Social Responsibility and the Great Effect it Can Have on Your Business

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The contemporary commercial climate is reliant on stronger ethical principles. There is a significant demand for greater commitment to corporate social responsibility from consumers, industrial leaders, and the community at large. Indeed, businesses that fail to meet these high standards are likely to find themselves at a significant competitive disadvantage.   

However, the pressure of keeping up with your competitors through values is not the most helpful way to look at the situation. This thinking can also lead you down some dark ethical alleyways. Rather, as a business leader, you’re likely to find it a more positive approach to understand how meaningful engagement with social causes produces positive outcomes for both the community and your company. This can help create responsible motivations moving forward and direct your efforts more effectively. Let’s explore some of the key areas genuine social responsibility can have a great effect on your business. 

Increased Engagement

A high level of engagement is vital for the success of any business. This isn’t just from the basis of many one-time sales conversions or reactionary social media clicks. You need to create sustained engagement. Focus on building long-term relationships with your consumers based on shared values. This is something impactful for both social causes and your company. Make efforts to reach out and discuss social and charitable priorities with your community. Rest assured this isn’t about supporting causes you don’t believe in just to garner customers’ attention. Rather, it’s about understanding the points at which your mutual values converge. You can reach out via your social media channels, email lists, and in-person interactions. Making them part of the discussion can also help consumers feel more connected to your company. 

This consideration should extend to any fundraising or awareness events you organize in support of any causes. Hosting a holiday event, in particular, is a positive way to keep both staff and the community engaged with your brand and show your appreciation for them. However, be sure to reach out to the community to understand how you can incorporate elements such as virtual gatherings to keep the situation accessible for everyone. It’s also important to get advice from experts in the cause you’re featuring to understand how best to represent it in this environment. 

Reflected Reputation

There is a clear sense that corporate social responsibility can improve trust with your consumers. This can be pushed a little further when you make genuine connections with non-profit and charitable organizations related to your core activities. By making efforts to meaningfully engage with and boost the efforts of nonprofits there can be a certain amount of reflected reputation aimed toward your enterprise. However, you should be aware this also has the potential to go in the opposite direction. Aligning with an organization that is revealed to use shady practices can also impact your own trustworthiness. Make sure you do some research into establishing an organization’s bona fides.

Check they’re using a non-profit accountant who’s correctly applying relevant financial reporting procedures. There are specific financial practices all nonprofit organizations have to abide by, and any evidence of unethical activities can negatively impact you both. Part of your approach here could be sharing access to experts from your organization. This could be geared toward handling their yearly accounting. You may be able to provide training professionals for technical and ethical education. Here you have the chance of making certain they have meaningful access to practical resources and drawing the associations between your two organizations closer together for mutual benefit.  

Boosted Authenticity

Authenticity is a priority for a growing number of customers. One recent study found only 48% of U.S. consumers trust businesses. This is a challenge in a landscape that to engage with you meaningfully, your audience needs to believe in you. However, your approach to corporate social responsibility can boost your sense of authenticity among the public.

This isn’t a case of your commitment to doing good in the world will immediately make people trust you. Rather, you should treat your activities as an excuse for transparency. Don’t just rely on press coverage and content around the social activism you’re engaged in. Conduct a content audit to see where you can be more open. Show behind-the-scenes footage of how your social actions have been extended to your day-to-day operations. Provide interviews with staff members about where your values fit into their activities. You have to be accountable here, too. Actively invite your consumers to contact you if they feel your activities aren’t in line with the social responsibility causes you purport to support. Post links for interactions on your social media channels and website. Make sure you respond to any criticisms in a public and clear manner to show you take the matter seriously.  

Market Exploration

When treated carefully, your corporate social responsibility efforts can also help you to explore new business opportunities. The last thing you want to do is act in ways that show you’re directly profiting from ostensibly charitable activities. This includes not becoming a key supplier for any social entrepreneurship organizations you’re involved with. Even something as innocuous as taking advantage of causes for marketing opportunities can be ethically suspect. Rather, it’s more about viewing your business practices through the lens of your cause-related activities and establishing where improvements can be made. This might include explorations of extending product lines you manufacture with those made entirely from green materials. It could be forming new relationships with personalities in growth sectors. If you’re hoping to engage with influencers in gaming communities, connecting with them through the socially responsible activities you share can be effective.

Conclusion

Getting involved with socially responsible activities can have results beyond the obvious ethical outcomes. There are opportunities to be more meaningfully engaged with your target demographic and you can benefit from the reflected reputation of a cause. Entrepreneurial gain should never be the reason to get involved in activism. But knowing there are advantages can help guide you to making your activities a more positive part of the community.  

Luke Smith
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2 thoughts on “Social Responsibility and the Great Effect it Can Have on Your Business”

  1. Hi Luke,

    It was an amazing resource! I agree that social responsibility can have a lasting impact on a business, and I learned from this article a lot. You shared all the key areas it can affect and put everything into perspective. I am looking forward to incorporating more socially responsible activities into my business and hope to see some ethical outcomes out of them. Thanks a lot for sharing this resource, and highlighting the importance of social responsibility.

    Reply
    • Hi John, Thanks for reading! Social responsibility is so important. It’s also important for businesses to truly embrace the values they claim to have and act on them. Lots of businesses pay lip service to social responsibility, but they do nothing. Fortunately, there are also lots of wonderful businesses that practice what they preach.

      Reply

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