Cause-Based Social Media Marketing

“Leave this world a little better than you found it.” That’s a pretty good bit of advice. It’s about doing your best to leave a positive impact on the world. You don’t have to end world hunger, or establish world peace, you just do what you realistically can in order to make the world a better place.

It’s now easier than ever to do good on a grand scale. The internet brings us an unprecedented level of awareness about what’s going on in the world, and it makes it easier to collaborate with people. It not only amplifies global awareness but also increases engagement with those issues. And, while many companies have always supported good causes,  social media makes it easier than ever for businesses to make their alignment with causes public.

Companies that openly support a cause typically see results, whether it’s positive feedback, increased sales, or more traffic to their social media pages and website. Consumers put their money where their mouths are, too:

  • 91% of consumers say they would switch from a brand that doesn’t support a cause to one that does in a 2013 study from Cone Communications.
  • A study from Alloy Media shows that 95 % of students are less likely to ignore ads that show a brand’s connection to a cause.
  • A Nielsen study found that 50% of global consumers and 44% of U.S. consumers will pay more for goods and services from socially responsible companies.

That’s the first part of the equation — consumers respond well to companies that support causes.

But we’ve also found that causes get more support on social media platforms than mere products do. Boosted posts for causes get more bang for the buck, more reach, more shares, more comments, and more clicks than boosted posts for products or services.

So does it make sense for your company to promote the cause of clean water instead of the water bottles you’re offering? Should you put your ad budget toward fundraising for STEM instruction, not your engineering services?

That brings up the third part of the equation. Action. A recent cause-based boosted Facebook post we published for a client reached about 8600 people. About 350 people clicked through to the page where they could take the desired action, and 36 took that action.


About 4% of impressions led to clicks through, which is pretty good. Of the people who got to that page, more than 10% took the action, which is awesome. But overall, the conversion rate from impressions to actions was .04%, which is not that awesome. There were way more Likes, comments, and Shares than actual stepping up to the plate.

That makes sense. If you’re at Facebook, you’re there to see who got dumped and what everybody’s doing tonight. Maybe you’re up for a good funny animal video. You didn’t go to Facebook to see what action you could take to improve the world today. It’s like going to your local hangout and talking to your friends. You might solve all the problems of the world in a conversation over lattes, but you’re not actually going to do anything.

So support clean water because you care about clean water. Speak up for STEM education because you care about STEM education. It will make your customers feel more positive toward you and maybe it will make your competitor’s customer switch to your company. But the ROI isn’t completely measurable in your conversion rate. It’s also in leaving the world a little better than it was when you got here.






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