Leveraging Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the social media world can strengthen consumer trust and loyalty, encourage followers (andtheirfriends)totakeactionandparticipate,andputahalooveryourbrand. And consumers are on board, in fact, according to the 2013 Cone CSR Study, nearly two-thirds of global consumers (62%) say that they use social media to address or engage with companies around CSR.
One company that is leading the social media CSR charge is Unilever. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan includes a multifaceted strategy for communicating their CSR progress through a wide variety of methods, from engaging video to live twitter chats and powerful social campaigns, such as Project Sunlight – which brings together the social mission stories of Unilever’s brands and invites consumers to get involved in doing small things to help their own families and others around the world create a brighter future.
It’s too early to tell how successful Project Sunlight will be and whether Unilever can maintain the type of sustainability initiatives and storytelling required to keep this project authentic and relevant for consumers. However, experts agree, Project Sunlight is a potential game changer in sustainability communications. Taken together with the social media collaboration the company uses to educate employees and learn from industry peers (part of its Sustainable Living Plan), Unilever is the CSR social media leader to watch in 2014.
Source: Curley, C. B., & Noormohamed, N. (2014). Social Media Marketing Effects On Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal Of Business & Economics Research.
Yeomans, Matthew. “How to tell sustainability stories on social media.” Guardian Sustainable Business. February 17, 2014.