Social Cause: How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Cause Marketing Campaign
A great way to promote your business is to promote someone else’s.
As strange as that may sound, it’s true. When your company partners with a charitable organization, you’re not just raising money for those in need. Social cause marketing is one of the best ways to prove your business stands by your code of ethics and wants to do good in the world.
So, what is a social cause, exactly? Some examples of social causes include:
- Fighting poverty
- Preventing bullying
- Civil Rights Advocacy
- LGBTQ+ advocacy
- Fighting for or against immigration
- Raising money for life-saving medical research
- Helping the homeless, etc.
And what better way to spread the word about your social cause than… well, social media! (Feel like I should have seen that coming.)
Keep reading for promotion strategies that will help you market your good cause across social media.
Why Focus on Social Cause Marketing?
Don’t think of this as a once-a-year, obligatory charity giving activity. Running a truly successful cause marketing campaign could improve the face of your brand forever.
In a recent global study, 91% of millennial consumers said they would likely switch to a brand that supports a good cause for no change in price or quality. That’s pretty amazing. Our information-driven society has started to care more about making a difference than looking out for ourselves.
One of the best cause marketing examples is Chase Bank’s Community Giving Project from 2010.
First, Chase Bank spread the word that they were going to donate a total of more than $5 Million to local causes that deserve them. But rather than choose the causes themselves, they gave their social following the chance to vote.
In November of 2009, Chase used Facebook to let consumers nominate all their favorite low budget organizations. Over the next few months, users voted for who should receive each round of grants. By January of 2010, Chase had their $1Million grant finalist and several million new social media followers.
In a matter of months, Chase Bank changed from being a typical, cold, financial institution. Now they’re the first bank to run a wildly successful community giving event that others now try to replicate.
See where we’re going with this?
The Greatest Benefit of Cause Marketing
Consumers today care more about corporate social responsibility (CSR) than ever. Put your money where your company ethics are to turn passive shoppers into raving fans.
Cause marketing appeals to our higher nature. By affiliating your brand with an amazing, positive message you move your marketing focus from what your company does to why you do it.
Choose a cause that embodies the heart of your company mission statement. When your audience sees what you care about and how much money you’re willing to put behind it, they’ll develop a new respect for your brand.
A word of caution: Your audience can tell when you’re faking it for the likes and shares. Make sure your altruism is authentic no matter how the social campaign works out in the end.
Finished doing your research? Great.
Now, how should you use social media to promote your cause marketing campaign? Here are three of the most important steps…
1. Require Follower Interaction
Do whatever you can to get your followers to engage with your social cause posts. Likes, shares, comments, and reposts are the currency of social media platforms.
Here are common examples of how to do this while raising money for a cause:
- Pledge to donate $1 (or other amounts) for every “Share” on Facebook
- Pledge to donate $0.50 for every Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook post that uses your branded hashtag
- Invite followers to post their own photos of a relevant object in exchange for donating the price of that object to a person in need
- Ask followers to vote, spread the word, or share relevant personal stories
Point being, reward engagement with donations as much as possible. This way, folks at home get that amazing “I just made a donation” feeling simply by pressing the like button.
2. Publish Content Targeting Relevant Holidays
Take advantage of trending hashtags relating to upcoming holidays.
People seek out holiday content when they want to take a break from run-of-the-mill cat GIFs and feel some profound emotions. You couldn’t ask for a better setting in which to bring up your amazing cause.
Let’s say for example you’re supporting a cause that benefits military veterans. Publish your social media content leading up to Memorial Day with relevant hashtags. Ask followers to leave comments or reply to your Instagram story with their plans for Memorial Day weekend.
National holidays generate tons of hashtags, trending phrases, and geotags. Take advantage of this! People are already looking at their phones to post about the holidays, so make sure your cause is one of the things they see.
3. Set a Measurable Goal and Share Progress
The most effective goals are SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Exactly how much money are you hoping to raise or willing to match? How can your social followers impact this number? How much time do they have to do it?
Motivate your audience to raise a specific dollar amount, and tell them how many more shares or likes it’ll take to get there. Set a deadline for the campaign, and create a sense of urgency. Regularly keep everyone updated with the current progress toward that goal.
Most of all, celebrate and reward all kinds of progress. Having clear benchmarks gives you chances to reward your audience for participating.
Obviously, you should love helping social causes you believe in no matter who knows about it. But letting your consumers see what your company believes in by including them in the giving is so much more fun.
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Thanks for reading.