What is the relationship between social good and social media?
This is the question I was trying to answer while attending the Mashable and 92Y Social Good Summit. And after listening to some brilliant presentations from Jessica Jackley of Kiva, Geena Davis of See Jane (and of course A League of their Own) and Matthew Bishop of The Economist, it seems that Bonin Bough of PepsiCo really had the best handle on the topic.
It is likely no coincidence that consumers’ increased desire for brands to be more socially involved and ethically responsible is surfacing at the same time as the use of social media and online engagement explode globally. Consumers everywhere are taking the time to voice concerns and desires that have long been on their minds but were unable to share quite so easily.
The truth of the matter is that being a good corporate citizen is not just a nice thing to do with some extra cash anymore; it is a legitimate part of a marketing strategy intended to grow a customer base, increase market share and ultimately drive profits. Customers care. And more and more they expect brands to be more than just a clothing retailer or technology distributor – customers expect brands to care as well.
So, what does all this mean? Take the lead of PepsiCo and start making a difference. After all, the Pepsi Refresh Project has already attracted more votes than the most recent presidential election. Increased brand awareness? Check! Increased consumer engagement? Check! Increased brand advocacy? Check!
Social technology allows us to communicate differently with one another and the story of social good allows us to engage more meaningfully, so pick a great cause and go for it! Get involved and tell people about it. It will be worth it, in a myriad of ways.
Looking for a little inspiration? Watch PepsiCo’s Bough chat with Jack Leslie, Chairman at Weber Shandwick.