
• Make sure you are truly passionate about the social issues you are standing for.
• Look at the bigger picture.
• Consult a trusted friend or employee before you make the decision.
• Be brave and think outside the box.
• Practice transparency with your audience and stakeholders.
• Act on social issues happening in the present. Be timely.
Whilst the influence of supporting a social cause on your business can be positive, it goes beyond financial gains. Standing for social issues can influence your audience and the public to do better and be better making the world a better place overall.
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Sydney Social Media and Public Relations Agency, CP Communications blends cutting edge offline and online PR and social media to help you gain a competitive advantage. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.