There's an adage that is an apt description of the new dynamic at work between brands and consumers connected through social media: People support what they help to build. But now that many brands are launching community-driven cause marketing campaigns, the challenge becomes what to do next?
The evolution of social media into a robust mechanism for social transformation is already visible. Despite many adamant critics who insist that tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are little more than faddish distractions useful only to exchange trivial information, these critics are being proven wrong time and again.
One of the greatest challenges companies face in adjusting to the impact of social media, is knowing where to start.
The advent of Google+ and the emergence of the personalized web means this is more true than ever. Brands, and their advertising partners, must wake up to this challenge and define themselves with clarity, consistency and authenticity. Otherwise they just might find themselves shouting in a ghost town.
Corporations often partner with government after natural disasters, as many companies did in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As a rule, however, long-term civic/corporate partnerships are still rare .But this need not remain the status quo, as many opportunities are available for such partnerships.
When people align around shared political, social, economic or environmental values, and take collective action, thinking and behavior that compromises the lives of millions of people around the world can truly change.
Transforming a brand into a socially responsible leader doesn't happen overnight by simply writing new marketing and advertising strategies. It takes effort to identify a vision that your customers will find credible and aligned with their values.
Integrate purpose into your for-profit business model through a long term commitment to a cause that is aligned with your core values and those of your community.
If a brand genuinely wants to make a social contribution, it should start with who they are, not what they do. For only when a brand has defined itself and its core values can it identify causes or social responsibility initiatives that are in alignment with its authentic brand story.
Social media companies must combine their mastery of the latest in real-time, location based or augmented reality technologies in the service of clear and consistent storytelling.
Often motivated by a desire to maintain the existing status quo, sloth almost cost the U.S. its auto industry, as it refused for decades to build fuel-efficient cars to compete with Japanese, Korean and European imports.
Greed has increasingly become a virtue among Wall Street bankers and corporate CEOs in the U.S. Nowhere else in the world do CEOs insist on receiving compensation as high compared to what their employees earn.
Companies, to date, have often used the excuse that they are only beholden to their shareholders, but we need shareholders to think of themselves as stakeholders in the well being of society as well.
Corporate America cannot afford to remain silent or passive about the downward spiral we are undergoing. It cannot turn a blind eye to how difficult the experience of life is for so many of their customers.
Non-disclosure in the Internet Age is quickly perceived as a breach of trust. Government, corporations and each of us as individuals must recalibrate how we live and share our lives appropriate to the information now available and the expectations of others.
A world in which government is burdened by historic debt, philanthropy has limited resources, and the private sector is only interested in its own personal gain is simply unsustainable.
The leverage and influence social media gives citizens are rapidly spreading into the business world.
Refuse to accept the belief that your professional relevance, career success or financial security turns on the next update on the latest technology. Sometimes it's good to put the paddle down and just let the canoe glide.
The question remains: which brands will commit to creating a private sector pillar of social change, and which will become casualties of their own outdated thinking?
More and more companies are reaching out to their suppliers and contractors to work jointly on issues of sustainability, environmental responsibility, ethics, and compliance.