Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a topic that continues to capture the interest and imagination of people in the business world. What used to be considered window dressing for community relations is in fact linked to how well a company performs. In other words, CSR extends to the bottom line. Sound like an exaggeration? Not at all! Wayne Levine offers a case study into a successful social media campaign.
Businesses are based on trust and foresight; establishing and keeping trust with customers, communities and regulators is critically important. To successfully establish trust and maintain it over time, companies need to think beyond what’s affecting them today to what’s going to happen tomorrow. This isn’t just about addressing changes to technology or the needs of customers either, it’s also about taking social issues into account.
As a global force in household, health and personal care, Reckitt Benckiser is a company deeply committed to sharing the wealth it creates with the people who need it most. In both business and social responsibility, the company is driven by innovation and it is for this reason that they appointed NXT\ Digital Innovation to assist in the creative rationale and conceptualisation of the Vanish TrustPink social media campaign.
The brief was to create mass awareness around the Vanish’s CSR initiatives and create a digital user experience while doing so.
In a collaborative effort between the PinkDrive and Vanish, Reckitt Benckiser wanted a Facebook page, a Twitter page and a dedicated YouTube channel for its 2011 TrustPink campaign. In support of International Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the campaign aimed to spread the message that one in every 29 women in South Africa will be diagnosed with breast cancer and that early detection saves lives. Education around breast cancer was a main focus of the campaign.
To bring attention to the initiative, an online and mobile advertising campaign that utilised relevant digital media to drive to a Facebook page and application, as well as an educational mobi site, was executed.
On Facebook, fans from all over the country were encouraged to donate money in support of the PinkDrive. A donations application was developed for the Facebook page that linked to an online payment gateway. A donations ‘ticker’ was developed allowing fans to track the amount of money pledged on a daily basis. A second donations initiative was also promoted on the platform in the way of wall posts, urging consumers to purchase Vanish 02 Powder from selected stores, and for every product bought, Vanish would donate a further R 2.90 to the PinkDrive.
The bulk of the campaign focussed on generating education around the disease with the aim of encouraging early detection. Facebook and Twitter activities implemented to promote this awareness included:
- Daily educational updates on important breast cancer information and news
- A platform for users to ask questions about breast cancer, with NXT\ sourcing expert answers
- Video links to cancer survival stories
- Links to additional breast cancer fundraising initiatives across the country
- Links to support centres in the different provinces and contact details for these centres
- Detailed updates on where the PinkDrive mobile breast clinic was going to be in order for women to complete free mammography screenings
With the aim of colouring Facebook pink, the TrustPink page also allowed users to download pink breast cancer ribbons and place them over their own Facebook profile pictures and that of their Facebook Friends.
A dedicated TrustPink YouTube channel was established to house all videos of the campaign initiative. PinkDrive videos of fundraising events that had been hosted during Breast Cancer Awareness month and heartfelt video testimonials from breast cancer survivors were uploaded.
Strategically run between Women’s month (August) and Breast Cancer Awareness month (October), the campaign was hugely successful. The Facebook page exceeded expectations by attracting more than 4 000 fans, and although the Twitter page started slowly – the growth, in the end, was exponential. The Twitter page reached a wide range of South Africans, including popular radio personalities DJ Fresh, Koula and Poppy Ntsongwana; and local celebrities LeeAnn Liebenberg and Tamara Dey who all re-tweeted valuable information from the TrustPink Twitter page. At the end of the three month campaign an incredible R100 000.00 was donated to the PinkDrive.
Not only did the initiative allow Vanish to communicate, educate and interact with fans around the very important topic of breast health, it also enabled the brand to build a Vanish-specific common interest community – giving the brand an opportunity to grow and personalise its image with consumers.
To track the progress of the campaign, Reckitt Benckiser utilised NXT’s\ Media Deck reporting platform to effectively observe and understand the successes of the campaign. By providing clear and insightful data from each active communication channel, the organisation was able to view real time reports with a single view of the various campaign activities for easy decision-making, campaign management and realignment.
With businesses becoming increasingly competitive, social media has proven to play an integral role in the building of brand image and brand loyalty. Using such platforms to cultivate the growth of brands through the promotion of programmes focussed on social issues, companies like Reckitt Benckiser are reporting impressive results. The evolution of digital platforms will no doubt continue to transform the customer experience into a truly positive one that allows common interest communities to be a part of something much bigger in the world.
Wayne Levine is MD of NXT\Digital Innovation.