Social Enterprise: Facebook Leads the Way with Cause Related Marketing

How a titan of social networking helps others give back.
Nov 4, 2011 10:48 AM ET
Campaign: CSR Blogs

Posted by Sangeeta Haindl

A white paper is out today, 3 November 2011, entitled, "Cause Marketing on Facebook: Truths, Tips and Trends from Pioneers." It's an in-depth study by the Cause Marketing Forum which helps businesses and not-for-profits succeed with practical information, connections and recognition. This report holds a wealth of information for businesses, charities and marketing professionals, containing recommendations and tactics of more than 25 leading practitioners who were interviewed along with the analysis of more than a hundred campaigns. Cause marketing first appeared on Facebook in 2007, and over the last four years it has become a success story because of its ability to reach big audiences. Cause marketers who stay current on the platform's evolution and monitor consumer responses, have the potential to deliver significant business and social enterprise impact in the future.

This report states that four types of cause marketing campaigns have emerged on Facebook, which help create social enterprise. The first is "Like for Donation," the most common type of campaign, which came in after the 'like button' was launched in 2009. By liking a brand or campaign page, the user unlocks a cash or in-kind donation. However, changes announced by Facebook this September may see it fizzle out in the future. Next is the "Simple-Action-for-Donation," in which consumers are asked to do simple actions like posting a picture, video or comment on a Facebook page in order to unlock a donation. The "Interactive-Action-for-Donation" is a custom-designed call to action, engaging people by making their campaigns compelling enough to unlock a donation. Lastly, the "Voting Campaign" is more complex; it asks participants to vote and/or advocate on issues that they'd like to receive, share or see companies make a donation. This type of campaign gets lots of media attention due to the amount of money involved; however, it has design flaws that make it vulnerable to voting fraud.

We learn of two ways to turn Facebook campaigns into social enterprise success stories.

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Sangeeta Haindl is a staff writer for Justmeans on Social Enterprise. When not writing for Justmeans, Sangeeta wears her other hat as a PR professional. Over the years, she has worked with high-profile organizations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from her industry. She now runs her own UK consultancy: Serendipity PR & Media.