Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is increasingly in the limelight these days, especially since social media has given businesses a platform with which to appear more ‘human’.
Facebook and Twitter are not only good marketing tools; they can offer companies the opportunity to interact directly with customers, and instantly address any bad PR in an appropriate manner. Customers using the social media platforms are able to access company information and updates quickly, and in a friendly, personal field.
That’s all well and good for bigger firms, but should smaller companies take heed?
Making a better world
According to Forbes, while CSR isn’t going to solve all the problems in the world, getting to grips with it can ultimately benefit both the business and the community. That’s why it’s important to consider that:
• Good CSR gets your customers more engaged, and ultimately more interested in your products. Big supermarket brands such as Tesco encourage customers to support Cancer Research UK, and in doing so raise not only Tesco’s profile as a whole but the supermarket’s standing amongst consumers.
• Getting employees involved too can really raise morale. If your small business runs a series of charity events, for example, you will very quickly see a morale boost in workers who actively get involved.
• Depending on your product, engaging in CSR could lead to some real innovations. Given the current interest in ecological products, for example, it’s no surprise that many large detergent companies offer more ecologically sound products to both increase their public imagine and their carbon footprint.
• And speaking of ecology, small businesses can decrease their costs by cutting unnecessary measures such as packaging, travel and energy. Cutting down the carbon footprint not only increases positive company view, but shows your business is concerned with matters outside of profits.
Charity has always been the main go-to for businesses large and small when looking to increase their CSR. Whether it’s hosting bake sales, encouraging employees to take sponsored walks, or simply donating a percentage of profits to an appropriate cause.
For example, Ladbrokes Bingo have long been supporting various charities, including community-specific charities. In total, the gambling giant has raised £423,516 for Breast Cancer Research.
For smaller companies, it’s a good idea to get involved in the local community too. Support local football teams, or locally-based charities.
It’s also a good idea to consider a volunteering programme. Get the word out within your company to encourage employees to volunteer at local libraries, hospitals and schools. And don’t forget to do it yourself; it looks great for a company when the boss gets involved.
It’s a good idea to cut ties to bad suppliers too. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, your customers will know if you’re being supplied by a company with negative CSR – the internet allows no secrets. Make sure your supplier is ethical; you don’t want to have your small business tarnished with another company’s poor reputation.
The best reason to put these points into practice for your small company is – well, it’s the right thing to do.
This helpful business information was sponsored by Ladbrokes.