Your business might be doing all the right things: giving to charity, trying to go greener, treating your staff and suppliers fairly, and prioritising diversity. But how do you communicate this effectively and authentically?
Consumers will smell a marketing ploy a mile away but they also need to know what you’ve been up to. If you don’t blow your own trumpet, who will?
Recent research revealed that 46% of shoppers say a barrier preventing them from purchasing is being unsure what cause a company supports.1 Excellent communication of your social impact could be the very thing that helps customers fall in love with your brand.
Let’s dive into some ways you can navigate sharing your commitment to causes you care about:
Before you rush to declare your good works, stop and think about who you are communicating with. The way you engage your customers could be very different to how you share with investors. Presentation style, tone, and communication channels will all be impacted by your audience.
There’s no point filming reels for Instagram if your customers don’t use the platform. Equally, there’s not much point shoving the information on a website that your customers just don’t visit.
Here are some things to consider:
Hopefully, you will have considered this before implementing your social responsibility initiatives. But regardless, what do your customers want to hear about? Are you focusing on numbers when customers are more interested in impact?
You may need to present the information across all your communication channels, or at the very least focus on where your customers like to hear from you and start there.
Are there ways to involve them in your social initiatives? Either face-to-face or engaging with them on social media. An example could be asking them to vote for what charities they’d like to see you support. The more ownership your customers have the closer they will feel to your brand.
Some companies put all their corporate social responsibility (CSR) details into one long annual report. That might appeal to key stakeholders or investors, but does it speak to your customers the way they want to be spoken to?
The most effective communication is easy to digest, engaging, and straight to the point. In fact, 39% of Aussies surveyed want to spend two to five minutes engaging with an organisation’s social impact content.2 You don’t have long!
Some tips for keeping things snappy:
Remember, your customers want to hear about your social impact. Almost 50% of Australians say they research brands before buying to understand if they’re doing good.3 That’s a lot of customers who are going looking for this information – make it easy to find and easy to understand.
This is often a company’s greatest hurdle in communicating impact. How do you show that your social responsibility is more than half-hearted rhetoric and unfulfilled promises?
You’re right to fear the skeptics – one report showed that 56% of people believe brands use societal issues to sell more of their product.4 There is a good business case for doing good and it can genuinely set you apart from the competition. But how do you make it more than a sales ploy?
One way is that it must be embedded throughout your company. People will see straight through you if you’re supporting a charity but exploiting your workers. You can’t just do good – you also have to actively not do harm.
Another way to stay authentic is to support causes that align well with your business values. Finding a charity or cause that is a natural fit for you will generate a closer connection which will be evident to your customers. For example, if you sell hiking gear then supporting bush regeneration could work well.
The key to excellent communication of your social impact is to provide regular updates across all your communication platforms for the long haul. Social responsibility is a long term commitment. Customer’s trust will build as they see an ongoing impact, they need to know it’s not just a flash in the pan.
It’s important that you use all communication channels. Customers have reported that the most engaging platforms for social impact reporting are social media, website, and email.5 But if you’re a bricks-and-mortar business then you should also think about what physical collaterals would work well for you.
Two in five Australians (41%) want to hear about the impacts of the organisations they are engaged with at least monthly. In fact, 18% of Gen Z said they’d like weekly updates!6 That’s a lot more often than a once a year report.
At Doing Good Rewards we conduct CSR audits to help companies get the most effective social responsibility programs. We help with measuring and reporting the impact so that you feel confident you’re getting it right. Book a free initial consultation and multiply your social impact!
Click here to email us & we’ll contact you to send more info
Click here to book a 15 min Zoom meeting to find out more