As Edelman’s 2014 brandshare™ study revealed, consumers increasingly expect brands to go beyond rational and emotional needs to show their commitment to community, core purpose and mission. Often, this is activated through social marketing, a communications approach aimed at changing or maintaining people’s behavior for the benefit of individuals and society as a whole.
For the past two years, Edelman SF has been a partner of Taste of the Nation SF*, an event featuring “tastes” from the area’s top chefs to benefit Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign, a national campaign to end childhood hunger. Drawing from these experiences, we’ve compiled five effective social marketing tactics corporations can use to drive social good:
1. Succinct Messaging
Narrow messaging to one key point with a strong call to action, making all content useful, interesting and shareable. Following the Nepal earthquakes, for example, Oxfam shared important statistics on rescue efforts and goals that powerfully demonstrated the need for aid and how people could help.
2. Target Your Audience
Localize your message to pack the greatest punch. For many large national organizations, this is most effectively done through localized twitter handles. The Red Cross, for example, has regional handles (i.e., @RedCrossBayArea) that localize national initiatives through community-specific statistics, stories of local volunteers, and direct CTAs. When possible, leverage paid targeting to hit community members that have proven, through social following and interests, a passion for community work.
3. Be a Community Partner
Support other socially driven organizations to help build your organization’s reputation as a strong community partner. For example, @NoKidHungrySF often shares and celebrates upcoming events and fundraisers for other local hunger organizations, such as Second Harvest and the SF-Marin Food Bank, and when Taste of the Nation kicked off event promotions, they reciprocated.
4. Influencer Engagement
Earn third-party promotion by leveraging social media influencers passionate about your cause. We asked social influencers in our community with a proven passion for charity to authentically and creatively share Taste of the Nation SF with their audiences, and through this, we were able to rally an audience much larger than our own.
5. Crowd-Source Change
Tap into larger communities to make change through partnerships. For example, Venmo + Possible helps users “Cash out for a Cause,” donating $4 to helping someone obtain lifesaving healthcare. Additionally, Thunderclap, a social crowd sourcing platform, sets a concrete goal for its audience with an individual call to action that feeds a larger movement.
Image via Amy Verhey