B2B companies are no longer the faceless entities they once were.
As people increasingly crave a connection with the companies they do business with, in turn brands have become more humanised. Simply delivering on your core service isn’t enough. Just like people, brands are now judged on their values, personality and broader social responsibilities. The importance of meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives has never been greater, especially for B2Bs.
Just be Real: The Need for Authenticity
Gone are the days of businesses simply writing a cheque and ticking off their social responsibility for the year. Truth be told, the money is important, but true CSR demands more than an oversized novelty cheque and staged photo opportunity. People nowadays demand authenticity. They want to know why companies support a particular charity or initiative. Better yet, they want to know what they are actually doing to help.
True corporate social responsibility can’t be achieved through money alone, but by supporting a cause that aligns with the company’s values and purpose. To feel genuine it must be genuine. So rather than consider simply how they can meet their responsibilities, businesses should be thinking how they can make a positive change in the world. Not only does the world benefit, but so does the B2B brand.
An authentic and meaningful CSR initiative not only adds value to the brand, but also reflects positively on your clients, both existing and potential. A brand’s positive work deserves to be shared and the added bonus is that CSR initiatives are a rich source of content for B2B social media.
When Sharing Really is Caring
A reality of social in the B2B world, is that they often face the challenge of coming up with engaging content. CSR initiatives offer an excellent source of content, rich in positive emotions.
To ensure the best and most engaging content gets to the public, the marketing and CSR departments of the B2B should work closely together. Focusing on subjects and themes that engage people in meaningful conversations, allow the company to be a thought leader in their space. This engagement is where the real value of social lies, rather than simply broadcasting a message.
In one such example, in 2009, leading industrial supplies company Kimberley-Clark Professional, partnered with Greenpeace, the Forest Stewardship Council and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to ensure every step in the process of sourcing fibre for their wipes was sustainable. As part of a broader initiative to protect natural forest resources worldwide, their commitment engaged the public and received heavy social media attention. With 990 mentions in 1 hour, the company gained a total reach of 1.2 million – a great result for a B2B industrial supplies company.
The message here is clear – not only are CSR initiatives good for the environment but also for the brand itself. They are a rich source of content and a perfect way to engage the public, customers and prospects.
To learn more about why B2B companies need social media, download our eBook “10 Reasons B2B Companies Need Social Media” here. If you work in social media yourself at a B2B company, join our community to learn even more from your peers.