Socially Responsible F-commerce
As the awareness around sustainability and social responsibility increases, brands are doing more and more to donate to charities and do more for their communities as part of their day-to-day strategies and operations. What is social good? There are many definitions, but the context I am referring to in this e-book is the ability to do good using social media. In particular, Digital Millennials that use social media tend to like to work for companies that emphasize charitable giving as well patronize brands that care.
Brands need to become aware about specific attitudes, perceptions, and sentiments of Millennials as well as how they align their spending with their own interests, passions, and community. Many Millennials say that the charities they support are one of the ways they express themselves. They feel that regularly donating your time to help others in need is a sign of success and accomplishment. They want to know how their donations or efforts will impact others or make a difference. Brands need to enter this type of endeavor with care. Millennials are also very skeptical of brands that take up social causes and may question the true intent of the sponsoring brands. If a brand wants to go down this path, they must make a commitment that demonstrates the ongoing attitudes, behaviors, and actions of the brand.
Old Navy was founded in 1994 and named after a bar in Paris. The Old Navy Facebook page is intended to be an online hangout for the Old Navy community. There customers and fans can learn about upcoming sales, new styles, contests, promotions, and more. And customers can leave a comment or ask a question on the wall.
Most importantly to their fans, Facebook is a place for their audience to become part of cause marketing programs and social good campaigns. That’s because one of Old Navy’s target audiences is people who truly care about social responsibility. Their Feel Good program appeals to people who are about making the world “Bright, colorful, and playful.” Old Navy connects their sense of style with how they view the world and invites customers and fans to join them in making a difference.
They invite fans to join them at an in-store event celebrating the Boys & Girls Club. A portion of sales during the event go to supporting that charity. They also have “Operation Troop Donation.” This is a program that supports the troops and their families by creating care packages. The Flip-Flop Relay invites customers to bring their pre-loved flip-flops into Old Navy Stores to be recycled into playgrounds. The “It Gets Better” program helps educate people about all types of love. Old Navy donated 10 percent of their Gay Pride t-shirt sales to the “It Gets Better” Project.
While these are not direct e-commerce plays, they are part of a very smart marketing campaign to appeal to a very loyal demographic. A company that shows that they care, that they give back, and that they are “human.” This is a far cry from brands of yesteryear. This kind of humanizing of a brand can create loyal customers and advocates and influencers who spread the “good word” of their company via social media, reaching millions of Old Navy’s target market. And that is essentially the hallmark of understanding and utilizing social media for PR, marketing, and advertising.
Within Facebook, Old Navy has a section called Hot Ticket. Here a fan can enter their name and when they click on submit, they are given a personalized ticket for 30 percent off. That can be shared with their social network, Tweeted, and/or printed out.
Ettitude is an Australia-based company that sells environmentally friendly products made from bamboo and organic cotton. Ettitude was founded on the simple idea that everyday products, such as clothing, bed linen, towels, and stationery, could be made much more responsibly and contribute to making the world a better place, as well as look good and be affordable. Their goal is to give people who care about their family and the earth the ability to easily adopt a greener, more socially responsible lifestyle. Ettitude does this by providing a range of premium and unique eco-friendly products in a quick, convenient, online shopping environment. Because they have such a compelling store, it is a natural for people to want to share this among their social graph.
When I was on their website to do some research for this book, I was impressed with their use of their traditional website as a “Facebook sharing moment.” Here’s how this works: I was on the About Us page, and I went to highlight some words on the site and a widget popped up and enabled me to share what I highlighted with my Facebook connections. This is a brilliant word-of-mouth strategy to create awareness for the brand, and because their marketing message is something people can get behind, i.e., being more socially responsible, the ability to share that website information may even translate into shopping cart dollars.
When you click on the Facebook icon to share your highlighted information, it asks the customer to allow permission to connect to Facebook and post on my Facebook page. The ability to allow your customers to find things they like about your company and post to their friends can be a very good PR and marketing awareness tool. Especially for a company like Ettitude, which has a very share-able brand story around social and personal responsibility.
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At Social Business Builders,
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Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company
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