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The Social Media Benefits of a Cause Marketing Campaign

By: Amy Rohn

There are lots of good reasons to launch a social-good or cause marketing campaign, like the fact more than 9 out of 10 Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause and the fact they are then willing to pay more for that product. More generally, helping others is just a nice thing to do.

But, first and foremost, the cause must be something that is authentically part of the company’s mission and value system. If that’s not there, your audience will see right through you and know that your effort is nothing more than a marketing stunt.

So, assuming that you’ve got that tackled and that the core vision of your campaign is to help out a cause or raise awareness of an issue that is part of your company’s DNA, it’s time to engage your audience. Making them part of what you are doing further links them to your brand and makes them feel good about supporting your brand. And that is where the social media magic starts.

For once they are engaged in your effort, they become your advocates in a big, big way. They share your videos, support your cause and become very public and very authentic advocates.

Cause Marketing: An Example

We recently worked with our client Briggs & Stratton to support the efforts of Rodney Smith Jr. (if you haven’t heard about Rodney, check out his story here). Rodney embarked on a “50 States 50 Lawns” tour, mowing a lawn in each state for a person or family in need. Briggs & Stratton made a contribution and also provided Rodney with equipment for the tour.

We’ve been working with Rodney for some time and he embodies the brand’s You.Powered. philosophy, so the effort was aligned with the company’s mission and value system. (Check.)

We knew we’d get lots of earned media attention throughout the country for Rodney’s tour, and we did – to the tune of nearly 200 million impressions. But the real gold came in the social media response.

The Value Of Grassroots Support Can’t Be Quantified

Rodney is a very active social media user and of course, the social media team at Briggs & Stratton amplified Rodney’s journey on their own social media channels. And from the very first post about the tour, we knew that something special was going on.

A groundswell, not just of likes and “Way to go Rodney!” comments but people pledging their loyalty to Briggs & Stratton. People extolling the virtues of the company and its products unsolicited. Authentic. Powerful.

It was content all the marketing dollars in the world can’t buy.

What’s the value of the comments below?

Thank you Briggs & Stratton for supporting Rodney. You can’t buy the loyalty so many of us feel for your company. You are #1!!

Thank you for your support of Raising Men/Rodney. Such a dream team! Your company, Rodney and Terrence embody the American Spirit we should all strive to emulate.

This is just another reason that I have always been a huge Briggs and Stratton fan. Thank you for your support of Rodney and Raising Men Lawn Care! I wish more companies would get involved like this.

Thank you, Briggs & Stratton, for supporting this amazing young man and his vision for a better world. You are a shining light, and an example for businesses in the world. Thank you.

I will always buy Briggs and Stratton due to your support for Rodney. Thank you!

These were a handful of comments on one post. There are hundreds more where these came from. Throughout the course of this campaign, I am confident that we have reinforced the loyalty of existing Briggs & Stratton users, earned the admiration of new and potential customers and most importantly, helped raise awareness for Rodney and his efforts.

Find the Sweet Spot of Passion and Planning

When the right cause-related partnerships align, there is no matching the impact. Making social media a key part of your communications plan around a cause marketing campaign will not only help amplify your message, it will provide a very public vehicle for your audience to pledge their support.

Amy Rohn

SVP, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS

Amy is a firm believer that public relations on its own is good. But when integrated as part of a marketing strategy that includes owned, paid and social media, that’s where the magic happens. A career PR professional and 12-year veteran of LSB, Amy’s worked on everything from the classic “got milk?” campaign to lawn mower engine demo events. She strongly believes that a messy desk is the sign of a brilliant mind and grammatical errors can topple empires.

Read more from Amy Rohn

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