How and Why Social Media aids CSR Engagement


image: social media for CSRAs consumers, employees, businesses, communities, and non government organizations increasingly question business actions on climate change, they want to see transparent, more credible information on the responsible actions companies are taking to addressing their social and environmental impacts. What is the best means to share and engage in CSR related information? At Taiga Company, we subscribe to the idea that social media is the very medium that offers transparent, always on engagement facilitating the propagation of sustainability communications.  

Social media provides individuals, communities, businesses, and non-government organizations the ability to connect with business in meaningful discussion from anywhere in the world in real time.  To focus the corporate ear, business sustainability minded organizations are engaging with stakeholders, who have a vested interest in the success of the business and profoundly advance  the sustainability conversation.  

Social media executed successfully can be a powerful vehicle to build sustainable business communications by engaging with stakeholders.  With new tools and strategies changing the way the business world communicates and exchanges information, social media is becoming the transparent, engaging, competitive advantage that business sustainability delivers.   However, to effectively harness the power of social media to create business sustainability value, our sustainability consulting explores social media as a vehicle for successful engagement.  How can it help? 

  • The use of social media collaboration technologies can help organizations break down silos and facilitate knowledge sharing across business units and corporate functions.  The Information Week article, What Enterprise Social Success Stories Have In Common, examines the adaptation of social tools and strategies into today’s business improvement efforts. Contrasting the limited success of simple external tool implementation, the true differentiators are implementing social media strategies with purpose.
  • Social media can make CSR more visible. "A Reputation Institute 2011 survey found that a company’s CSR program (in its broadest sense), can be responsible for more than 40% of a company’s reputation, whilst companies with stronger social leadership programs have 55% better internal morale and 43% more efficient business processes."
  • Social media has an emerging role in knowledge management.  Creating bridges between the corporate world and its stakeholders, social media closes the gap on knowledge management and business intelligence. Specifically so if sustainable communications and performance is valued by your stakeholders.  Social media for sustainability communications has become a risk or an opportunity. Monitoring, listening, and dialoguing with key stakeholder in the social space not only offers a competitive advantage but also provides other key ingredients for successful social media engagement

However, to effectively harness the power of social media to create business sustainability value, what are the key components for success?    What does success look like and how do you measure it?  For many, success may be determined by selling a product or service.  For others, it is about advancing the businesses sustainability conversation.  Proactive businesses are leveraging both definitions of success and the key components to winning strategies include:  

  • Defining a clear vision of what social media is expected to do for your organization.  What are your social media goals?  Increase website/ blog traffic? Enhance brand image and credibility? Communicate and engage on CSR/ sustainability related topics? 
  • Identify stakeholders and online communities.  Stakeholders are a bit easier to identify, but online communities can be centered theme based and centered on sustainability concepts such as recycling, CSR, water, energy, social investing.  Or, they may be geographically based.
  • Actively engage.  Social media is an always on platform.  This implies being present to the ongoing conversation: listening, contributing to the conversation, providing timely feedback, and incorporating that information into products, services, and ongoing dialog.

The role of social media shares similar values to sustainability: authenticity, transparency, and engagement. At Taiga Company, our sustainability consulting encourages all to leverage social media tools to communicate and share the sustainability success stories on social, environmental, and economic goals.  Start sharing your experiences today

Comments for How and Why Social Media aids CSR Engagement

Name: Gabe Chesman
Time: Monday, July 9, 2012

Great article. The use of social media by businesses is definitely changing the way we all think, see, and do. When used correctly, it can improve reputations, allow greater transparency, and even build a reputation in places that were previously unreachable. When combined with a CSR mentality, social media is the ultimate tool for engagement.