Use Social Responsibility to Reach New Customers [TOMS Model]
Children gradually develop their ability to show empathy, compassion, and social awareness. As a parent, the most powerful way to encourage social responsibility in children is to model socially aware behaviors for all to see. Take this one step further, how about modeling this behavior for your customers?
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African Proverb
Social responsibility is not a novel concept and when done right, being socially responsible can help reach a new target market or customer.
How to Combine Passion With Social Purpose
To get out of the heads and into the hearts of your target audience, you must incorporate a purpose beyond profit. When you merge the two, customers become your biggest advocates.
For an excellent example, take a look at Blake Mycoskie to see how his simple act of social responsibility has built a business. Blake, the founder of Toms Shoes, combined his passion for helping others with his social purpose—to offer shoes to those less fortunate.
This idea is popular!
3,524,088 Facebook likes on its business page (as of March 2016)
- 2.17M Twitter followers (@TOMS)
- 78.9K Pinterest followers with 13.5K Pins
- 759K Instagram followers
- Since its inception, Toms Shoes has kept their commitment to donating a pair of shoes for every pair purchased. To date, they’ve given away 35M pairs of shoes! Assuming they sold that many, too, and using website prices ranging from $30 to $140 a pair, the company has built up an incredible business over the last ten years believing in the values of social responsibility.
35 Million Shoes x $60 Avg. Price = $2.1 Billion in Gross Sales = WOW~!
“Consumers more and more are looking to buy from socially responsible companies, and they’re actually willing to pay more for products in certain cases,” says Karen Mishra, assistant professor of marketing at Meredith College.
According to Nielsen, over 55 percent of consumers say they are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
How You Can Establish The Habit of Social Responsibility in Your Small Business
Step 1: Begin by identifying how you’re already giving back to your customers and local community. Whether it’s through events, volunteer opportunities or fundraisers, brainstorm how and where you’ll spend your time giving.
Step 2: Create a “giving calendar” that incorporates a culture of giving throughout the year. Think about unique opportunities available to your company. How can you highlight your customers and business partners throughout the year?
Step 3: Determine how social media will support your giving campaign. Where will you share and how often?
For example, choose a “giving day” of the week. Post what you are doing on social media. Share throughout the week as follows:
- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram: At a minimum, post two times per week. Read: The Unscientific Guide to Determine Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and More
- Blog: Write one article per week highlighting your giving campaign and the events of the week.
- YouTube: Record a video explaining your giving day and what it entails. Give your fans and followers a reason to care about your “why.”
Step 4: Follow Toms model and inspire others to do the same. Give your followers tips on how they can make a difference.
For more ideas on taking social responsibility to the next level in your small business, read: 3 Steps to Recharge Your Employees with Social Responsibility