What are brands trying to achieve by using social media to address CSR?
Ultimately, I think brands are realising the potential of social media to bring to light their efforts at participating in CSR (corporate social responsibility). Afterall, what is the point of engaging in CSR (other than the intrinsic feel good value of doing CSR) if nobody knows about it? Social media channels allow brands to engage with the press and the everyday person to show they give a hoot and are putting their money where their mouth is in giving back.
Why has social media ignited the focus on CSR? How and why are things now possible when it comes to CSR that weren’t possible before?
When state emergencies in North Africa much less PR disasters start on a wave of unrest expressed on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, it’s difficult for brands to ignore the power of social media. Previously a CSR campaign might be boxed away in some press release that may not be taken up or in some magazine advertorial that people ignore. Now Brands can actually message would be interested stakeholders on the social web which not only might get looked at, but also might get rewteeted or shared to their followers!
How are brands exploiting social media in order to address their CSR objectives? And does social media change CSR objectives?
Brands can now tap into a wealth of expertise in social media in addition to social media advertising campaigns by coming up with clever angles to bring attention to their CSR activities. This could be in the form of social games on facebook, to competitions where the participants broadcast to their friends the participation in these campaign initiatives bringing the message and awareness to the CSR objectives. Surely now, the objectives start focusing on how many people can we get to care about what we’re doing?
What are brands trying to achieve with all of this – so, does the communication of CSR goals change behaviour – participation with or perceptions of a brand?
With all this distrust and contempt for globalisation, capitalism and banker bashing there is no wonder that the sentiment against certain brands is negative. By engaging in CSR, the brands may not be able to shake off the stigma associated with their industry but the CSR campaign can certainly help them be seen as the lesser of the alternative evils and win brand consumer advocates or become the preferred brand.
Which social platforms work best when delivering CSR and why and can it be measured at all?
It obviously depends on the target audience and what the brand is or does. However, for news media and peers in the industry I think twitter is the obvious choice where as facebook is more business to consumer.