Over the last year, environmental, social, corporate governance (ESG) initiatives have taken the spotlight among consumers and investors. Now, companies must go further than simply operating successful business – they need to communicate their ESG strategy. By utilising digital marketing channels, you can raise awareness and inspire action among your target audience; regardless of the scale of your ESG movement.
With over 53% of the world’s population on social media, it’s critical that your business has an effective social media strategy that helps you reach your intended audience to hone and deliver crucial messages. In this article we’ll explore the importance of targeting alongside the various ways to effectively communicate your ESG campaign on social networks.
So, what platforms should you use to reach your stakeholders? With plenty of social networks to choose from, you’ll need to identify the best platform(s) to communicate ESG information. Considering that the target audience for ESG messaging might be different to your brand’s and whether your content strategies can coexist on the same network:
- Facebook remains the most popular social media platform in 2021 and is prominent amongst B2B & B2C marketers. The platform has a diverse audience and thanks to its highly sophisticated targeting, you can hone in on audiences based on their demographics, interests and behaviour. This helps with reaching the right stakeholders including investors, consumers and the media; without clashing with your brand content strategies.
- LinkedIn has been established as the best social network for lead generation, making it a great source for marketers finding targeted and motivated audiences for their ESG communications. The audience on LinkedIn are highly engaged and consider the platform as a credible source for company information.
- Used by over two billion people, YouTube is the second most popular social media channel, the second largest search engine after Google, and one of the largest sources of user-generated content online. By using this platform, you can effectively showcase your ESG programs.
- Twitter’s usage, user-base and growth have remained relatively consistent year-to-year. Hence, 82% of B2B content marketers recognised and used the platform for organic content marketing. Twitter limits Tweets to 280 characters and is designed to capture user attention in a fast-paced newsfeed format. Thus, the platform is ideal for building industry authority, real-time updates and promoting ongoing initiatives. What’s more, Twitter hashtags enable you to accurately target relevant ESG audiences and get your message out to more than just your earned followers.
- Instagram is best used for building brand reputation. Considering it is a visual mobile app, high-quality photos and videos work well to showcase ESG initiatives. The largest age group on this platform is 25-34 (33.1%), and influencers are an effective means to motivate decisions, so there are lots of opportunities to deliver your message effectively.
Now that you’ve identified the social networks for your brand’s ESG communications, its time to focus on amplifying these messages. Let’s look at some ways to improve your strategy:
Focus of Storytelling
Although ESG reporting focuses on benchmarks and statistics, storytelling tends to perform better on social media. Thus, finding and promoting stories within your ESG initiatives can provide engaging social media content. Whatever the movement, incorporate a human element with feel-good stories and visuals to illustrate what your initiative is about.
Did you know that videos on social networks yield 1200% more shares than text and image content combined? That’s right – demonstrating the criticality of video usage in today’s social media strategies. There’s no wonder that 85% of marketers claim video as an effective way to get attention online, while viewers admit to retain 95% of a message when obtained via video.
Create a toolkit for employees
People are #1 when it comes to spreading the word about your ESG impact; and social networking is how people share and circulate information. So, encourage employees to get involved with your ESG communications. But how? Make it easy for them to want to talk about it. This can be achieved with a simple toolkit, highlighting key messaging and social media best practices – engaging your employees in what the company is doing.
Implement social media advertising
Social media advertising is a cost-effective way to reach members of your target audience who don’t already follow you online. Thanks to the robust targeting capabilities of paid social media (e.g. Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads), you can reach investors, potential customers, people interested in the same social causes your company focuses on, and everything in between.
The best paid content on social media shouldn’t look or feel like advertising. Instead, it should be authentic and incorporate storytelling to best resonate with your audiences.
Are you interested in taking your social media strategy to the next level? Our digital team specialises in tailoring strategies and proven tactics to meet your business goals. If you’re just getting started with your ESG initiatives, we can also assist you with internal and external communications to optimise your impact.
Blog written by Bijan Shahrezaey, Digital Account Manager here at Houston, firstname.lastname@example.org