All businesses must commit to social responsibility. Even if the law doesn’t require it, social responsibility makes a company earn a more positive perception. It shows that they’re aware of global, social, or environmental issues and would like to be a part of the change. Social responsibility also increases sales, as consumers are more likely to support socially responsible brands.
Your small business can be socially responsible, too. It doesn’t matter if your budget is too small for philanthropic programs. There are other ways to give back without hurting your finances. It’s all in your marketing strategy and the cause you choose to support.
Technology can help you fulfill your social responsibility and encourage your employees and customers to follow your example. Below are the strategies you can use:
1. Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is the act of supporting a charitable cause or social issue and getting marketing benefits from it. Brands execute cause marketing by starting campaigns or donation drives. For example, a sports brand can organize a fun run in which a specific amount of funds raised will be donated to charity. Another example is a brand promoting sustainability through recyclable packaging.
Companies become a positive force in society due to their cause marketing. Their programs help make the world a better place, raise awareness about specific issues, and add a meaningful purpose to their marketing. Moreover, cause marketing doesn’t have to be costly. You’d save money, especially if you’d incorporate it in your ads.
But generally speaking, cause marketing is affordable. Your small business can start it and spend little to none. For example, you can ask your customers if they’d like to donate to a particular charity after buying your products. You can post about the charitable organization you support on social media. That move alone can boost your social responsibility and reputation.
2. Use a Donation Matching Program
A donation matching program allows your employees to choose a nonprofit organization to which they’d donate their own funds. The company matches the donation dollar for dollar. It’s part of an innovative cause marketing software.
This will encourage your employees to practice what your company is promoting. After all, your social responsibility will only be credible if the individuals in your organization donate money themselves. Plus, donating gives your employees a chance to advocate for the cause they choose. As a result, you get to know them better and what they stand up for.
3. Engage With Your Customers
Among individuals, the act of spreading the word about one’s philanthropy is frowned upon. But your small business doesn’t count as an individual, so you have to promote your charitable acts. It lets your customers know that you give back to your community.
Besides, you don’t have to broadcast everything you do to help. You can disclose the primary goal of your programs or the milestones it has achieved so far. For example, TOMS gives one-third of its profits to a range of grassroots organizations. Just informing your customers about a similar strategy or any philanthropic act is enough to promote your social responsibility. Every time a customer buys from you, they’d remember your cause and feel like they’re part of the change you’re making.
4. Be Transparent
Every time you post on social media, don’t try to paint your business as a self-sacrificing company. Be realistic; your business has bills, utilities, and other expenses to pay. It can’t possibly sacrifice all its money to charity. Your transparency about this fact won’t make your business any less socially responsible.
Simply put, don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Take time to plan your cause marketing, putting budget into consideration. Determine how you’d continuously make donations without losing profit. If you’re unsure how to proceed, you may consult a lawyer. They can help you partner with a charitable organization with a feasible plan.
5. Post Educational Content
To make your customers support your cause, they have to understand it. If you vow to plant 1,000 trees every year, for instance, your customers should know about the worsening deforestation problems first. Otherwise, they won’t realize the impact of your goal.
Posting educational content also increases awareness about lesser-known social issues. These usually concern marginalized groups from third-world nations. As they don’t get as much media coverage, they rely on humanitarian organizations and brands to give them voices. So consider finding a charitable organization that benefits those kinds of groups. You’d get your customers to expand their understanding of social and global issues.
Sixty-six percent of consumers around the world are willing to pay more for socially responsible companies. In the States alone, 87% will buy a product because the company advocated for an issue they cared about. So no matter how small your business is, make giving back your goal.