You’ve probably heard the term before: corporate social responsibility. It might sound like strange doublespeak, but it actually has a signficant meaning and purpose.
Investopedia defines corporate social responsibility as “a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable — to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.” Essentially, it’s about conducting your business practices in an ethical way.
But corporate social responsibility isn’t just good because it’s ethical. It’s also just smart business to participate in CSR programs and events.
A recent Cone Communications survey found that 87 percent of Americans will buy a product because a company advocated for an issue they care about, as Forbes reported in September.
Additionally, the importance of business ethics appears to increase with younger generations, who will be making the buying decisions for years to come. Horizon Media’s Finger on the Pulse study found that 81 percent of Millennials expect companies to make a public commitment in regards to good corporate citizenship, the Huffington Post reported in December.
It’s clearly a good thing for a business to try to be ethical and to give back to the community in some way, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because consumers notice and respond to such actions. But you should also capitalize on doing good by making sure consumers know that you’re doing good.
That’s in part why it’s important to promote corporate social responsibility online. If you want to improve your reputation as a business online, consider highlighting the ways in which your company has strived for corporate social responsibility standards and met those standards with a range of projects and programs.
For instance, if you have a volunteer day for your employees, this is a good team-building exercise and wonderful for CSR, but no one outside of your company or the organization you’re volunteering with will know just how successful you were or what you accomplished if you don’t let the public know about it.
One easy way to promote corporate social responsibility actions online is to post updates about your volunteer day on your company’s social media channels. Better yet, share photos and videos — people react well to imagery. You could also write about what your business hopes to accomplish with the volunteer day on a company blog before the event, and then about the experience once the day is over.
You can also ask whatever organization you’re working with on CSR to share your efforts on their social media or blog as well. That way, your consumers or potential customers are directed to the organization from your site or social media, and their followers can be directed to your business as well. It’s a win-win.
Participating in corporate social responsibility is of course a noble pursuit, and shouldn’t be all about getting new customers or improving your business’ reputation. But it never hurts to share the good that your company is doing in the world with the world.