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corporate social responsibility

Are CSR Posts on Social Media Effective for Your Brand?

November 13, 2019

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is crucial for organisations – and social media has a vital role in communicating CSR activities to consumers. CSR plays an important role in driving positive sentiment on social media, building brand trust and loyalty among your audience.

Here is everything you need to know about social media CSR.

What is CSR and why is it important?

CSR has become a key part of the corporate world. Consumers want to see companies be aware of and responsible for their impact on the community around them. Seeing brands invest in doing good in the world can sway their loyalty and influence which brands they purchase from.

The question isn't whether or not your business should be engaging in CSR and promoting that activity, but how your brand should do it.

We know engagement drives return, particularly positive engagement (shares and comments) so it makes sense to incorporate CSR posts into a social media strategy, to boost engagement and positive sentiment.

CSR and positive sentiment

CSR posts have the ability to decrease and/or convert neutral sentiment into positive sentiment. Positive sentiment via comments and shares is one of the most important metrics relating to engagement. To put it simply: 89% of uplift is driven by positive comments and shares (for more on this, check out our whitepaper).

If a company is seen to be involving themselves in the community or supporting charities, for example, consumers are more likely to respond positively to the company. This translates into engagement on social media – all of which drives performance.

However, CSR on social media isn't always straightforward. People are passionate about their favourite causes and a misstep could cause offence. The emotions surrounding social justice issues and charities mean it's important to approach these subjects with care and compassion.

How to use CSR in your social media content strategy

As with any social media activity, it’s important to approach CSR on social media with a clear strategy. Sharing CSR content too often, with no focus, can have a negative effect. 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.

When planning CSR social posts, make sure you consider how the CSR initiatives tie into your brand purpose and values, and how the messaging highlights your brand's commitment to social responsibility. The focus of CSR social media content should be on the initiatives themselves; it's fine to celebrate the amount of resources dedicated to the initiatives, or the people championing them, but the attention should be on the work and not the company itself.

Diluting the message by talking too much about your company, instead of the CSR activity, can reduce reach, impact, and positive sentiment.

When planning CSR posts or campaigns, ask some pointed questions:

  • Is your organisation connected to the cause or community you want to help in a meaningful way?
  • Is the post or cause part of your wider CSR strategy?
  • What’s the long-term plan – one supportive post, or ongoing content?
  • How are you planning to support the cause, apart from social media posts?
  • How are you going to measure the impact of your campaign?

CSR on social media: Some examples

Meridian Energy is a New Zealand energy provider with a great social media CSR strategy. Let's take a look at one of their CSR posts, and how it has achieved outstanding engagement.

They recently posted about their partnership with their partnership with the Department of Conservation's Kākāpō Recovery Programme and the success of the recent breeding season.

The post, tapping into New Zealanders' passion for nature and wildlife, clearly struck a chord. It also keeps the focus squarely on the birds, which is what Meridian's followers clearly want. Plus, it relates back to Meridian's brand purpose; generating 100% renewable electricity for the benefit of both people and the planet. This post fits in nicely with their promise as a brand to focus on sustainability.

And it worked.

See the big blue circle in the Zavy Map below? The size of the circle indicates the number of interactions (shares and comments) the post had. As well as more than 5,000 likes and 250 shares, the post achieved 30% positive sentiment. It's the clear standout from all of their competitor's posts in this seven month period.

ASB’s This Is Us campaign is another example of successful CSR posting on social media. The campaign is a collaboration between ASB and Kiwi poet, playwright and short story author, Courtney Sina Meredith. The one-minute video centres around a poem written and performed by Meredith, celebrating and encouraging diversity. The video features ASB staff and customers at different events such as Diwali, Auckland Lantern Festival and Polyfest, all events which ASB sponsor. The video saw a shares-to-like ratio of 11%. The following posts in this campaign featured ASB employees from various areas of the company with a short story about their lives, their culture and becoming part of ASB using #ThisIsUs.

And, there's more where these came from. We have further examples of successful CSR campaigns, including a breakdown of Kiwibank's highly successful 'I AM HOPE' campaign and why it worked so well.

So, are CSR posts effective on social media? 

Yes! CSR posts make up 27% of overall social media content, on average, for good reason.

  • They have the ability to shift ‘neutral’ sentiment into ‘positive’ sentiment.
  • CSR posts yield long-term quality engagement.
  • Combining CSR with another common content category is a successful tactic.
Want to find out how you can successfully incorporate CSR into your own social strategy? Download Zavy's whitepaper:
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© Zavy 2021