Storytelling enables companies to take complex issues like hunger, food, climate change, waste etc and make them digestible for a consumer audience. For instance, several Indian multinational companies are working towards mitigating climate change or disaster relief programs by assisting disaster-affected communities. Creating digital stories around these campaigns inspire the involved communities and demonstrates the company’s commitment to these social issues.
Here are a few ways your business or brand can tell stories and create meaningful impact about its CSR campaigns:
Leveraging Social Media
Social media is the perfect tool as it builds a sense of community and involvement. A transparent CSR motive influences consumer’s buying behavior, especially if they use social media as their primary source of information. Effective and impactful CSR communication is about building stories that are real, relatable and have a visible impact. This also includes involving your employees and encouraging them to share their experiences from the CSR activities. Therefore, promoting socially responsible actions on social media and engaging in two-way communication about issues that matter grows your brand’s engagement and consequently has a positive impact on your brand’s image.
Targeting the right medium and audience
Traditionally, a company’s CSR communication was confined to a single social media platform’s audience. For instance, Facebook and LinkedIn were the most popular platforms for companies to tell their stories on CSR and sustainability. However, changing demographics and the popularity of alternative platforms such as Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram that focus on visual content, has opened up newer opportunities to reach millennials and Gen Z.
Designing the right content strategy
Connecting CSR to overall business goals is increasingly becoming a corporate best practice. However, there is no one size fits all approach to achieve this. Sustained conversations that are sincere and authentic, and more importantly, in the language in which your target audience can relate with will lead to increased engagement and ultimately greater interest and trust in your brand.
The journey from pre-implementation to completion from the beneficiary’s perspective is important since stories of how a community or the environment has improved always interests people. Therefore, one must be cognizant to include the beneficiary’s satisfaction and gratitude to the effort in a subtle way. For instance, when speaking about a CSR activity designed to support children’s education, it is key that the messaging includes how each child benefited from the activity.
At the end of the day, companies not only need to do good but also need to tell compelling stories today by leveraging social media platforms, about the good they are doing. This will lead to greater impact and engagement and show their commitment to improving communities and society as a whole.