When it comes to community service, many companies are reluctant to share their good deeds with the public for fear they will be viewed as disingenuous or self-righteous.
In reality, when businesses proactively inform the public of their outreach efforts, it can help those companies establish a positive presence in the community, boost employee morale, and even increase sales.
Luckily, in today’s increasingly digital world, it’s easier than ever to get the word out and reach your audience in an effective, positive way. Here are a few reasons why you should be relaying your company’s community involvement to the public.
It Makes Customers Happy
Believe it or not, many consumers are highly conscious of which businesses are involved in community service, and they will go out of their way to patronize companies they perceive to be transparent and socially responsible.
In fact, one survey found that 56 percent of Americans are willing to travel an extra 10 minutes to purchase a product that supports a cause they care about, and 71 percent would even spend more on that product (at least $2.28 more for a $10 item).
Considering that information, it makes sense that research also shows a relationship between corporate giving and subsequent sales growth, particularly for firms in industries that are highly sensitive to consumer perception.
It Makes Employees Happy
In addition to building a positive reputation with consumers, sharing information about your company’s community involvement can also be beneficial to your employees’ morale and satisfaction, which in turn can benefit your business.
According to a Golin Harris study, employees’ views of a company’s corporate citizenship affect team member morale and pride, their trust in their employer, and their willingness to recommend their company as a good place to work.
Research has shown that the higher employees rate their organization’s corporate citizenship, the more committed they are to that organization. This results in a more positive work environment and better employee engagement and commitment.
Use Your Online Presence to Share Your Community Involvement
With all of these potential benefits in mind, why not make relaying your company’s good deeds to the public a part of your overall marketing strategy? Here are some tips for shouting your good news from the virtual rooftops.
1. Leverage your company blog or website to share and engage.
Use your blog to promote your efforts and encourage the community to get involved. Later, you can write a blog post highlighting your efforts and reflecting on the experience.
2. Create a web page dedicated to your outreach efforts.
Create a page on your company website to list your community outreach efforts and partnerships. This gives community members and customers a central place to find information about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how they can get involved or support your work.
3. Reach out and form partnerships.
Many local businesses benefit from having a partnership program with other businesses in the community. You can utilize such partnerships to spread the word, team up on a project, or even share discounts and coupons.
4. Use social media to share real-time updates on your community service efforts.
Did you just reach a fundraising goal? Tweet about it! Get some great pictures at an event? Share them on your Facebook page. This is an effective and accessible way to engage with your audience.
5. Work with community publications to share your efforts.
Every community has newspapers looking for stories that feature local businesses. Establish contacts at local publications, and reach out to share your good news. When they do write about your company, make sure you share the article like crazy.
6. Consider an email marketing campaign.
This is a good option for sharing the details of your next event and encouraging your employees and customers to participate.
Companies Doing It Right
All of this advice might sound great in theory, but what does it look like in practice?
The New York Yankees have a community section on their website devoted to sharing press releases and video highlights of events. The team uses its social media accounts to share updates on good deeds and highlight players who are individually involved in community and charitable events.
For jewelry company Alex and Ani, charitable giving is at the heart of what the company does. In fact, it features an entire product line dedicated to charity. The company continuously shares information through its blog and social media, and it gets publicity from its charitable partners.
Eyeglass retailer Warby Parker operates on the same one-for-one model as TOMS, and a section of its website is devoted to sharing its “do good” philosophy. It doesn’t just send glasses overseas as part of its “buy a pair, give a pair” model — the company also sponsors its local Little League team.
These companies all give back to their communities in a variety of ways, but by using best practices to showcase their efforts, they open the door for recognition without looking like they’re bragging.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Doing well is the result of doing good. That’s what capitalism is all about.” Your good deeds matter to your community, your customers, and your employees. Why not do well by showing the world that you’re doing good?
John Boudreau is the CEO and co-founder of Astonish, an insurance marketing and sales platform for local insurance agencies. Astonish collaborates with insurance agencies to provide an optimized online marketing presence, automate tasks with technology, and create an effective sales culture through hands-on coaching. Their platform drives growth in round-outs, retention, referrals, new opportunities, lead conversion, and team performance.
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