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Marketing: Tap Into Social When Giving Back to Your Community

Posted on 23 May 2012 by Annie George

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Social media - charityOver the last several months, I have been working with many of Neilson Marketing’s agencies to set up their new, optimized websites (through a service called Agency Tsunami that Neilson offers to agencies, wholesalers, and MGAs), in addition to their SEO and Social Media Marketing strategies.  Although every agency has the same objective – to drive traffic to the site, generate leads, make sales, and keep in continuous touch with clients and prospects via the various digital platforms available – the design, content, blogs, social media posts, etc. are customized to the specific agency’s target, philosophy and culture, and goals.

In speaking to several agencies about the content they’d like to see on their new site, I often ask if they are involved in community service – since so many are truly embedded in the lives and businesses that depend on them to provide protection against risk. Everyone unequivocally says yes. They contribute to charities, sponsor events, volunteer at food drives, etc., are members of organizations – collectively as a company and individually. Social responsibility is one of their top priorities. But many shy away from including these activities on their website and even more so in their social media strategy, while others will include a list of the charities and organizations with whom they’re involved on their website, and a few may go into more detail.

My recommendation is to highlight what you do in a way that is professional and not self-serving. What makes an independent agency so unique is its involvement in the community. You’re helping by doing good works for the various organizations that contribute to helping residents in the neighborhoods you insure. So whether it’s the local Rotary Club, Habitat for Humanity, Little League, church drives, school events, and so on, feature your involvement. It helps to get the word out about various organizations and events while at the same time reflects your agency’s commitment to making a difference. Post pictures on Facebook of a recent charity event your staff attended and encourage others to look into the charity to see how they can volunteer; include a blog write-up about a specific event that touched you (yes, make it personal); send a press release about your sponsorship of a school activity (and then include the release on your website); help promote an upcoming event on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and your website to raise more money, get more volunteers, etc….

People do want to know about a company, its culture, and its corporate social responsibility – again, as long as it’s not just about self-promotion. In fact, in a recent article in Forbes, a marketing strategist is quoted as saying: “With the rise of social media to help communicate corporate social responsibility efforts, we not only have more transparency into how companies do business, but also into how they act while doing business. This provides customers with tremendous new insight into the character of a corporation….”

Take your community involvement further and use your website, social media platforms, and blog to help promote what’s being done in the town and cities you serve, how others can also contribute, and how your agency is committed to giving back.