The Holidays are almost here. For many organizations, this time of year brings a sense of urgency to convert followers to customers, close deals, and meet yearly financial goals via the holiday spending surge.
But with consumers expecting more from the brands they buy from, it’s increasingly important for companies to be generous – and project that generosity to audiences in an authentic way. In this season of giving, here are 4 ways brands can leverage their platforms to give back:
- Let your consumers inspire you. Don’t know where to start? The beauty of two-way, digital platforms like those on social media is that they’re an open field for feedback. Of course, it’s a double-edged sword, and the feedback isn’t always worth highlighting; but generally, followers are more open to feel-good engagement this time of year. One way to spark their interest might be to ask in a post how they enjoy giving back to their community; select your favorite responses, feature them, and reward those responders in some other way besides the feature. Voila! Easiest content generator ever – and you just might inspire a good deed or two in the process.
- Tell stories from the inside out. There’s a reason storytelling campaigns inspire audiences to act. Seeing real people share their real perspectives offers followers a glimpse into something audiences can relate to or empathize with – and for brands, that human perspective can build trust and affinity among audiences, taking them from followers to consumers. Companies should leverage this feel-good time of year to tell the untold stories about the everyday heroes they know best: their employees. Seek out internal input on who to feature from your team members and then let communications teams work their magic by crafting a thoughtful portrait of each chosen employee. Your work family will love it, and your audiences will, too.
- Work towards a giving goal together. Determine a cause or initiative you’d like to raise money or resources for by the end of the year, and load your digital channels up with tools that empower audiences to help reach your goal. Kick off the campaign sometime before Thanksgiving with a big splash announcement to followers, inciting them to share about it on their own channels, and consider an in-kind incentive for those who contribute toward the cause. Ideally, you’ll support a cause that’s linked to a follower base of its own, which presents mutually beneficial, ripe opportunities to cross-promote and glean followers via the campaign. Keep the campaign love going through the beginning of the New Year and, if able, couple your digital tools with community relations or service-oriented events hosted by your organization. Bonus: Media has an extra appetite for these types of events this time of year, so you might get some coverage out of it. Everyone wins!
- Give the gift of better, best practices. Use the last month of the year to announce one or more best practices you plan to implement in the New Year. This can be anything from being more sustainable, to donating a certain percentage of profits on a particular item, to offering employees paid volunteer hours as part of their benefits package. Whatever the announcement, use the timing of the holiday season to be as loud and proud about this as you would any other business-related win or achievement. When you’re happy to give back, your audiences will be happy to keep on coming back to you.
Show us some holiday season love by following along with our PIVOT PR team! Find us on Instagram and keep up with our blogs throughout the holidays and beyond.