How to Show that You Care
Because of COVID19, people are eager to see how we are helping one another and the community at large.
The pandemic brought to light inequalities in access to health care and basic services for minority populations. Customers now are especially invested in social-justice initiatives, such as Black Lives Matter, and want to purchase from companies that show interest in these issues, too.
Demonstrate what you are doing to create an inclusive workplace and how you are contributing to your community and social causes. You will likely strengthen your customer base and, more importantly, be making a positive difference.
Here are some smart ideas on how to do it.
Highlight Small Business Products
If you are a third-party seller, buy from small businesses as much as possible. Small businesses have been hit hard by the shutdowns. Buying from these businesses will help keep them afloat and keep their employees from losing their jobs.
Beer Cartel, an Australian online craft-beer site, showcases local breweries on their main site and tells readers what beers they can buy from each local business:Not to mention, shoppers are interested in local products. A Capgemini study found that 54% of consumers will prefer buying local products post-pandemic.
Use store signage and online product descriptions to highlight products that are from small and local businesses. Add messaging on your website and social media to encourage customers to support their community by buying local.
Take a Stand on Social-Justice Movements
Customers want to see where brands stand on the social-justice issues they care about. Share your company’s perspective on current events, and explain how you are working to create a safe, inclusive workplace.
On your website and social media, post about the charities you work with. Tell your audience why you support those organizations. Encourage people to support them as well.
For example, Wingspan encouraged donations to the Black Lives Matter movement and offered to match donations up to $5,000. The company also promoted a list of Black-owned businesses and urged readers to support those establishments.
Your social-justice initiatives might involve making changes within your company. Financial services brand Citi found that its female employees were making 29% less than males in equivalent positions. The company publicly announced the internal inequality it found, and it took action to eliminate the pay gap.
Publicly supporting social-justice initiatives can rub people the wrong way, so it’s essential to post only about issues you truly believe in as an organization and are willing to stand behind. This authenticity is also important for those customers who care about these issues.
If you post about a cause only when it’s the main news story of the day and then never mention it again, customers may view that as a ploy to generate business, and the campaign will hurt your company rather than help it.
Offer Social Awareness Resources
Another way to publicly support a social cause is to find educational articles and courses on the topic and share them on your website and social media.
Offering informational resources will show customers that you are committed to spreading the news about the topic and ensuring that others stay informed. In the process of collecting and sharing these resources, you and your team will also learn new information and become better allies for these causes.
Several companies have taken this strategy to heart. HR management company Justworks offers a course for educating people about allyship in the workplace. The course includes sections on recognizing privilege and defining what allyship looks like at work.
Organizational software Airtable created a resource about the importance of the BLM movement, including data and statistics about significant people and events in the movement’s history.
The tone of your messaging when you share resources is vital. The wrong tone can come across as preachy. Instead, aim to show your helpful, kind intent in sharing the information.
Often, simplicity is the key. In both of the examples above, the brands let the resources mostly speak for themselves.
360Learning acknowledges that the course isn’t the solution to racism, but that understanding a problem is the first step to solving it. The company doesn’t claim to be an authority or to have all the answers. By keeping its message humble and straightforward, the brand turns readers’ focus to the issue they are trying to help.
Share Values and Initiatives Through Your Products
Consider how your products and business model uphold your values and help society, and use your social media and advertising to highlight how your products benefit others.
An example of this strategy in action is KaiOS Technologies, a digital products and services company. KaiOS has a dedicated page illustrating the social benefits of its app. It shows how the product promotes digital literacy and education on a variety of topics.
To apply these strategies to your business…