By Joe Brown
Creative Director: Media Junkies
It is a given fact that giving back is good for businesses. I don’t mean distributing your profits to people you meet on the street; I’m talking about Corporate Social Responsibility. Big corporations know this and are aware of the returns they get from being socially responsible. What they do for and how they stand in the community, are discussed whenever they meet their big bosses.
Examples of Social Responsibility Initiatives:
If social responsibility does not refer to sharing your piece of the pie to the public, how do you do it? You can come up with initiatives that your market can identify with. These initiatives should be relevant to your business and not just anything you pull out of a box. The goal is to create an image that your company is not all about the profit. You recognise that your role in the community goes beyond selling the product or service that drives your business.
Here are some examples:
- There are optical clinics that collect used prescription glasses that they can give to those who cannot afford to buy one.
- A bookstore may collect used books and donate the same to public libraries. They may also hold literacy classes to impoverished children who cannot go to school.
- There are salons who hold haircutting classes in disadvantaged communities. Through these classes, their graduates earn skills that can get them gainfully employed.
- A diving school may hold clean up drives under the sea. This way, they train not just good divers but environmentally-conscious ones too.
Why Be Socially Responsible?
- Buying into a brand is different from buying a brand – The consumers we have now, more particularly the millennials, do not just buy a brand. Spending their money should foster an emotional connection with the seller. Most of you have heard stories of celebrities getting dropped by brands whenever they do or say something controversial. There are statements and actions that turnoff certain parts of the population and if you are selling a product, you do not want to cross anyone’s toes. Consumers now are more logical. They look beyond what you’re selling. They will also consider how you, as a company, relate with the community. This will establish an emotional connection that can lead to consumer loyalty.
- Giving back is good for both PR and SEO – Good deeds done to the society is not just good PR, it is good for SEO as well. Earned media is a valuable currency is this day of SEO. When credible media outlets mention your events or good deeds, they can direct their readers via a link to your website and help you gain authority. The more media links you get, the higher your authority goes up and the more Google will trust you.
- It’s good for your social media image – It’s true that social media likes and shares have no effect on your SEO but sharing your activities on social media is good publicity nonetheless. Followers may share your posts and this is the cyber word-of-mouth that can introduce your brand to new people.
- Your employees will love you – Who doesn’t want to be associated with a well-loved company? If you are a socially-responsible corporation who is loved by the community, your employees will take pride being associated with you. When you have happy workers, they stay with you. We invest in the employees we want to keep through training them and paying them well. We do this with the hope that they stay with us and deliver. For as long as we treat our employees well and we keep a good image, our investment in human resources will yield profit.
- Consumers will buy more from you – A good image in the society will make you attractive to buyers. Consumers look at your brand’s social purpose when making their purchasing decisions. Your focus should not just be on how good your product is. It should also look at how good your relationship is with your market.