Right now, on social, it’s clear that brands are talking more and more about the issues that matter to their organisation and their customers. Whether its Nike supporting Black Lives Matter, The Warehouse speaking out against period poverty or Air New Zealand’s work #AirNZPreciousPax with the Department of Conservation – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) content is on the rise.
We’re seeing it play out on the Zavy social scoreboard. More and more of the top posts and brands on the board are bringing social good content into their channels.
In fact, Zavy social media analysis over the last two years shows average engagement with CSR posts is on the rise across Australia and New Zealand. We also found that pages that do CSR posts of any sort get more engagements per follower than pages that do not.
Clearly this shows that this type of content is not only a major driver of engagement directly, but indirectly impacts how people engage with your page as a whole.
But posting on social issues shouldn’t be seen as just another box on your marketing checklist – and not just because it won’t help the cause.
The brands we’re highlighting today show how social media can be a force for good, when involvement is thoughtful, relevant and on brand. It’s about finding causes that fit with your corporate values and voice, not just jumping on the latest bandwagon and firing off a quick post.
You can read more of our research on CSR in our whitepaper, Changing your social media strategy for good. In the meantime, here are some insights from our research to help you get this right:
Meaning and connection
Our research for the whitepaper shows that CSR doubled as a share of social posts – from 12% to 25% – between 2018-2020. Of course, as with any social media activity, it’s important to go in with a strategic plan. You can’t just boost engagement by ticking CSR boxes and churning out posts – you have to be authentic and earn meaningful connections with your audience.
A one-off Facebook post or Twitter share isn’t going to make much difference, but a wider CSR policy, including social media strategy, can. Keep the focus on the cause you’re supporting and resist the temptation to self-promote or tie in your products at the same time. In the CSR space, this type of post looks particularly self-centred and tone-deaf.
Air New Zealand’s ongoing work with the Department of Conservation and the #AirNZPreciousPax shows this. Social content only talks about the work – helping DOC fly native birds to their new homes – and thanks their crew for looking after the precious cargo. There’s no link or call to action – they’re showcasing the work and the cause.
To really add meaning to your campaign, plan for key cultural moments where you can highlight the cause your brand is supporting. A strategy that convincingly and relevantly aligns your brand to a cultural moment can provide up to 7x more engagement per post than those that don’t.
Banks do a great job of this and have the resources and teams to back it up. For example, as a Rainbow Tick accredited organisation, ANZ’s social content for New Zealand Pride, which centred their LGBTQI+ staff gained high sentiment scores.
Action that fits your brand and the moment
Sharing your take on a social issue can be a powerful way to connect with people – or an embarrassing way to alienate them. And on social media, any missteps will be instantly identified and shared – going viral in the worst way.
Before you throw your support behind a cause, think hard about whether it fits your brand values and voice. If it’s not relevant or connected, or if you make a sudden shift from your usual brand character, it risks looking like a token effort.
Who does this best in NZ? Look to The Warehouse, which has partnered with charity The Period Place to help eliminate period poverty in New Zealand and also has a longstanding partnership with Women’s Refuge to support women who are in family violence situations. This kind of real-world action means that when important events, such as International Women’s Day take place, their support is authentic – and impactful.
Want to learn more? Learn how to change your social media strategy for good today. Download our CSR report here.