Growing challenges, such as climate change, poverty, or social injustice, inspire consumers to take action and contribute to the community. Today, customers expect more accountability and responsibility from brands.
According to a research study, 75% of consumers are likely to start shopping at a company that supports an issue they agree with. Moreover, 71% think it is important for businesses to take a stance on social movements.
To gain a competitive advantage, increase sales, and inspire customer loyalty, brands need to focus more on social responsibility. Here are a few tips that may help you.
Engage in Ethical Business Practices
To promote change externally, your business first needs to look internally. Make sure that the commitment to social change is deeply embedded in your business operations.
Unfortunately, many companies are still unaware of the importance of ethical labor. Globally, only 14% of employees work in organizations with a strong ethical culture.
An ethical labor policy increases employee engagement and satisfaction. Most importantly, it helps you build a strong employer brand that attracts and retains top talent.
Here are a few ways to promote ethical labor:
- Build a workplace safety policy.
- Treat employees with dignity.
- Provide personal and professional growth opportunities.
- Offer fair salaries.
- Have a workplace diversity and inclusion plan.
General Electric is an example of a company investing in ethical labor. Namely, they have established an Ethical Supply Chain Program to prevent forced labor. The program also prevents the use of “conflict materials.” Namely, they do not use mined materials that finance armed factions and human rights abuses.
Give Back to the Community
Philanthropy allows you to make a name for your business. Let’s take the example of TOMS that has become synonymous with social consciousness. Their “Buy one, give one” campaign has provided shoes to millions of people in need.
Doing good in the world is also an opportunity to build trust with customers, inspire purchases, and encourage customer loyalty.
You can give back to the community in multiple ways, from volunteering programs to participating in fundraisers.
One such example is Apex. The company organizes “Fun Runs” for elementary and middle schools to help them raise money. Their initiative supports the community on multiple levels by combining school fundraising, leadership, and fitness.
Create Strategic Partnerships with Nonprofit Organizations
Implementing a social responsibility strategy is a challenging task. It requires you to understand the problems society is facing and find the right solutions for them. That is where you should consider teaming up with a nonprofit organization. That way, you can tackle the most pressing issues and supercharge your social impact.
One such example is the partnership between Peet’s Coffee and Technoserve. They built the Farmer Assistance Program that focuses on training smallholder farms to produce high-quality coffee. The initiative helped farmers in developing countries, such as Ethiopia, gain essential business skills. They learned to promote environmental sustainability and improve their communities.
Encourage Staff to Volunteer
Being a socially responsible company requires going beyond the organizational levels. Social change should come from every team member. Your employees should share your company’s values and feel their contributions matter.
For starters, keep them involved and informed about your social initiatives. Schedule regular and send regular memos. When they understand your social goals, your team members will be more likely to contribute to the cause.
Also, motivating employees to volunteer is an effective way to improve social responsibility. According to a Deloitte survey, 74% of employees believe volunteerism provides a greater sense of purpose.
Salesforce is a perfect example of a company investing in employee volunteering. They leverage their advanced technology, people, and resources to give back to the communities all around the world. Apart from $240 million in grants and 39,000 donations to nonprofits and schools, their employees have 3.5 million hours of community service.
Use your Online Channels to Promote Social Change
Apart from implementing socially responsible programs, use your online channels to raise people’s awareness of the burning social issues. That is an effective way to promote social change and inspire collective action. Additionally, that is also an opportunity to brand your business as socially conscious.
One such example is Patagonia, an outdoor clothing brand. The company uses its online channels, such as its website or social networks, to raise awareness of climate change and other social challenges.
Social Responsibility is the Future of Business
Creating social impact benefits your business in multiple ways. Apart from inspiring purchases and retaining customers, you have a chance to contribute to a brighter, more sustainable future.
Still, remember that large-scale change does not happen overnight. Addressing social issues and contributing to the community takes time and effort. That is why you need to have a purpose-driven business plan backed by realistic goals and missions.
I hope these insights help!
Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger. Interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Love to share content that can inform people.