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CSR and Social Media
By: Jessica Cherok
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In a world where corporate social responsibility has become critically important in the mind of consumers, businesses need to ensure they are including good corporate citizenship initiatives in their social media communications.

Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is commonly defined as companies’ taking responsibility for their impacts on the environment and social welfare. In recent years, there has been an increased trend in consumers believing companies have a social responsibility beyond their shareholders and turning profits. As a result, many have adopted very successful CSR campaigns, benefiting the environment and society as well as the overall business.

But implementing a CSR isn’t always enough. After all, what good is a worthwhile initiative if no one knows about it? Admittedly probably a lot, but companies might as well reap the benefits all the way around, right?

Of course, good communication is critical for any company, and talking about your CSR via social media is an excellent way to showcase what you’re doing right. Furthermore, it’s a great for sourcing ideas from your consumers. Companies who have started monitoring what their consumers are saying have produced some pretty amazing results.

But be forewarned, it’s also an instant avenue for criticism. McDonald’s learned the hard was with its #McStories fiasco on Twitter.

Thus is the paradox of social media. On the one hand, you have instant access to sharing happy, uplifting warm fuzzies...on the other, an outlet for relentless condemnation.

Still, the benefit of adopting a CSR and promoting good deeds is well worth the risk. Just make sure you have a plan in place for responding to any negativity.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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